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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]
  • The Impact of Teaching Summarizing on EFL Learners’ Microgenetic
           Development of Summary Writing

    • Abstract: AbstractSummary writing is associated with lots of cognitive and metacognitive complexities that necessitates instruction (Hirvela & Du, 2013). Contrary to majority of studies carried out on summarization instruction, the present study addressed the underlying processes or microgenetic developments of the Iranian EFL learners’ summary writing. To this end, 41 male and female undergraduate students received instruction on summary writing for eight weeks. They were required to write five summaries during the first, second, fourth, sixth, and eighth sessions. The participants’ summaries were analyzed holistically by the TOEFL-iBT scoring guidelines and in terms of the number of instances of deletion, sentence combination, topic sentence selection, syntactic transformation, paraphrasing, generalization, invention, minor verbatim copying, and major verbatim copying. The findings revealed that some summarization strategies like invention, syntactic transformation, and generalization are more problematic and develop at later stages. The participants gave up major verbatim copying as they obtained a full appreciation of the conventions of authorship. However, many of them still used minor verbatim copying and patchwriting in their summary writing. The results imply that the students’ lack of awareness of the consequences of plagiarism as well as their insufficient general English and summary writing knowledge culminates in plagiarism.
      PubDate: Fri, 15 Jan 2016 20:30:00 +010
  • The Impact of Using Computer-aided Argument Mapping (CAAM) on The
           Improvement of Iranian EFL ...

    • Abstract: In our modern world, the increasing use of technology and computers in second language (L2) classrooms is inevitable and L2 writing has become more vital as it has a crucial role on learners’ personal, social, and academic purposes. Also, the recent researches on learners’ personality traits have opened new perspectives on predicting their success in L2 learning. The present study was conducted to investigate the impact of using computer-aided argument mapping (CAAM) on the improvement of Iranian learners’ writing self-regulation. To this end, 90 participants out of 127 senior university students in English translation were selected after administrating language proficiency test, as well as an essay writing test for the purpose of homogenizing the learners. Then all participants completed the self-regulation questionnaire in writing skill. As the homogeneity of responses was checked, the participants were randomly categorized into three equal groups as control, experimental 1, and experimental 2. During the course, as the participants in the experimental groups accomplished their writing assignments via CAAM software (in person and in pairs), the participants in the control group did their assignments traditionally. At the end of the course, all participants completed the same writing self-regulation questionnaire again. Using SPSS 21, the one-way ANOVA statistical procedure was utilized to determine the effectiveness of CAAM on writing self-regulation. The findings revealed that using CAAM in writing classes improved learners’ self-regulation. Moreover, the Post-Hoc statistical procedure between two experimental groups showed that collaborative learning in a computer hands-on learning environment led to higher writing self-regulation.
      PubDate: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 20:30:00 +010
  • Investigating L2 Teachers’ Pedagogical Success: The Role of
           Spiritual Intelligence

    • Abstract: Teachers can influence the complex process of learning in education, in general, and in second/foreign language (L2) learning in particular. In this light, understanding the factors influencing teachers’ pedagogical success can help L2 teachers achieve more effective teaching. This study then investigated the role of spiritual intelligence (SI) in L2 teachers’ pedagogical success. In so doing, it explored the relationship between teachers’ SI and their L2 pedagogical success assessed by students. Additionally, it examined the extent to which SI could contribute to L2 teachers’ pedagogical success. To these ends, following a sequential mixed-methods design, quantitative data were gathered through Spiritual Intelligence Questionnaire (SIQ) and Characteristics of Successful Teachers’ Questionnaire (CSTQ) from a sample of 130 EFL (English as a foreign language) teachers and 780 EFL learners respectively. Semi-structured interviews with 45 EFL teachers, classroom observation, and syllabus analysis were also used to triangulate the qualitative data. The results of Pearson product correlation coefficients revealed a significant and positive relationship between SI and L2 teachers’ pedagogical success. Also, multiple regression indicated a unique and moderately high contribution of three components of SI (transcendent self-realization, spiritual experiences, and patience) to the teachers ‘pedagogical success. Moreover, follow-up qualitative analysis indicated that the more spiritually intelligent teachers were more responsible, courageous, creative, confident and conscious; they were better at interpersonal relationship and less anxious about pursuing their educational goals. Such findings imply that high level of SI can help L2 teachers promote their success and, in turn, improve their students’ L2 achievement in classroom.
      PubDate: Tue, 12 Jan 2016 20:30:00 +010
  • The Impact of Guided Writing Practice on the Speaking Proficiency and
           Attitude of EFL ...

    • Abstract: AbstractWriting and speaking are the productive skills of a language and share similar components. However, there has been little attempt to investigate the impact of writing practice on the speaking proficiency of the learners. The present study using a pretest-posttest controlled group design in a quasi-experimental approach investigated the effect of guided writing practice on the speaking proficiency of Iranian EFL students. Two elementary intact classes which were classified based on the institute’s placement test were selected for the study. The homogeneity of the learners was checked through Key English Test (2007) as the pretest of the study, and the classes were randomly assigned into the experimental group (n=26) and the comparison group (n=26). The experimental group was provided with 10 guided writing worksheets in the last 15 to 20 minutes of the class, whereas the comparison group went through the procedure of a typical institute class in which they worked on workbook exercises during the mentioned time. The quantitative analysis of the posttest using an independent samples t-test indicated that not only writing proficiency, but also the speaking proficiency of the experimental group had significantly improved. Moreover, an end of the term a semi-structured interview sought the experimental group learners’ attitudes toward the role of writing practice in improving their speaking skill. The content analysis of the interview transcripts revealed that the learners held positive attitudes toward the guided writing worksheets at the end of the term, though they did not have the same attitude at the beginning.
      PubDate: Thu, 21 May 2015 19:30:00 +010
  • Syntactic Structures in Research Article Titles from Three Different
           Disciplines: Applied ...

    • Abstract: Deducing what a paper is about, titles are considered as the most important determinant of how many people will read the article. Therefore, studying the use of different syntactic structures and their rhetorical functions in titles is of great significance. The current study was set to investigate these structures used in research article titles in three disciplines of Applied Linguistics, Dentistry, and Civil Engineering. To this end, 420 research articles were randomly selected from four reputable journals in each field and their titles were analyzed based on Dietz’s (1995) taxonomy for syntactic structure of article titles. The findings of the study indicated that, although there are some similarities in title structures, there are some discipline specific differences. Such differences observed not only in title components, but also in title length and style. These differences reflect the academic conventions of title construction in different disciplines; moreover, they show communicative or rhetorical features emphasized in characterizing the nature and content of research in that discipline. These findings suggest several courses of action for different members of the English for Specific Purposes community.
      PubDate: Thu, 21 May 2015 19:30:00 +010
  • 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: Thu, 21 May 2015 19:30:00 +010
  • The or That: Definite and Demonstrative Descriptions in Second Language

    • Abstract: AbstractSince Heubner's (1985) pioneering study, there have been many studies on (mis) use/ non-use of articles by L2 learners from article-less and article languages The present study investigated how Persian L2 learners of English produce and interpret English definite descriptions and demonstrative descriptions It was assumed that definite and demonstrative descriptions share the same central semantics of 'uniqueness', although they differ in the domain relative to which uniqueness is computed. While the book denotes the unique book in the discourse, that book denotes the unique book in the immediately salient situation. Persian has demonstratives and is partially marked for specificity, while English encodes definiteness. Persian L2 learners, due to lack of an equivalent for English definite marker 'the' in their language, use demonstratives as one of the compensating mechanisms to encode definiteness in definite descriptive contexts. A forced-choice elicitation production task and a picture-based comprehension task were used to examine the L2 learners' ability to distinguish definite and demonstrative contexts. L2 learners were able to acquire both definite and demonstrative descriptions, but were more target-like regarding demonstratives than definite descriptions. The variability in choosing articles and demonstrative adjectives in one specific context (e.g. applying both the and that in contexts specific to the only or that only) shows that Persian EFL learners equate ān with both the and that. This, also indicates that L1 transfer determines the L2 learners' choices.
      PubDate: Thu, 21 May 2015 19:30:00 +010
  • Raising EFL Learners' Pragmatic Awareness of Intercultural Rhetoric in

    • Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to explore the effectiveness of raising Iranian learners’ pragmatic awareness of intercultural rhetoric in enhancing their L2 writing ability, as well as their written complexity and accuracy. To this end, two 25-member groups of EFL learners who were taking Basic Writing course at Islamic Azad University, Roudehen Branch, were selected based on their performance on a language proficiency test (PET). They were assigned as one control and one experimental group and received a validated, researcher-made pretest/posttest (with the reliability of 0.73) at the outset of the study. The experimental group received the explicit instruction of the teacher on IR followed by a task related to the content of the instruction while the control group’s practice in writing was limited to doing the exercises in their course book without receiving the explicit instruction of IR. Following the termination of the nine-session treatment, the posttest was administered and the collected data underwent data analysis. The results indicated that pragmatic awareness of IR in writing was significantly effective in improving the Iranian EFL learners' writing ability as well as the accuracy of their written output. However, no significant influence of rhetorical awareness raising in learners’ writing complexity was investigated in this study.
      PubDate: Thu, 21 May 2015 19:30:00 +010
  • Diagnosing L2 Learners' Writing Ability in Level-Specific Approach

    • Abstract: The objectives of this study were (a) to examine the writing performance of L2 learners on the level-specific tasks based on Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) and (b) to investigate whether there was any difference between the students' self-assessed level of writing and the writing level reported by the raters. This study was conducted with 138 Iranian students at BA and MA levels in Alborz Institute of Higher Education. The participants' majors were Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), English Literature, and Translation Studies. DIALANG writing self-assessment grid, CEFR writing self-assessment grid, and three writing tasks at B1, B2, and C1 levels were administered in this research. The results showed that (a) no one in the BA group was placed at the C1 level, and only 17.3% of MA students could reach this level; (b) students of both groups rated their writing ability higher on the CEFR grid, whereas they rated themselves lower on the DIALANG grid; and (c) the learners' self-assessment did not correspond closely with their performance on the writing tasks, and only one-third of them were accurate in assessing their writing ability.
      PubDate: Thu, 21 May 2015 19:30:00 +010
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