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Journal of Teaching Language Skills
  [6 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 1020-8576
   Published by Shiraz University Homepage  [17 journals]
  • The Use of Hedging in Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods
           Research Discussions in ...

    • Abstract: The discourse of the discussion in research articles is regarded to be of considerable significance—as in this section the findings are interpreted in light of previous research and the authors’ argumentations are put forward as a major contribution (see Hyland, 1999). For this reason, the content and structure of the discussion section have been explored in several studies; however, little attention has been focused on a comparative analysis of how hedges are used in the discussion sections of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods studies. To address this gap, the present study explored the use of hedges in 150 applied linguistics articles (50 qualitative, 50 quantitative, and 50 mixed methods studies). To this end, the study investigated forms and pragmatic functions of the hedges in the discussion sections, utilizing Varttala’s (2001) and Hyland’s (1998) models. The data were analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively through use of rigorous coding and memoing strategies. The results of the study indicate that hedging forms in the discussion sections of quantitative applied linguistics articles have the highest frequency, followed by mixed methods studies and qualitative articles, respectively. Also, full verbs, auxiliaries, and adverbs were the most frequent categories of hedging; and the results of Chi square test proved the significance of observed differences. The findings demonstrate that mixed methods studies tend to show similarities with quantitative articles regarding the use of hedging strategies. The results are interpreted in relation to the nature of each research method.
      PubDate: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • The Effect of Mixed and Matched Level Dyadic Interaction on Iranian EFL
           Learners' Comprehension ...

    • Abstract: Drawing upon sociocultural theory of Vygotsky, the current study aims to investigate the effect of dyadic interaction in mixed and matched level proficiency pairings on comprehension and production of request and apology speech acts. The participants were 125 EFL learners who were randomly assigned to the control and experimental (interaction) groups. Based on their scores in the pretest including a pragmatic listening test and an Oral Discourse Completion Test (ODCT), those in the experimental groups were assigned to the mixed (H-L) and matched level (H-H and L-L) dyads. Both the control and experimental groups received metapragmatic instruction on speech acts; however, the experimental groups were engaged in collaborative problem-solving tasks on speech acts for nine sessions. Following the treatment, the posttest was administered, the results of which revealed the outperformance of the interaction groups compared with the control group. Moreover, mixed level dyads were found to outperform their matched level counterparts in both measures of comprehension and production of speech acts. The findings have pedagogical implications for L2 teachers and practitioners on how to best pair learners in collaborative activities.
      PubDate: Fri, 17 Jun 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Genre Analysis and Genre-mixing Across Various Realizations of Academic
           Book Introductions in ...

    • Abstract: Motivated by the need to explore the introductory sections of textbooks, the present study attempted to scrutinize three realizations of academic introductions, namely, Preface, Introduction, and Foreword in terms of their functions and potential generic structures in light of Swales’s (1990) views of genre. Moreover, the study aimed to investigate genre-mixing as an interdiscursivity element across the above-mentioned texts (Bhatia, 1993). In so doing, a heuristic analysis was adopted to achieve a less biased view of the nature of the variations of introduction and to proceed systematically in developing a potential generic model. 75 text samples were extracted to identify the variations in exploiting the moves across the datasets under study. The findings of the study revealed almost similar schematic frameworks for the three manifestations of introductions. Moreover, examining meta-discursive and rhetorical devices across the datasets indicated the ways in which book introduction writers successfully appropriate genre resources and mix a promotional with an informative purpose.
      PubDate: Fri, 27 May 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • The impact of Task Complexity along Single Task Dimension on EFL Iranian
           Learners' Written ...

    • Abstract: Based on Robinson’s Cognition Hypothesis, this study explored the effects of task complexity on the lexical complexity of Iranian EFL students’ argumentative writing. This study was designed to explore the manipulation of cognitive task complexity along +/- single task dimension (a resource dispersing dimension in Robinson’s triadic framework) on Iranian EFL learners’ production in term of lexical complexity. To this end, based on the results of the writing test of TOFEL (2004), 48 learners were selected and assigned to two groups, simple task group (STG, n=24) and complex task group (CTG, n=24) randomly. The participants in the STG were given an eight-frame picture which had been arranged in the correct sequence before its administration (+ single task). These participants were required to order the frames in the right sequence first, before starting writing (- single task). Their output was encoded based on the measures of lexical complexity. The null hypothesis was nullified since the results indicated positive significant impact of +/- single dimension on lexical complexity. Regarding the results of the present study, it can be stated that when the participants were engaged putting the pictures in their correct order in the complex task, they carried out deeper semantic processing in order to find the reasonable order, which might lead to the better activation of their exemplar-based system and made them browse it more deeply. It was found that, at least in the Iranian context, Robinson’s (2005) predictions were more convincing.
      PubDate: Sun, 15 May 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Autonomously noticing incorrect language use: Does it improve EFL
           learners' grammatical accuracy?

    • Abstract: This study focuses on the effect of transcribing task, as an autonomous noticing activity, on intermediate and advanced EFL learners' grammatical accuracy. Every session, over a period of 20 weeks, a classroom oral discussion task was assigned to two advanced and two intermediate adult EFL classrooms, with one class in each level of proficiency serving as the control group and the other as the experimental group. Learners (in all four groups) were divided into groups of three or four in each class. Students were asked to record their groups' conversations each session. Students in the control groups gave their recorded conversations to the teacher without any post-task activity. Unlike the control groups, the students in the experimental groups were engaged in the post-task activity. Working individually, learners in the experimental groups first transcribed the recorded classroom speaking task and autonomously tried to find and correct their own and their peers' grammatical errors. Subsequently, working collaboratively, learners engaged in further discussion and reformulation of these inaccurate utterances. The results obtained from one-way ANOVA indicated that transcription of oral output with a follow up self and peer correction significantly enhanced the accuracy of EFL learners’ oral production.
      PubDate: Sat, 14 May 2016 19:30:00 +010

    • Abstract: This study investigated textual and inter-textual reading of a group of Iranian EFL undergraduates’ careful English reading types. In this research, Khalifa and Weir’s (2009) reading framework was used to propose a more inclusive aspect of a careful reading framework and the reading construct for instructional and assessment goals. The participants of this study were B.A. students of English Translation at Shiraz Payame Noor University. To obtain the required data, a questionnaire and a careful reading test along with reading journals, interviews, and retrospective verbal protocols were used. The findings revealed that careful reading at the sentential and textual levels were seen to be practiced frequently by the participants. However, reading purposes and cognitive processes requiring integrating information from different texts, reading critically to establish and evaluate the authors’ position on a particular topic, building links across texts, judging the relatedness of texts, evaluating the writer’s ideas and comparing viewpoints were not seen as prevalent emerged reading patterns. The participants performed differently on tasks measuring different types of careful reading at different levels in a descending order of difficulty. In doing the tasks, although no statistically significant difference was found between the performance of males and females, they performed differently regarding their age and educational level differences. Subsequently, based on the outcomes, in the proposed careful reading framework, some new variables such as educational level, age, documents knowledge, better understanding and careful reading at multiple text level structures were added to Khalifa and Weir’s (2009) reading framework.
      PubDate: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:30:00 +010

    • Abstract: This study was conducted to examine the effect of three types of comments, i.e. imperatives, questions, and statements, with different communicative purposes, i.e. giving information and making a request, given by an ELT teacher and peers on  students’ revision of their writings. Sixty-four female students, between 16 and 26 years old studying at high-intermediate level of English language proficiency in Iran Language Institute (ILI) participated in this quasi-experimental study. They constituted four intact classes, two of which received feedback on their writing from their teacher, and the other two received peer feedback.  One hundred and twenty eight pairs of students’ drafts including 672 instances of revisions of their writings based on teacher or peer comments were collected and analyzed based on the rubric designed by Ferris (1997). It was found that questions and statements provided by the teacher with the purpose of making a request, and statements given by the peers with either one of communicative functions all bring about the best results in students’ writings. On the other hand, the analysis of the revisions made by the students showed that statements provided by the teacher for the purpose of giving information has the least positive effect on the students’ modifications. Surprisingly, questions provided by the teacher and peers with the purpose of giving information were found to have negative effects on the students’ writing.
      PubDate: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:30:00 +010

    • Abstract: For the last two decades, computers have entered people’s lives in an unprecedented manner in a way that almost everybody considers life without them rather impossible. In recent years, researchers and educators have been trying to discover how computers and the Internet technology can maximize the quality of language instruction. As such, the present experimental study sought to investigate the impact of Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication (SCMC) on Iranian EFL learners’ collaboration. To this end, 26 upper-intermediate female students were randomly chosen from a language institute and then they were randomly assigned to one control (Face-to-Face) and two experimental groups (Internet Relay Chat and 2 Dimensional modes). Then, they were taught how to write for ten sessions. The two experimental groups were instructed over the net with two different SCMC modes while the control group was given instruction in a conventional classroom context. Quantitative data regarding the students’ collaboration were collected via Haythornthwaite’s (2000) three-part Likert-scale questionnaire after being tested for its reliability and validity for the present context. The results of one-way ANOVA showed no statistically significant differences between the experimental and control groups in terms of collaborative learning, class interaction, and students’ impression. The results also suggested that mode of instruction might not be a determining factor as far as the amount of students’ collaboration, interaction and impressions are concerned.
      PubDate: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:30:00 +010

    • Abstract: Lexical bundles are frequent word combinations that commonly appear in different registers. They have been the subject of much research in the area of corpus linguistics during the last decade. While most previous studies of bundles have mainly focused on variations in the use of these word combinations across different registers and a number of disciplines, not much research has been done to explore some high-stakes written academic genres of one single disciplinary area. This more qualitative study aimed at finding the way in which target bundles in the discipline of applied linguistics, as identified in research articles, were used by two groups of EFL postgraduate students (master-level and doctoral students) as novice discourse community members in the same discipline. Surprisingly enough, the study, contrary to some findings of the previous research, found that in many cases, postgraduate students were able to use target bundles as published writers did. The study, therefore, revealed little if any difference between the three groups of writers in their actual use of lexical bundles. Notwithstanding this, there were some remarkable discrepancies between the three groups with regard to some structural and functional classes of bundles.
      PubDate: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:30:00 +010

    • Abstract: Reflective teaching, which has gained the status of an integral element of teacher pedagogy, is still an elusive concept, probably because it is merely attainable when teachers are provided with opportunities for building professional knowledge and for showing reflective teaching practices. The present study aimed at examining the English language teachers’ perception of their level of reflection and the way their perceptions were realized in practice. Adopting a multi-method design, the study was conducted in two phases. In the first phase, data were elicited form 60 EFL teachers using a questionnaire (Akbari, Behzadpoor & Dadvand, 2010). In the second phase, six teachers were randomly selected from among the surveyed teachers and their teaching practices were observed.  The record of the observations was, then, analyzed using the seating chart technique to find patterns in the observed teachers’ questioning practice as a sign of their degree of reflectivity. The results revealed a relatively low level of reflection with the teachers under study tending to rely more on their own rationality in teaching. It is argued that for teachers to develop desirable levels of pedagogic integrity, they should involve themselves more in exploring their students’ learning styles and critical aspects of the teaching context.
      PubDate: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:30:00 +010

    • Abstract: Acknowledgments are vital since students/researchers can demonstrate their genuine appreciation through them and more importantly shape their (local/global) academic identity. In line with this significance, the present study examined the move patterns of 503 Persian dissertation acknowledgements from two major universities in Iran, from 1981 to 2014 and from sixteen various disciplines including soft and hard science disciplines. Overall, 65,323 words were analyzed. By and large, a careful examination and analysis of the corpus indicated that Iranian university students follow a three-tier moves pattern in writing a dissertation acknowledgments, namely a “Framing move” (including six micro steps), a main “Thanking move” (consisting of nine micro steps), and a “Closing move” (containing four micro steps). Moreover, the results indicated that the longest and shortest acknowledgments were 986 and words respectively. The results also indicated that there was a significant difference in the complexity of acknowledgments in hard and soft science disciplines. The results of this study can hold valuable implications for both university students and professors who aspire an appropriate, coherent, and to the point display of scholarly competence and academic identity.
      PubDate: Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:30:00 +010
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
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