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Journal of Teaching Language Skills
  [8 followers]  Follow
  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Online) 1020-8576
   Published by Shiraz University Homepage  [16 journals]
  • The emergence of various contradictions in Iranian high school English
           education under the new ...

    • Abstract: According to some researchers (Carless, 2003; Hu, 2002; Sakui, 2004), the adoption of CLT in EFL contexts will create certain challenges. Using Engeström’s (1999) human activity system model, the present study investigated the implementation of CLT-based curriculum which was initiated in 2013 in Iranian public schools. Four groups of participants including 23 language teachers, 17 teacher directors, 23 students, and 20 parents took part in the study. Using four semi-structured interviews, the researchers interviewed all participants. Besides, observation of participating teachers’ classes and analysis of relevant documents were used as data collection tools. Grounded theory analysis of the data revealed three main categories explaining the difficulty of CLT implementation in an EFL context like Iran. From an activity theory perspective, these categories indicated that the four layers of contradictions emerged in Iranian English Education as the activity system. The results suggest that not only language teachers as the subjects of the current activity system, but also other components of the activity system, and even other activity systems like teachers’ colleges and in-service programs need to work in tandem in order to overcome the challenges of implementation.
      PubDate: Sat, 29 Oct 2016 20:30:00 +010
  • The Impact of Training EFL Learners in Self-Regulation of Reading on their
           EFL Literal and ...

    • Abstract: Self-regulation is the ability to regulate one’s thoughts and actions to attain goals. Accordingly, self-regulated learning (SRL) involves plans and behaviors to achieve learning goals. With this in mind, in this study we investigated whether training English as a Foreign Language (EFL) learners on the basis of a Self-regulated Learning (SRL) model improved their literal and critical reading comprehension. The study also sought to find out whether the learners’ proficiency level could moderate the impact of self-regulation training. Two intact experimental groups were taught self-regulatory reading processes, while two control groups received the traditional, routine reading instruction. The data of the study were collected by College-Level Academic Skills Test (CLAST) reading sub-tests including both critical and literal reading comprehension parts. Statistical analyses showed that self-regulation instruction could significantly improve participants’ EFL literal and critical reading comprehension, but their proficiency level did not moderate the effectof self-regulation training. These findings can encourage EFL teachers to apply SRL strategies to reading tasks and activities.
      PubDate: Tue, 20 Sep 2016 20:30:00 +010
  • Lexis-Based Instruction and IELTS Candidates’ Development of L2
           Speaking Ability: Use of ...

    • Abstract: Although lexis research (e.g., Lewis, 1997; Taguchi, 2008) has already evidenced the possibility of teaching formulaic sequences (FS), further research is still needed to examine the procedures or frameworks through which the approach can be applied and probe the second or foreign language (L2) areas where it demonstrates more relevance. This pretest-posttest quasi-experimental study aimed, firstly, to compare the effects of intensive and extensive lexis-based L2 instructions on the development of IELTS candidates’ speaking performance and, secondly, to explore whether different types of speaking tasks (i.e., monologic vs. dialogic) have any differential effects on the frequency of using FS by L2 learners. To this end, three intact classes including 40 L2 learners preparing themselves for IELTS in a language center in Iran were randomly assigned to one control and two experimental groups. The groups received the same amount of instruction, however differently, two receiving intensive and extensive instructions in FS (or unanalyzed chunks) and the other receiving conventional non-lexis instruction. The results revealed that both lexis groups outperformed the control group pointing to the effectiveness of both intensive and extensive lexis-based instructions to the learners’ development of speaking proficiency. Moreover, the results showed no significant difference between the effects of intensive and extensive types of lexis instructions upon IELTS candidates’ development of speaking performance. Further, it was revealed that dialogic tasks were more conducive to the FS use than monologic tasks. Finally, the implications for L2 theory and pedagogy are discussed.
      PubDate: Sun, 21 Aug 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Enhancing Iranian EFL Learners’ Descriptive Writing Skill through
           Genre-based Instruction and ...

    • Abstract: English language teaching (ELT) writing practitioners have long attempted to improve EFL/ESL learners’ competence in writing with recourse to either instruction or feedback. Likewise, researchers have, to date, mainly focused on either of these treatments to enhance language learners’ composing ability. Which treatment leads to more significant improvements is, however, unclear. Moreover, of the various written genres, the genre of description seems to have been neglected by researchers. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the impact of metalinguistic feedback and scaffolded genre-based instruction through consciousness-raising tasks on EFL learners’ ability to write descriptive essays. To this aim, two groups, feedback group (n = 32) and instruction group (n = 32), participated in the present study. After pretesting the participants’ ability to compose descriptive essays, the researchers provided them with either written metalinguistic explanations on their compositions or gave them genre-based instruction. The participants then took a posttest, the results of which revealed that the instruction group had made more significant improvements.
      PubDate: Sun, 21 Aug 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • On Anthropomorphism in Technology-Enhanced Language Learning: Does
           Modality Matter in ...

    • Abstract: The present study aimed to satisfy a twofold purpose: On the one hand, it sought to verify the postulation that agent-based instruction could offer a compromise approach to teaching L2 idioms where form and meaning would be equally emphasized during instruction. Given that anthropomorphism has not been much under scrutiny, this research, on the other hand, sought to ascertain whether learning and retention of English idioms would be differentially impacted when two different modalities of virtual tutors —anthropomorphic and non-anthropomorphic— were present in the tutorial. To this aim, the participants of the study received instruction on 128 English idioms from human teachers, a multimedia application featuring a humanoid virtual teacher, or a piece of multimedia courseware with a non-anthropomorphic virtual tutor. Analysis of the post-intervention measures of L2 idiom knowledge revealed that agent-based instruction had proved more effective in improving both learning and retention of the target idioms among the participants. A further finding was that despite the greater motivational benefits of the humanoid virtual tutor, it had not privileged the participants, performance-wise.
      PubDate: Sun, 21 Aug 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Diagnosing L2 Receptive Vocabulary Development: A Microgenetic Study

    • Abstract: The present study is an attempt to shed light on the effect of Dynamic Assessment (DA) on diagnosing and developing the receptive vocabulary abilities of upper-intermediate learners learning English as a foreign language. Fifty L2 leaners participated in First Certificate in English test and completed Vocabulary Knowledge Scale. Out of 50 students, ten learners who were identified as being homogenous and were not familiar with the new vocabularies volunteered to participate in individualized tutoring sessions. Reading texts were used to make learners familiar with the target words and cloze passages were administered to assess learners’ receptive vocabulary. Mediation was provided using the interactionist approach to DA and learners’ responsiveness to mediation were studied in a microgenetic approach. The qualitative data were then coded in terms of task completion along with errors and struggles and transformed into quantitative data for analysis. The actual, mediated and transfer scores were reported to analyze learners’ Zone of Actual Development (ZAD), Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), and the degree of the internalization of mediation. Findings of the study revealed that to have a complete picture of learners’ abilities, actual scores are not self-sufficient. Mediated scores are vital to diagnose learners’ areas of difficulties and to promote learners’ receptive vocabulary knowledge. The information from transfer scores also uncovers evidence of learning and data form Learning Potential Score (LPS) predict how learners probably respond to future instruction. Findings of the study indicate that DA is promising in presenting a fine-grained diagnosis of learners’ receptive vocabulary development while also suggesting information related to future teaching and learning.
      PubDate: Sun, 21 Aug 2016 19:30:00 +010
  • Reflective Teaching through Videotaping in an English Teaching Course in

    • Abstract: The purpose of this study was to investigate videotaping as a strategy for EFL teachers’ reflective teaching. To this end, eight participants were selected from a language institute in Iran and were under investigation for over a period of one month and a half. The data was triangulated from different sources: videotaping; self-reflection sheets; and semi-structured interviews. The analysis of in situdata suggested that there is a significant difference between teachers’ self-evaluations of their own teaching process at the beginning and end of the semester. Results also demonstrated that the contents of reflective teaching can be summarized into a framework including eight categories of communication patterns in the classroom, the affective climate of the classroom, classroom management, error correction, teacher’s physical appearance, teaching techniques and strategies, professional development, and teacher’s command of English. The current study may have some enticing implications for EFL teachers, materials developers, teacher trainers and syllabus designers.
      PubDate: Sun, 21 Aug 2016 19:30:00 +010
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
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