Since English for Specific Purposes (ESP) programs have been one significant component of university and vocational schools, being informed of academic and professional language needs of the learners seems incredibly vital. This study aimed at exploring the pre-service flight attendants’ English language needs from their own perspectives along with their teachers’ at an aviation school. In order to accomplish this purpose, the data was collected from two different sources, including a needs analysis questionnaire in addition to semi-structured interviews with 120 learners and 20 English teachers. Results of the data analysis revealed that both learners and teachers indicated Communicative skills, Speaking, and Listening skill among the first most important skills/sub-skills in learning English; furthermore, poor Speaking and Listening Comprehension skills were reported as the learners’ weaknesses by both groups of participants. The obtained data also declared that both groups considered Understanding and Making Conversations, as well as Writing for Practical Purposes among the most concentrated aspect of the main language skills. Additionally, there were not any significant differences between the importance of English skills among learners and teachers, indicating that they perceived English skills and sub-skills quite similarly. The findings could be a great bonus to material developers as well as teachers instructing to-be cabin crew members.
Despite the abundance of research evaluating the effects of task complexity, task types, and planning on the complexity, accuracy, and fluency of the language produced by learners, most studies have focused on the syntactic aspect of complexity, with very few studies investigating the lexical part of complexity. Such studies explored the lexical performance of learners through using merely one measure of lexical complexity (namely diversity). The present study is an attempt to further explore the effects of task type and proficiency level on different aspects of lexical complexity of spontaneous speech monologs produced by intermediate and advanced Iranian EFL learners. To this end, 35 intermediate and advanced Iranian learners of English performed three different speaking tasks: an argumentation, a description and a narration task. The speech monologs were coded for three different aspects of lexical complexity: diversity, density, and sophistication. Two-way repeated-measures ANOVAs were conducted to evaluate the main effects of task type (the within-subjects variable) and proficiency level (the between-subjects variable) on lexical complexity. The results showed that task type and proficiency level both significantly affect lexical complexity in the participants’ task performance. The argumentation task yielded the highest scores for diversity and density, while the highest sophistication score was obtained for the narration task. There was no interaction between task type and proficiency level for the diversity and sophistication scores, and the advanced learners consistently got higher diversity and sophistication scores for all the three tasks, while there was an interaction between the two variables for the density scores; the advanced learners got higher density scores for the description and narration tasks but not on the argumentation task.
Although there is a myriad of theoretical and pedagogical research studies into L2 grammar, the instruction in this area remains traditional and there have been calls for more usage-based approaches that can fill the gap between theory and practice. Accordingly, this quasi-experimental compared the effects of two pedagogical frameworks, namely Systemic-Theoretical Instruction (STI), derived from Vygotsky’s ideas and proposed by Gal’perin and discovery learning (DL), derived from Piaget’s ideas mainly proposed by Bruner, on learning English tense-aspect system. To this end, 71 Iranian low-intermediate EFL learners, aged 12 to 19, were instructed in three groups through STI, DL (experimental) and traditional method (comparison). They took a pretest, a posttest and a delayed posttest consisting of grammar tests checking their receptive and productive grammar knowledge. Results of one‐way repeated‐measures analyses of ANOVA revealed that all groups improved significantly in both the entire test and its subcomponents in the immediate posttest, suggesting that the three kinds of form-focused intervention were efficient in creating immediate progress. However, significant differences were identified among the groups in the delayed posttest accounting for the inadequacy of traditional method of instruction in the long run, and for the superiority of STI over DL. These findings can have significant implications for materials developers and teacher education programs in considering the tenets of more innovative approaches such as STI through systematic representations of target language features by taking advantage of materialized tools and verbalization in teaching.
The main purpose of diagnostic assessment is to predict test-takers’ strengths and weaknesses and use the information to provide suitable feedback to them (Jang Wagner, 2014). Accordingly, the present study focused on investigating the effect of diagnostic assessment on selective and productive reading tasks to help English as a foreign language (EFL) learners improve their performance on these tasks. The quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design was used and 60 participants were chosen based on the results of a Nelson proficiency test. The learners were chosen from four intact classes who were then divided into two groups of control and diagnostic assessment, each group comprising of two classes. Then, a modified version of the reading section of Key English Test (KET) (2015) with 28 selective and 27 productive items was used in the two groups as the pretest. The diagnostic assessment group received a feedback-based treatment on four reading tests during sixteen sessions of instruction. However, in the control group, the learners focused on reading texts and the corresponding tasks during the course. At the end of the semester, another modified version of KET reading test (2014) with 28 selective and 27 productive items was administered as the posttest. The results showed the diagnostic assessment group showed a significant improvement on both selective and productive tasks. Teachers may be the most beneficiaries of the present study as they can find useful information about their students’ strengths and weaknesses through using diagnostic assessment to help them improve their reading comprehension ability.
The debate continues on what features of oral performance are influenced by oral feedback. The present study tries to provide an answer to this question in an EFL context. To this end the effect of six different modes of oral feedback on the features of oral complexity and accuracy was investigated using data from 66 Iranian EFL learners who were selected conveniently from the Iran Language Institute. The participants were divided into experimental and control groups at two different levels of elementary and pre-intermediate. The experimental groups were presented with six different types of oral feedback modes (recasts, clarification requests, metalinguistic, praising, elicitation, and repetition) and at the end of the research they were tested by an in-class oral test to measure their complexity and accuracy (CA). To compare the participants’ oral features, a Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test and a Mann-Whitney U Test were run. The results indicated that complexity and accuracy significantly improved among the groups, moreover; there were significant differences in the post-tests between both elementary and pre-intermediate levels regarding CA. The results further indicated that Iranian learners of English would have fewer errors and would be more accurate when receiving oral feedback modes. The study highlights the complex relationship that exists between features of oral performance. The findings of the present study can have theoretical and practical implications for syllabus designers, teacher trainers, and testing researchers.
The purpose of this study was threefold: (1) to see the effect of literature-based activities on the emotional intelligence, lexical diversity and the syntactic complexity of EFL students’ written productions, based on Goleman’s framework (n=133), (2) to examine the relationship between emotional intelligence, lexical diversity and the syntactic complexity of EFL students’ written productions and (3) to investigate whether students in majors more exposed to literary texts depict more improvement in the lexical diversity and syntactic complexity of their written productions. (n=84). In the first phase of the study, the experimental group was given some literary works with highly emotional content. The results indicated that the experimental group scored higher on Emotional Intelligence (EI) test, lexical diversity but not on the syntactic complexity of their written productions compared with the control group. In the second phase of the study, the statistical analysis of the syntactic complexity and lexical diversity of the Literature and Translation students’ written productions revealed no significant difference of complexity but significant difference of lexical diversity of Literature majors’ productions; despite the fact that the mean indices of complexity of their written productions were higher than Translation majors. The results have some implications for teachers and practitioners in EFL context.