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Showing 38 results for Subject: Special

Mohammad Taghi Shahnazari, Azizollah Dabaghi,
Volume 2, Number 1 (3-2014)
Abstract

Abstract Reading is a cognitive activity involving skills, strategies, attentional resources, knowledge resources and their integration. The reader’s role is to decode the written symbols to allow for the recovery of information from long-term memory to construct a plausible interpretation of the writer’s message. Various number of reading models have been proposed by researchers among which some focus on motivational and emotional aspects of reading. Others highlight the cognitive aspects of reading. In this study, the models characterizing reading in terms of cognitive aspects are revieweded, and different viewpoints on the reading process are described. This may help EFL/ESL teachers to improve their understanding of the reading process, update their perspectives on teaching reading tasks which in turn might result in more efficient learning by not putting too much cognitively demanding reading tasks on EFL/ESL learners.
Adnan Satariyan, Ahmad Mohseni,
Volume 2, Number 1 (3-2014)
Abstract

Abstract This study identifies and analyses the common errors in writing skill of the first year students of Azad University of South Tehran Branch in relation to their first language (L1), the type of high school they graduated, and their exposure to media and technology in order to learn English. It also determines the categories in which the errors are committed (content, organisation/discourse, vocabulary, mechanics, or syntax) and whether or not there is a significant difference in the percentage of errors committed and these categories. Participants of this study are 190 first year students that are asked to write an essay. An error analysis model adapted from Brown (2001) and Gayeta (2002) is then used to evaluate the essay writings in terms of content, organisation, vocabulary, mechanics, and syntax or language use. The results of the study show that the students have greater difficulties in organisation, content, and vocabulary and experience less difficulties in mechanics and syntax.
Ali Rahimi, Rouhollah Askari Bigdeli, ,
Volume 2, Number 1 (3-2014)
Abstract

Resilience as a psychological emotional mechanism is employed by the individuals when they are in stressful irritating situations to be able to resume their previous productive mental activities. It is a vital coping activity when students go through upsetting events, psychological breakdowns, academic failures, suffocating educational atmospheres, and undemocratic teaching techniques. The essential elements of such a construct can be diverse based upon a whole prism of cultural specificities. The crux of the matter is that resilience is immensely influenced by social parameters and significant others who are in interaction with the students. The objective of this study is to investigate the predictive relationship between perceived social support (social support of family, significant others, and friends) and resilience in English language learners. To this end, 200 EFL learners studying at university level participated in the study. The data were gathered through two questionnaires and multiple regression analysis was run as a statistical procedure to analyze the data. The results of the study indicated that social support of family, significant others, and friends significantly predicted resilience. The implications of this study pointed to the importance of significant others, and social support from teachers, family and friends in providing EFL learners with effective copying skills manifested as resilience in confrontation with unwelcoming stressful tasks and challenges in the process of language learning.
Mohammad Bagher Khatibi,
Volume 2, Number 1 (3-2014)
Abstract

Abstract The present study examined the effect of genre-based tasks on EFL learners' speaking performance and probed whether genre-based tasks may empower EFL learners to perform better on speaking tests. A further concern of the study was to explore whether the effect of genre-based tasks on speaking ability of EFL learners varied across different age groups, i.e. teenagers (13-16 years old) and young adults (24-27 years old). To this end, some generic based consciousness-raising tasks (CRT) were adapted from the model proposed by Benedict (2006) to develop control of a genre used as the treatment procedures. Two different speaking tests of different genres (e.g. recount, report, review, etc.), used as pretest and posttest, were administered to 120 senior university students majoring in English language translation. The results indicated that consciousness-raising tasks significantly affected EFL learners' speaking performance. However, the effect of generic-based CRTs did not vary across different age groups. Overall, the findings provided empirical support for the facilitative effect of generic-based consciousness-raising tasks on speaking performance of EFL learners. The findings may promise implications for EFL speaking syllabuses and provide guidelines to designers to accommodate the insights derived from the genre-based instruction perspective.
Farnoush Haddadi, Mohammad Hasan Tahririan,
Volume 2, Number 1 (3-2014)
Abstract

Writing has always been considered an important literacy skill for foreign/second language learners. The Internet provides such unique applications for the writing skill as weblogs, wikis, and social networking websites. Up to now researchers have put their focus on the learners’ performances in the traditional paper and pencil environment or wikis and blogs it is time to also consider learners’ performances in the social networking websites. In this respect the purposes of the present study were to (a) to identify the most frequent Iranian learners’ errors in the virtual environment of social networking websites, and (b) compare the learners’ performances in the traditional and virtual environments. With respect to the requirements of the research questions, this study had two phases of data collection. For the first phase, the researchers selected 30 Iranians, male and female, aged 18 to 21 from one of the social networking websites and collected a 3200-word corpus from among their comments and wall posts. All of the learners were students of Computer Engineering and IT. For the second phase of the study, another 3200-word corpus were collected from 30 Iranians, male and female, aged 18 to 21, who were studying Computer Engineering and IT at Sheikhbahaee University. They were asked to write an essay on an assigned topic. The analysis of the results revealed that three most Iranian participants’ errors were verb forms, diction, and prepositions in the virtual environment. Based on the results of the t-test, Mann-Whitney, and Chi-square tests interesting similarities and differences were observed within and between error groups in each corpus.
Azizeh Chalak, Zahra Norouzi,
Volume 2, Number 1 (3-2014)
Abstract

Conversations contain spontaneous use of routine formulas which lets speaker sinteract with each other to express opinions. Gambits, as one of these formulas, act as an opening remark and help speakers to maintain the smooth flow of an everyday conversation. The lack of mastery of using gambits in maintaining the conversation leads to breakdowns in speaking. This paper aimedat comparingthe use of different categories of gambitsby native speakers of English and Persian. Toachieve this end, a corpus of 40 hours from Persian Native Speakers (PNSs) and English Native Speakers (ENSs) with an equal number of participants was selected through recordings of conversations from different TV Channels. Following the literature, the frequency of gambit tokens was counted and their functions were classified. Chi-square test revealed significant differences between PNSs and ENSs regarding the occurrences of gambit categories. The findings of this study can have implications for language learners and practitioners in the field. The present research demonstrates to language learners the need for learning gambit expressions as elements to improve the quality of their speaking and also to use the language in meaningful interaction with others.
Elnaz Shoari, Farahman Farrokhi,
Volume 2, Number 1 (3-2014)
Abstract

This study aimed at investigating the effect of graphic organizer strategy on improving Iranian EFL learners’ vocabulary learning. Fifty students participated in this study which lasted for one academic semester. The students were divided into two groups: one experimental group in which students were taught new vocabulary items through graphic organizers in form of clusters and pictures, and one control group whose students were taught the same items through traditional instruction. At the beginning of the program, the researchers conducted Cambridge Mover Tests in order to assure the homogeneity of the students’ proficiency level. A pretest was subsequently administered on learners’ vocabulary knowledge. Then the intervention commenced. At the end of the sessions, one posttest was conducted for measuring effectiveness of the treatment. Then the researchers analyzed the gathered data. Because there were two groups in this study, the researcher used t-test for analysis, paired t-test for comparing the results within groups, and independent t-test for comparing the results between groups. The results showed that graphic organizers were indeed conducive to L2 vocabulary learning by the learners.
Narjes Ghafournia, Akbar Afghari ,
Volume 2, Number 1 (3-2014)
Abstract

Abstract This study scrutinized the interaction between linguistic and strategic variables in reading comprehension test performance of Iranian EFL learners. To this end, the interaction among the participants’ reading comprehension test performance, use of test-taking strategies, and level of language proficiency was analyzed. The participants comprised 286 students who answered a reading comprehension test and a test-taking strategy questionnaire. In addition, 25 students participated in a retrospective interview at the end of the study and described their strategic processes of test taking. The findings manifested a significant interaction among the use of test-taking strategies, level of reading proficiency, and test performance of the examinees. The more proficient test takers used the strategies more frequently than did the less proficient test takers. The qualitative findings also confirmed the quantitative findings and revealed the underlying nonlinguistic reasons for the differences in the frequency and type of the strategies used by the test takers. The findings reflected that the observed scores did not manifest true ability of language learners, and true score should be calculated with regard to nonlinguistic variables, particularlytest-taking strategies. The findings provide empirical support for Bachman’s classical true score measurement theory and Bachman’s framework for the factors affecting test performance.
Sahar Najarzadegan, Azizollah Dabaghi,
Volume 2, Number 2 (3-2015)
Abstract

Nonverbal communication (NVC) plays a highly important role in different aspects of human life. Regarding teachers, however, it is more important, and they should be very cautious about what type of NVC they use and how they perform it in their teaching process. While practical tangible teaching techniques driven from nonverbal behaviors can help English language teachers incorporate this essential element into their classrooms, little attention has been given to this area. This article tries to shed light on the often neglected, unexplored area of research concerning nonverbal communication. It begins by mentioning the indispensable role of NVC in the communicative process and then explaining different forms and functions of these NVBs, attempt has been made to incorporate those NVCs into language classes and give some practical techniques to be considered in the classrooms, in order for the learners to be as Pennycook (1985) puts it "not only bilingual but also bi- kinesics".
Habibollah Mashhady, Nasser Fallah,
Volume 2, Number 2 (3-2015)
Abstract

The present study aimed at exploring the potential relationship between language learning strategies (LLS) and factors such as major fields of study, sex, and language proficiency among university students across different fields such as medicine, sciences, engineering, humanities, and English. To this end, 200 master students were collected and tested. In addition, 25 English teachers were included. The findings showed that there was no significant difference among English students and students of other fields of study in terms of strategy use. It was also found that there was no significant relationship between language learning strategies and variables of sex, and language proficiency. Another line of the findings indicated that students enjoyed a high level of metacognitive knowledge of what they were doing. Finally, to examine how students viewed their language needs across different fields of study, the fourth-year students of medicine, engineering, science, and humanities were asked to express their own ideas about the present status of ESP courses. After analyzing the students’ responses to the questionnaire, it could be understood that ESP courses had not been beneficial because they were far away from the students’ needs and expectations. Key words: Language Learning Strategies Language Proficiency Field of Study Gender
Mrs. Ashraf Haji Maibodi,
Volume 2, Number 2 (3-2015)
Abstract

This experimental study examined the effect of critical thinking skills on reading English novels and its influence on EFL learners reading proficiency. For the purpose of this study participants in addition to their text book read and received instructions on the unabridged short novels for one semester. Sixty Iranian EFL junior undergraduates participated in this study and were randomly divided to two groups of thirty each. To test the hypothesis, two independent t-tests were conducted to see the difference between the two groups. The results of the study showed that students in group A were more critically oriented than their counterparts in group B. The pedagogical implication of this study suggests that direct instruction in critical thinking has an impact on EFL learners’ reading proficiency. This article is intended to help teachers who are interested in developing and encouraging critical thinking in their language classrooms. EFL learners need to learn how to establish realistic goals, monitor their own learning and reflect and challenge their own attitudes so that they may get closer to the idea of being good language learners. The findings of this study revealed that there was a significant improvement in students’ attitudes, confidence, and interest especially, in their novel-reading ability.
Elahe Sadeghi, Mohammad Hassan Tahririan,
Volume 2, Number 2 (3-2015)
Abstract

Educators have not started talking about affective factors in ESP until lately (Makrami, 2010). ESP has found its way in daily lives of a majority of people and it has also become a part of tertiary education programme in Iranian universities. However, rarely has anything been done after putting these ESP courses into work while many obstacles appear soon after putting ESP courses into practice. The current study aims to investigate the attitudes and views instructors and students hold in ESP courses. Data were gathered by interviewing instructors and students of psychology and law in Islamic Azad University, Khorasgan Branch. The results showed that crowded classes, lack of motivation and poor infrastructure are the main issues that they are dealing with. Furthermore, the need for integration of some aspects of English like pronunciation and grammar is felt in ESP courses. The findings of this study could be of help for to practitioners and material designers.
Hamada Dawood, Nimer A. A. Abuzahra , Mohammed Farrah,
Volume 2, Number 2 (3-2015)
Abstract

This paper aims to examine, reveal and analyse Shylock's speech in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, by connecting his words to the power, identity, and ideology in the play. The purposes of this study are to examine the effects of linguistic manipulation on power, to link language with the structure of a society, and to find the impact of a combination of different ideologies on each other. Hence, this descriptive qualitative study explores the literature to answer the aforementioned questions. What is found in this paper is that Shylock, the Jew, lacks power, Jewish ideology and Jewish identity, but when he tries to find these aspects, he fails to gain any of them. The reasons behind Shylock's failure in obtaining "the self" can be attributed to his brutal character. His insistence on the literal implementation of the bond leads to his destruction. He neglects the fact that those charged with power are able to edit the language of "his bond" the way they like. To conclude, language is one of the most influencing factors aiding in imposing power, destroying "unwanted" identities, and appropriating others' ideology by the "upper hands" in any society. Keywords: The Merchant of Venice Shylock's Speech, Critical Discourse Analysis.
Nafiseh Hosseinpour, Mansoor Koosha,
Volume 3, Number 1 (9-2015)
Abstract

English for academic purposes (EAP) is a significant part of the curriculum in Iranian universities. However, it seems that EAP programs have been developed without a systematic needs analysis. The purpose of this study was assessing the present and target situation needs of two groups of undergraduates of computer science. A total of 320 students and 44 instructors participated in this triangulated quantitative-qualitative survey. Data was collected through self-assessment, needs-analysis questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The results indicated that there is a noticeable gap between current EAP courses and both the present and target situation needs of learners which is partly due to the low general English proficiency (GEP) of the students. Moreover, there were discrepancies between the two groups of undergraduates and their instructors regarding perceived needs. The findings provided implications for revising the current EAP curriculum for computer science students.


Ali Nouri,
Volume 3, Number 1 (9-2015)
Abstract

This paper summarizes the educational implications of current research on cognitive neuroscience for foreign-language learning to provide an overview of myths and realities in this appealing area of research. Although the potential benefits of neuroscientific research into language acquisition are great, there are a number of popular myths that none of which are supported by scientific evidence. In this paper, three prominent examples of these myths are introduced and discussed how they are based on misinterpretation and misapplication from neuroscience research. The first pervasive example of such misconception is the prevalent belief of being the certain critical periods for learning a second language. It implies that the opportunity to acquire foreign languages is lost forever by missing these biological windows. In fact, however, extensive research shows that there are sensitive periods, but not critical periods, during which an individual can acquire certain aspects of language with greater ease than at other times. Another example of myths is a false conclusion implies that exposing children to a foreign language too early interrupts knowledge of their first language. The reality is that learning a second language not only improves language abilities in the first language, but also positively affects reading abilities and general literacy in school. Like the other myths, there is also a popular conception about ability to learn second language during sleep. It is demonstrated that previously acquired memories are consolidated and new association are learned during sleep, but learning a foreign language requires conscious effort and available data do not support this hypothesis that second language acquire during sleep. The main conclusion arising from this argument is that, while our understanding of the neural bases of language learning is continually evolving, our interpretation of the implications of these findings for foreign language teaching and learning should also continually evolve.
Mr Hossein Ali Manzouri,
Volume 3, Number 1 (9-2015)
Abstract

This study aims at uncovering the effect(s) of genre-based instruction (GBI) on listening proficiency among Iranian EFL learners. Moreover, it seeks to explore the relationship between effectiveness of GBI and listening proficiency. For this purpose, 68 EFL learners in two different groups at Zabol University were selected. Group A included 30 participants (12 males and 18 females), and Group B consisted of 36 participants (16 males, and 22 females). Group A was divided into treatment and control groups and underwent two listening proficiency tests for pre and posttest. Results of independent t-test indicated that treatment group outperformed the control group as the result of GBI (Sig =.001, t=3.740). Based on the proficiency test, Group B was also divided into proficient and less-proficient groups each one underwent two listening tests for pre and posttest. Results of independent t-test and paired t-test revealed both groups differed significantly as the result of GBI (Sig.= .00, correlation= .949, and .945 for proficient and less-proficient groups respectively) indicating that listening proficiency is not a significant factor in effectiveness of GBI.
Hossein Ghaiyoomian, Gholam Reza Zarei ,
Volume 3, Number 1 (9-2015)
Abstract

Abstract The role of L1 in second/foreign language learning has been the subject of much debate and controversy. This article reports on a piece of research carried out in a junior high school in Isfahan, Iran. This study was conducted to examine the effect of using translation from L1 to L2 on the improvement of EFL learners' language accuracy. To fulfill the purpose of the study, 62 students in grade three of junior high school were chosen by means of administering an experimental made pre-test. The participants were divided into a control group and an experimental group. The experimental group received grammar exercises in translating some phrases and sentences from Persian into English related to the intended grammatical structures during the study period while the control group just did their textbook exercises. At the end, a post-test was given to the students and the mean scores of the two groups were identified. T-test revealed that the treatment had a considerable effect on students' language accuracy.


Mr Mohammadreza Sadeghi,
Volume 3, Number 1 (9-2015)
Abstract

News has played a vital role in peoples’ and governments’ decision making. As such, the source and reliability of the news are of equal or even more significance than the news itself and that makes reporting the news a challenging and critical profession. Accordingly, investigating how news is reported is essential and further it would be illuminating to see how different news reporting organizations and cultures report their news for their readers. This study compared the Persian and English news to explore the similarities and differences between two languages. Utilizing Schematic Structure of Editorials (Based on van Dijk, 1992, 1995) to analyze the data, the researcher found significant similarities and differences between Persian and English in terms of genre of news.


Sajad Shafiee, Amir Sabzevari, Nooshafarin Motallebi,
Volume 3, Number 1 (9-2015)
Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the effects of economic status and level of education on the choice of address terms by Iranian couples in Shahrekord, Iran. To this end, 50 couples were selected, based on their educational and economic statuses, and were studied in terms of their choice of address terms. A discourse completion task was used as the data elicitation technique and Chi-square was conducted to analyze the data. The results of this study unveiled the patterns of realizations of terms of address among the couples in different situations. It was found that level of education (though not economic status) was an important factor in the choice of address terms among couples. Unsurprisingly, the more educated the participants, the more formal address terms they used. Indeed, level of education brought about significant differences among the low, mid, and high level of education couples in the address termed they chose to use. It was also divulged that there was no significant difference in using terms of address for couples with low and high economic status.
Dr Mahdi Mardani, Mrs Tahereh Jahanbazian,
Volume 3, Number 1 (9-2015)
Abstract

The present study intended to look into and compare the possible effects of Competitive Team-Based Learning (CTBL) with Learning Together (LT) or Cooperative Group-Based Learning (CGBL) – the most popular method of Cooperative Learning (CL) -- on oral performance of Iranian EFL intermediate students. After administering the oral interview, this researcher selected a group of 40 almost homogeneous Iranian intermediate students and randomly assigned them to control and experimental groups – 20 per group. Based on their scores, the experimental class were divided into 5 almost heterogeneous teams - four members each. But in the control group, the participants were allowed to shape their own favourable groups. For six weeks (18 sessions of 90 minutes each), both the groups received the same course materials, instructor, curriculum, out of-class and in-class assignments, schedule of instruction and equivalent methods of evaluation, but the experimental group experienced language learning via CTBL rather than via the CGBL as their counterparts in the control group. At the end of the course again the oral interview was administered to both the groups. Then the obtained scores on pre-test and post-test were analyzed through different statistical procedures. The results of the study rejected the null hypothesis and provided evidence supporting the hypothesis that CTBL can have a more significant effect on improving the oral performance of Iranian intermediate students. This researcher will discuss the probable causes for the results of the study, and will shed light on the pedagogical implications. She will also suggest recommendations for further research.

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دانش و پژوهش در آموزش زبان انگلیسی Research in English Language Pedagogy
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