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  Journal of Teaching Language Skills
  [5 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 1020-8576
   Published by Shiraz University Homepage  [16 journals]
  • Attitudes towards English language norms in the expanding circle:
           Development and validation of ...

    • Abstract: This paper describes the development and validation of a new model and questionnaire to measure Iranian English as a foreign language learners’ attitudes towards the use of native versus non-native English language norms. Based on a comprehensive review of the related literature and interviews with domain experts, five factors were identified. A draft version of a questionnaire based on those five factors containing 40 items for assessing learners’ attitudes towards norms was designed. The draft version was piloted with a group of 273 Iranian learners and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) of the obtained data indicated that five factors could be extracted. Then the fitness of the model was checked through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) through the administration of the questionnaire to another group of 554 Iranian English language learners. The result of CFA revealed that the model enjoyed a satisfactory level of fitness indices, meaning that the five-factor structure including linguistic instrumentalism, communicativity, ethnorelativity, language maintenance, and linguistic prestige was not due to random variance.
      PubDate: Mon, 26 Oct 2015 20:30:00 +010
  • Processing of Lexical Bundles by Persian Speaking Learners of English

    • Abstract: Formulaic sequence (FS) is a general term often used to refer to various types of recurrent clusters. One particular type of FSs common in different registers is lexical bundles (LBs). This study investigated whether LBs are stored and processed as a whole in the mind of language users and whether their functional discourse type has any effect on their processing. To serve these objectives, three self-paced reading experiments were set out using the DMDX computer program. The stimuli consisted of target constituents containing LBs (discourse organizers and referential bundles) and control constituents containing non-lexical bundles (NLBs). Ninety intermediate Iranian EFL learners were selected and assigned to three groups randomly. Participants were asked to read each stimulus and answer the question that followed. The stimuli were presented word-by-word, portion-by-portion, and sentence-by-sentence in three experiments. The results showed no significant difference between LBs and NLBs in all three experiments, meaning that LBs are not stored and processed as a whole in the mind of language users In addition, participants read referential bundles significantly faster than discourse organizers in the word-by-word experiment.
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:30:00 +010
  • Multiple Intelligences, Dialogic-Based Portfolio Assessment, and the
           Enhancement of Higher ...

    • Abstract: Abstract Controversy has not been yet resolved among L2 researchers as how to enhance higher-order thinking skills (HOTSs) in EFL contexts. Responding to the growing need to foster thinking skills, many L2 educators have recently attempted to investigate the effect of diverse teaching strategies on HOTS. Yet, few studies have focused on the infusion of Gardner’s (1999) theory of multiple intelligences (MI), dialogic teaching, and portfolio assessment in improving HOTSs. Thus, the present study aimed to explore the impact of MI-oriented dialogic-based portfolio assessment on the higher-order thinking skills of 42 Iranian advanced EFL learners studying at Jehad Daneshgahi Institute, Karaj Branch. The participants in 2 intact classes were assigned to a control or dialogic-based portfolio assessment (DBPA) group and an experimental or MI-oriented dialogic-based portfolio assessment (MIDBPA) group. In the experimental group, the participants’ MI was initially measured through Christison’s (1998) MI checklist to group the participants with the same strong intelligence in 1 group. The MANOVA indicated the superiority of the MIDBPA group over the control group in the use of HOTSs. The findings highlight the virtue of taking participants’ dominant intelligences as a criterion for task selection, even in dialogic-based learning environments, as an instructional technique for the enhancement of HOTSs. Pedagogical implications are discussed, and recommendations for further research are suggested.
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:30:00 +010
  • Role of social comparison orientation and tendencies in Iranian EFL
           learners academic achievement

    • Abstract: Social Comparison is important as it can be either encouraging or discouraging for the person who makes it. Although studies concerning social comparison in the classroom context abound, few deal with the relationship between the role of social comparison orientation and tendencies in academic achievement in a competition based educational context. Adopting a non- experimental ex-post facto design, this study examines such relationship on 387 English Major Students studying in different Iranian universities in the academic year 2014- 2015. Data were collected through a modified version of Iowa-Netherlands Comparison Orientation Measure (INCOM). The results, obtained through the statistical techniques of correlation and multinomial logistic regression, revealed that there is a significant relationship between social comparison and academic achievement. Moreover, the results indicated that high comparison orientation and upward tendency for students predict higher academic achievement, and low social comparison orientation and high downward tendency predict lower academic achievement. The findings call for further research on the underlying internal factors that lead to achievement and the similarity of individuals' social comparison behavior in the classroom context, irrespective of culture and context.
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:30:00 +010
  • Effects of Task-based Academic Listening on High School EFL Students'
           Listening Comprehension: ...

    • Abstract: Task-based language teaching (TBLT) has been considered as an effective language teaching methodology. However, its applicability for lower-proficiency learners in EFL contexts has not been adequately justified. Moreover, the possible mediating effect of the experiential learning styles on academic listening TBLT has not been targeted in the literature, a gap that this study attempts to fill. To this end, male pre-intermediate Iranian EFL learners (N=88) in four experiential learning styles (n=22), selected purposefully through the experiential learning style questionnaire, took part in the study. The study utilized a time series design and all participants received the TBLT. To get some insights regarding the learners' attitudes toward the TBLT, the researchers implemented a perception questionnaire at the end of the treatment. The results of a mixed-method ANOVA for within-group difference revealed that the task-based instruction significantly affected pre-intermediate EFL learners’ performance on academic listening tests. A between-group comparison of four experiential learning styles also confirmed that the learners with different learning styles performed similarly on the tests. It was also found that learners had positive attitudes toward such instruction. The results have clear implications for foreign language teaching, teacher training and curriculum design with regard to the selection of appropriate methodology for teaching academic listening.
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:30:00 +010
  • Iranian EFL Learners’ Autonomous Behavior in Out-of-class Contexts:
           A Call for Understanding ...

    • Abstract: The salient, and often ignored, role that out-of-class learning plays in second/foreign language (L2) learners’ development is overshadowed by classroom research. The main aim of this study is to problematize the role of out-of-class learning in the specific English-as-Foreign-Language (EFL) context of Iran by examination of the ways in which four learners attempted to revamp their English language ability on their own in out-of-class settings. In so doing, we draw on the concepts of agency and autonomy in the field of L2 research to understand and explain learners’ self-directed practices for language learning within situations outside the classroom. Data were collected through in-depth interviews in which the students were asked to describe their personal approaches to English learning, use and practice in any situations beyond the classroom, most possibly hidden from their teachers. Three rounds of semi-structured interviews were carried out with the learners on an individual basis during May 2012. Thematic analysis of the interviews suggests that despite the dearth of naturalistic learning opportunities in our context, Iranian EFL learners take a variety of individual and collective initiatives to create authentic opportunities of language learning, use and practice for themselves in out-of-class contexts such as on-campus and outside the university. Based on the findings, it can be argued that in order to foster learners’ more active role in their learning, greater attention should be paid to their personally-conducted, autonomous English learning activities outside the classroom.
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:30:00 +010
  • Comparing confidence-based and conventional scoring methods: The case of
           an English grammar class

    • Abstract: This study aimed at investigating the reliability, predictive validity, and self-esteem and gender bias of confidence-based scoring. This is a method of scoring in which the test takers receive a positive or negative point based on their rating of their confidence in an answer. The participants, who were 49 English-major students taking their grammar course, were given 8 multiple-choice tests during the semester. These tests were scored both conventionally and in a confidence-based manner, and the reliabilities of these two score sets were compared. Each score set was correlated with the final exam scores to compare their predictive validity. Gender and self-esteem bias of the confidence-based scores of the eight tests were also calculated. The results showed that there was no difference between the reliabilities of the two sets of scores. Confidence-based scores had better predictive validity than conventional scores, but this difference was not significant. Confidence-based scores were not biased against a specific gender and specific levels of self-esteem. The conclusion is that confidence-based scoring is as good as conventional scoring and the choice between these two scoring methods depends on the teacher’s discretion and the teaching context.
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:30:00 +010
  • The Construct of Interlanguage Pragmatic Learning Strategies:
           Investigating Preferences of High ...

    • Abstract: Interlanguage pragmatics (ILP) has witnessed a growing body of research in the past two decades. One of the under-explored domains of L2 pragmatics is the role of learning strategies specifically tailored for the development of ILP knowledge. Therefore, this investigation aimed to determine the significant interlanguage pragmatic learning strategies (IPLS) used by high vs. low L2 pragmatic achievers. It was conducted in two phases. First, a multiple-choice discourse completion test including five common English speech acts was administered to 500 EFL learners. Next, 80 highest and 80 lowest ILP performers were orally interviewed and their answers were audio-taped. The most important interlanguage pragmatic learning strategies were extracted from L2 learners' interviews. The elicited IPLS were arranged based on Cohen's (2005, 2010) classification, the findings of the study itself, and an analogy with general language learning strategies (LLS) classification suggested by Oxford (1990). The extracted IPLS were divided into six categories of memory-related, cognitive, social, affective, metacognitive and compensatory IPLS. The high ILP performers used more strategies in all the six categories. The main conclusion of this study is that the use of more IPLS means a better ILP knowledge of speech acts. The most significant implication of the current study was that ILPS need to be taught to L2 learners to enhance their ILP knowledge in general and their speech-act-specific competence in particular.
      PubDate: Thu, 19 Feb 2015 20:30:00 +010
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