Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 1-20
Paradigm shift in language education has caused many countries including Iran to reshuffle their public EFL educational program. However, such a promising trend in Iran has entailed serious challenges, which necessitated this study aimed at collecting data from 70 teachers and 70 students to investigate the CLT challenges in terms of both teachers' pedagogical and assessment areas. A Partial Least Square Model (PLSM) addressed these two variables. The findings showed that the first three sub-traits of both CLT and testing knowledge have varying contributions to the main latent variables, respectively. Second, Friedman test indicated lack of compatibility between the respective dimensions as to the implementation of the program. Third, the post-hoc comparison tests revealed that teachers perceived CLT significantly lower than the three areas of CLT testing, knowledge of CLT tests and knowledge of developing CLT tests. Also, their knowledge of characteristics of CLT was significantly lower than their perceptions of CLT testing, and knowledge of CLT tests. However, their knowledge of the characteristics of CLT was not significantly different from that of developing CLT tests. Finally, their knowledge of techniques in CLT was significantly lower than their perceptions of CLT testing, knowledge of CLT tests, and knowledge of developing CLT tests. In sum, the Iranian public EFL program still suffers from both implementation and assessment challenges necessitating remedial teacher education program.
Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 21-44
This study was set out to shed light on the efficacy of pushed output directed by scaffolding on 41 (24 female and 17 male) upper-intermediate EFL learners’ speaking fluency and accuracy. A public version of IELTS speaking test was held to measure learners’ entrance behavior. Then, they were randomly assigned into symmetrical, asymmetrical, and control group. The experimental and control groups covered 7 lessons of New Interchange 2 during 15 sessions, twice a week for about 45 minutes each session. Control group received placebo while symmetrical and asymmetrical groups worked on pushed output tasks. The data were audio recorded and transcribed for statistical analyses. The results indicated the efficacy of pushed output in boosting speaking. However, tests of between-subjects effects revealed that the mean score of the control group was not significantly different from that of experimental groups concerning speaking fluency. Furthermore, the results of Tukey's HSD post-hoc tests showed that asymmetrically pushed output activities were more effective in enhancing learners speaking accuracy. In sum, the results suggested that the implementation of pushed out put strategies in student centered contexts could be considered as an effective way in the development of learners’ oral output.
Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 45-66
The present study was carried out to investigate the comparative effect of antonym in-text glosses and description in-text glosses on a group of Iranian EFL learners' reading comprehension. To fulfill the purpose of this study, 60 female intermediate students between 18 and 19 years old were selected among a total number of 90 through their performance on a piloted PET. These 60 participants were non-randomly divided into two equally populated experimental groups. During the process of this study, in one of the experimental groups the participants were given reading texts with antonym in-text glosses and in the other group, the participants were given reading texts with description in-text glosses. A piloted reading comprehension posttest (derived from another sample of PET) was administered at the end of the treatment to both groups and their mean scores on the test were compared through an independent samples t-test. The result led to the rejection of the null hypothesis, thereby, demonstrating that the learners in the description in-text glosses group benefited significantly more than those in the antonym in-text glosses group in terms of improving their reading comprehension.
Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 67-84
Learning styles are considered among the significant factors that aid instructors in deciding how well their students learn a second or foreign language (Oxford, 2003). Although this issue has been accepted broadly in educational psychology,further research is required to examine the relationship between learning styles and language learning skills. Thus, the present study was carried out to investigate the relationship between the perceptual learning style preferences and the participants’ writing achievement after receiving instruction based on computer-assisted language learning within the activity theory framework. For this purpose, 67 students majoring in English translation at a university in Iran were selected as the participants of the study based on their performance on a version of The Oxford Placement Test. A correlational research design was employed using a writing pretest and posttest and a style preference questionnaire. The writing instruction was based on an e-learning platform designed according to the activity theory framework. The results indicated lack of significant relationship between the participants’learning style preferences and theirwriting achievement. It was also found that there was no significant difference in the writing achievement of the participants across different learning style preferences.
Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 85-102
Various individual differences, including ambiguity tolerance (AT), have gained momentum because of the influence they can exert on the process and product of learning, and thereby, on various aspects of the learner’s interlanguage system such as accuracy of oral speech. The present study was undertaken to examine the extent to which Iranian EFL learners’ AT was significantly correlated with the accuracy of their task-based speech. To serve the purpose, a random sample of 60 Iranian EFL learners studying English at New Pegah Institute in Tabriz were selected from a population of 150. The Second Language Tolerance of Ambiguity Scale (Ely, 1995) was employed to quantify the participants’ AT while the accuracy of their speech, based on a picture description task, was measured based on the ratio of the grammatical errors to the total number of t-units produced. Correlational analyses of the research data revealed that the participants were highly inaccurate in their oral performance and that there was a significant moderate relationship between the two research variables. The findings underscore the need to determine and promote Iranian EFL learners’ AT and offer a number of pedagogical implications.
Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 103-124
Listening is referred to by many scholars as the most important as well as the most complicated skill in the language, which can cause mental fatigue in the learners. This study was an attempt to investigate the relationship between L2 listening comprehension and listening fatigue among Iranian EFL learners. For this purpose, 86 intermediate and upper-intermediate Iranian EFL learners randomly selected after administering a paper-based TOEFL among an initial sample of 120 BA learners majoring in English language translation, took part in the study. A TOEFL listening test and a researcher-made validated listening fatigue questionnaire were utilized in order to gather the necessary data. Afterwards, during the qualitative phase, oral interviews were employed to obtain 30 % of the participant’s’ attitudes about the relationship between listening comprehension and listening fatigue. Applying a Pearson product-moment correlation revealed that there was a significant relationship between L2 listening fatigue and their listening comprehension. These findings were also supported by a small qualitative phase and learners gave their positive support and attitude about the relationship. These findings have some pedagogical implications for teaching and learning an L2, the most important of which is that in order to enhance EFL learners’ L2 listening comprehension, it is better to reduce their debilitative listening fatigue.
Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 125-150
The present study was an attempt to determine a relationship between foreign language reading anxiety and reading strategy use among a group of EFL Iranian readers (no = 100) with low vs. high proficiency levels. To this end, FLRAS (Foreign Language Reading Anxiety Scale) developed by Saito, Horwitz, and Garza, (1999) was used in order to measure the participants’ level of anxiety in reading and SORS (The Survey of Reading Strategies) adapted from Mokhtari and Sheorey (2002), was utilized to gauge the participants’ strategy uses. The students’ responses to reading strategies when faced with anxiety-provoking contexts were categorized into three strategy uses including ‘global’, ‘problem solving’ and ‘support’ and mapped on their total scores in reading anxiety. The results from Multinomial Logit Regression (MLR) showed that the students with lower level reading anxiety indices would adopt problem solving strategies more compared with support and global strategies. Regarding the interaction of proficiency level in the process, the results showed that it was less probable for the students with lower reading anxiety levels to adopt problem solving strategies compared with more anxious students who would adopt global strategies. Some possible implications are discussed in the light of improving reading instructions provided for Iranian students.
Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 151-179
The present study aimed to investigate the attitudes and perceived nature of thinking and understanding towards intercultural communicative competence (ICC) among International English major students. Accordingly, this study employed the paradigm of a sequential mixed-method research, in which it comprised a qualitative phase followed by a quantitative phase. The participants of the first phase of the study were 30 undergraduate English major students in their third year at Isfahan Islamic Azad University in Iran; and the participants of the second phase of the study included 30 international ESL students in their first year at Gonzaga University (GU), in Washington, U.S. The analysis of narratives in the first phase of the study indicated that the participants had diverse attitudes towards intercultural encounters. The results of the statistical analyses of the second phase of the study showed that the most important individual difference variables directly influencing students’ intercultural communicative competence were their communication apprehension and their perceived communicative competence. This study also showed that students’ self-image as communicators were of utmost importance: if students believe they are good communicators in English, theyare more likely to be self-confident and are more likely to take part in intercultural encounters. Thus, instructors should help students achieve a realistic self-image about their performance in English and support them if they lack self-confidence.
Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 180-206
Developing rating scales for assessing interactional performance is demanding since it is a relatively complicated procedure. The present study investigated the psychometric characteristics of the CAP rating scale (Wang, 2015) for assessing interactional competence at micro-level. To this end, 160 Iranian intermediate EFL learners were selected based on their performance on TOEFL iBT test from a language institute in Tabriz. Four interaction tasks were used to elicit students’ performance on interactional competence using the CAP rating scale. Five raters were recruited in the study to assign score to each individual’s performance. The participants were pretested and post-tested at the beginning and the end of the term through the same scale. The Pearson correlations were computed in order to estimate the test-retest reliability indices of the scale. In addition, five separate exploratory factor analysis (EFA) through the varimax rotation method were conducted in order to investigate the underlying constructs of the communication functions individually and as a total. The results revealed that the CAP rating scale enjoys a reasonable reliability indices and the four functions i.e. building argument, developing discussion, offering support, and shaping connection can be appropriate predictors of interactional competence. Some pedagogical and assessment implications are presented as well.
Volume 11, Issue 23, Pages 207-225
Considering the benefits of preparation for writing in the pre-writing phase, this study attempted to examine the effects of different pre-task strategic planning activities (i.e., pre-task form-focus planning, content-focus planning, and no planning) on writing accuracy and motivation. To achieve the objectives of this study, sixty intermediate EFL learners were selected from an English language institute. They were randomly assigned into three groups, each of which included twenty participants. In order to measure the effect of strategic planning types, they were given a pretest and posttest in the form of narrative writing test and also the writing motivation questionnaire. One of the experimental groups received language focus activities, and the other one received content focus activities while the control group received no planning. After the twelve week intervention, all the groups were post tested. Results of the study based on ANCOVA showed that the form focus pre-task planning was the most effective in terms of its impact on the writing accuracy. However, it was found that there was no significant difference in the writing motivation of EFL learners who received different pre-task strategic planning activities. EFL teachers, curriculum developers and syllabus designers, and EFL learners can use the findings of this study in order to produce more accurate writings.