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Showing 179 results for Type of Study: Research

Ramin Akbari, Gholam Reza Kiany, Mohsen Imani Naeeni Imani Naeeni, Nabi Karimi Allvar,
Volume 11, Issue 1 (3-2008)
Abstract

There is nowadays a burgeoning research base, mostly in mainstream education, acknowledging that teachers have the most important impact on students' achievement outcomes. This line of research, however, has not yet found its way into second language pedagogy and little, if any, empirical evidence exists on which set of EFL teacher characteristics promotes positive student learning outcomes. In line with this argument, the present study investigated three important teacher-related variables, i.e. teaching styles, teachers’ sense of efficacy, and teacher reflectivity to see how they relate to student achievement gains in ELT. 30 EFL teachers teaching in Ilam (Iran) high schools participated in this study. The final exam score of the participants' students served as the dependent variable of the study. The results of multiple regression analysis (R=.91) showed that the three variables investigated can significantly predict student achievement outcomes. Besides the R value, the results showed individual correlations between each pair of the variables which reveal interesting relationships. 
Ali Arabmofrad, Hamideh Marefat,
Volume 11, Issue 1 (3-2008)
Abstract

The present study seeks to find the way Persian native speakers resolve relative clause attachment ambiguities in sentences containing a complex NP of the type NP of NP followed by a relative clause (RC). Previous off-line studies have found a preference for high attachment in the present study, an on-line technique was used to help identify the nature of this process. Persian speakers were presented with sentences that were semantically consistent with either high or low attachment resolution. Results of the analysis of reaction times from 32 participants by the use of RSVP technique revealed that high attachment is the strategy used by Persian native speakers for this type of ambiguity. The results are in harmony with the previous findings in the literature showing a high attachment preference by Persian native speakers. However, the findings are inconsistent with constrained based-models and suggest that native speaker use purely structure-based parsing strategies. 
Pourya Baghaii Moghadam, Reza Pishghadam,
Volume 11, Issue 1 (3-2008)
Abstract

Local independence of test items is an assumption in all Item Response Theory (IRT) models. That is, the items in a test should not be related to each other. Sharing a common passage, which is prevalent in reading comprehension tests, cloze tests and C-Tests, can be a potential source of local item dependence (LID). It is argued in the literature that LID results in biased parameter estimation and affects the unidimensionality of the test. In this study the effects of the violation of the local independence assumption on the person measures in a C-Test are studied. A C-Test battery comprising four passages, each containing 25 blanks, was analysed twice. Firstly, each gap was treated as an independent item and Rasch’s (1960) dichotomous model was employed. In the second analysis, each passage was treated as a super item and Andrich’s (1978) rating scale model was used. For each person, two ability measures were estimated, one on the basis of the dichotomous analysis and one on the basis of the polytomous analysis. The differences between the two measures, after being brought onto the same scale, are compared and the implications are discussed.
Reza Ghafar Samar, Mansooreh Amiri,
Volume 11, Issue 1 (3-2008)
Abstract

In order to investigate the relationship between aggressiveness and oral proficiency of Iranian EFL learners, first a TOEFL test was given to 100 EFL students in order to homogenize the sample. Out of this, 71 participants whose scores fell one standard deviation above and below the mean were regarded as intermediate and, therefore, interviewed. They were then asked to complete the Persian version of a validated aggression questionnaire. All the tape-recorded interviews were rated by two raters. Based on their scores on aggression questionnaire, the subjects were divided into two groups of aggressives and non-aggressives and the means of their scores in oral interviews were compared using t-test. Results of the t-test showed that, aggressive and non aggressive groups are different in their oral proficiency. Finally, the correlations between the two main variables and also between four subscales of aggression and all the components of oral proficiency were estimated to see exactly what the nature of the relationships is. Overall, the results of these calculations showed that aggression negatively affects oral proficiency of L2 learners. Moreover, verbal aggression and anger as different subscales of aggressiveness were found to have negative effect on the components of oral proficiency.
Mohammad Hossein Keshavarz, Soroor Ashtarian,
Volume 11, Issue 1 (3-2008)
Abstract

The present study investigated the relationship between the reading comprehension of three types of text and the gender of Iranian EFL learners. To this end, several reading passages with the same length and readability were selected based on which a reading comprehension test was constructed on three different text types namely essay, history, and short story. After determining the validity and reliability of the reading comprehension test, it was administered to 62 male and female students who were at the same level of language proficiency based on their scores on the TOEFL Test. A one-way ANOVA was used to analyze the data, the results of which indicated that male and female EFL learners differ in their reading comprehension ability with females being better comprehenders of English passages. The results of a two-way ANOVA also showed that both males and females are better at comprehending essays followed by history and short story, i.e. different types of text are understood differently regardless of the gender of the subjects. The findings are interpreted to have direct implications for EFL teachers and instructors as well as syllabus designers and test developers.
Mohammad Rahimi, Ehya Amal Saleh, Mahbubeh Saadat,
Volume 11, Issue 1 (3-2008)
Abstract

Communicating ideas/news is the primary function of language. However, language does not usually fulfill this as it is expected to. To Dellinger (1995, p. 3) language, “can never appear by itself-it always appears as the representative of a system of linguistic terms, which themselves realize discursive and ideological system.” The present study, analyzing sports articles, aims at investigating the nature and importance of discourse in representing the desired players/ or teams. In other words, it is to examine the ways in which different teams are discursively constructed. More specifically, it shows how ‘our’ team versus ‘other’ (rival) team is shaped discursively. To do this, Hodge and Kress' (1996) model for Critical Discourse Analysis provides the framework with which the following texts have been approached. Four sport extracts, selected from two different issues of two different sport editorials, comprised the corpus of the study. The texts are analyzed with regard to three important properties of texts, i.e., grammar (with regard to two properties: syntagmatic models and transformations), vocabulary (functioning as adjectives, adverbs, and verbs, with their ideological significance), and modality (the degree of authority and certainty of an utterance). The study has revealed how the reporters, while apparently providing the readers with the information about the matches and important events, represent ‘ours’ and ‘others’ in the selected texts  the way they like and, thereby, influence the ideology of the reader.
Fateme Abbasian, Mohammad Hasan Tahririan,
Volume 11, Issue 2 (9-2008)
Abstract

Electronic mail (e-mail) as a means of fast and effective communication which has removed the barriers of distance and time has become very commonplace and important in institutional environments. Speakers of English as a foreign language across different disciplines need to enhance their awareness of the generic and formal features of the e-mail genre in order to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their correspondence. Following genre analysis studies such as Swales (1990), Bhatia (1993), Santos (2002), Vergaro (2004), and Samraj and Monk (2008), and in line with studies on electronic messages such as  Gains (1999), Gimenez (2000, 2006), and Jensen (2009), the present genre-based research was conducted to analyse e-mails exchanged between EFL teachers and biology professionals for the purposes of requesting and providing information at two criteria of the macro-textual and micro-levels of the two corpora to present a tentative model. The results revealed clear discrepancies between the parallel constitutive moves, strategies and formal features due to cross-disciplinary variations and the prevalence of intertextuality. The findings of this study have pedagogical implications for devising courses, preparing teaching materials and raising ESP instructors' awareness of learners' problems.  
Mohammad Reza Anani Sarab,
Volume 11, Issue 2 (9-2008)
Abstract

Task as a pedagogic and research tool has originally been used to elicit unscripted data to be used as evidence for interlanguage processes or as a basis for channelling the learners’ cognitive and linguistic resources to achieve desired learning outcomes. One of the central issues surrounding task-based instruction is the difference between what is planned as task pedagogic goals through manipulation of its design features and what ultimately emerges from the implementation process. The disparity has been attributed to the redefinition of the task by the learners to suit their learning goals (see Hosenfeld, 1976 Breen, 1989). Though this account can explain the gap from the learners’ perspective, it ignores the mediatory role of the teacher and his/her reinterpretation of the task to suit pedagogic goals which may not necessarily coincide with those of the task designer. This paper argues for a redefinition of the teacher’s role in task-based instruction using naturalistic data taken from a larger database of recorded and transcribed lessons. The paper concludes with the discussion of the implications of the suggested role redefinition for task-based syllabus design.
Ali Akbar Farahani, Yaser Hadidi,
Volume 11, Issue 2 (9-2008)
Abstract

Scientific language, along with media and political discourse, has received adequate and ample attention in research on Grammatical Metaphor (GM) as it is a chief driving force in the discourse of those genres Modern Prose Fiction (MPF) however has seen spotty and sketchy research at best. This study, thus, aims to bring out how GM is deployed in (MPF), as opposed to such a deployment in the language of science. Drawing mostly upon the conceptualization of GM by Thompson (2004) and Halliday & Matthiessen (1999, 2004), the study shifts the spotlight onto Harry Potter series, which is most representative of MPF discoursally and generically. The works placed under analysis for scientific discourse, selected based on clear and clarified criteria, are equally representative. This study is in a qualitative exploratory mould it receives, in that spirit, three phases of compensatory sweeping analysis. The findings uncover six categories of GM in MPF and point to the category of Prepositional and Generic GM as the mainstays, underpinning all GM in the genre. The heart of the differential deployment of GM in MPF is found to lie in Semogenesis, the semiotic powerhouse of evolutionary meaning-making in language. The findings promise to broaden the understanding of GM and encourage undertaking analysis of GM in other prose genres, especially under-researched ones.
Pejman Habibi,
Volume 11, Issue 2 (9-2008)
Abstract

Research Article (RA), in particular, its structure, social construction and historical evolution, has been focused upon through a large number of studies on academic writing over the past 20 years. This paper reports an analysis of research article introductions from three related fields, English for Specific Purposes (ESP), Psycholinguistics, and Sociolinguistics, using Swales’ CARS model. The corpus consisted of 90 RAs drawn from a wide range of refereed journals in the corresponding disciplines. The results of the analysis, although revealing marked differences across the disciplines regarding Move 2/step 1B, indicate no marked differences in research article introductions across the disciplines in terms of Move 1 and 3 along with their constituent steps. Furthermore, no marked differences are found in terms of the extent of concordance between the CARS model and the move structure of the RAs analyzed. The results also underline the need for further research into the CARS model and provision of a more flexible and open-ended structure, one which is pattern-seeking rather than pattern-imposing and provides the writer/researcher with the necessary options for the inclusion of further steps, one in which free-standing steps are not assigned rigid functions and positions in the overall structure but are multi-functional or multi-purpose and can be shuffled in the overall structure.  
Abbas Ali Zarei, Mehdi Dadebiglo,
Volume 11, Issue 2 (9-2008)
Abstract

The present study was conducted to investigate the effect of computer-mediated interaction and face-to-face oral interaction on the recognition and production of vocabulary by Iranian learners of English. To this end, 128 male and female high and low proficiency level learners of English participated in the study. Recognition and production of target words were assessed by receptive and productive, oral and written measures. Four independent two-way ANOVA procedures were used to analyse the data. Results showed that the computer-mediated interaction group at both levels (advanced & elementary) outperformed the face-to-face oral interaction group on both written and oral vocabulary recognition and production tests.  It also turned out that although the low-proficiency level learners' written vocabulary recognition was affected by computer-mediated interaction more than that of the high-proficiency level learners, the latter experienced greater gains in written vocabulary production. The findings show that Computer-mediated interaction can be advantageous to vocabulary teaching and learning. 
Karim Sadeghi,
Volume 11, Issue 2 (9-2008)
Abstract

Cloze tests have been widely used for measuring reading comprehension, readability and language proficiency. There is still much controversy on what it really is that cloze measures. The result of much correlational research is contradictory and very unsatisfactory. Thus, with a qualitative orientation, this study attempts to look at the judgmental validity of cloze as a test of reading comprehension. To this end, a group of 32 native and non-native speakers of English sat a standard cloze test. The participants were expected to complete most of the blanks correctly if cloze measured reading comprehension properly, because the text had been intended for undergraduates while cloze-takers were all either PhD students or members of academic staff with a PhD. Surprisingly, the results indicated that none of the participants reached the minimum native speaker performance criterion of 70%. Invited to reflect on what they thought they were doing when reading the blanked text, most cloze-takers felt that the text they read was a puzzle or a guessing game. Provided with the deleted words and asked to re-read the text, they confessed that cloze reading was very different from the second reading. Further findings and implications for future research are discussed in the paper.
Alireza Ahmadi,
Volume 12, Issue 1 (3-2009)
Abstract

This article investigated and compared the consistency of self and peer assessments as alternatives for teacher assessment.  Thirty sophomores majoring in TEFL were asked to assess their classmates’ as well as their own speaking ability in a conversation class. They were taught how to do this using a rating scale of speaking. They did the rating twice during the term the first rating was carried out during the 8th and 9th weeks and the second rating at the end of the term (weeks 15 and 16). The results of the study indicated that self and peer assessments were not significantly related at the end of the term and only loosely, though significantly, related in the middle of the term. Both self and peer assessments indicated consistency over time, however peer assessment enjoyed a higher consistency.
Moussa Ahmadian, Hamid Reza Yadegari,
Volume 12, Issue 1 (3-2009)
Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between extraversion/introversion personality dimension and the use of strategic competence (SC) in written referential communication by Iranian EFL learners. Referential communication refers to a kind of guided communication in which the referents (or topics) are given to the subjects (here, writers) to convey their meanings to the interactants (here, readers). 50 sophomore English students ofArakUniversitywere selected from among 70 ones to participate in this study. Using the Persian restandardized version of the adult EPQ (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, 1975) the subjects were divided into two groups of extravert and introvert. The homogeneity of the participants was determined by theMichigantest (1997) at the upper-intermediate level of proficiency. Each individual in the groups was given the communicative tasks to communicate in writing with a partner. Then, the performance of the extravert group was analyzed and compared with that of the introvert group in using compensatory strategies (CSs) in terms of type and frequency as identified by a taxonomy. The results revealed that, as far as total performance is concerned, introvert participants used conceptual strategies more than the extravert ones, while extravert participants used a sub-type of interactional strategies i.e. confirmation strategies, and the two sub-types of linguistic strategies i.e. synonymy and transliteration strategies, more than introvert ones. Thus, it can be concluded that personality trait of extraversion/ introversion is associated with L2 learners’ preference in using, at least, some types of CSs in written referential communication. The theoretical and pedagogical significance of the findings will be discussed.   
Purya Baghaei, Reza Pishghadam, Safoora Navari,
Volume 12, Issue 1 (3-2009)
Abstract

Due to deficiencies of the traditional models of standard setting, this study intends to suggest a new method for setting standards employing Rasch measurement. Precise and efficient methods for setting performance standards and linking tests to ability scales is a much-felt need in today's educational contexts. The introduction of the Common European Framework of Reference as a common paradigm for language teaching and assessment stressed the need for such methods. The suggested method combines the classic test-centered method of standard setting with the probabilistic properties of the Rasch model to set several cut points on the ability continuum. The Wright map which jointly depicts the difficulty location of items and the ability location of persons on a common scale is the cornerstone of this method.  
Behzad Ghonsooly, Arezoo Hosienpour,
Volume 12, Issue 1 (3-2009)
Abstract

Recent growth of English as an international language of communication highlights the importance of speaking which everyone needs to use in a multiplicity of contexts. Scholars have shown that concept mapping increases vocabulary learning, and organization of knowledge. However, its impact on enhancing speaking fluency is overlooked. This research project investigates the effect of concept mapping on speaking fluency of Iranian intermediate EFL students. To achieve its purpose, the following research question was proposed: Does concept mapping have any statistically significant effect on speaking fluency of the aforementioned students? 80 second term EFL university students were randomly selected and were randomly assigned to a control and experimental group. We employed concept mapping in the experimental group for twenty two sessions. When the treatment was over a proficiency test was administered to the students as a post-test. The distributions of scores for each variable by all subjects were examined and the results showed that concept mapping had statistically significant effect on speaking fluency of intermediate EFL students.         
Ebrahim Khodadady,
Volume 12, Issue 1 (3-2009)
Abstract

This paper explored the factorial validity of the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (BALLI) within a foreign language context and its relationship with educational level and academic achievement.  The BALLI was administered to 418 undergraduate and graduate university students who majored in Teaching English as a Foreign Language, English Language and Literature and English Translation at seven tertiary education centers inMashhad,Iran. The low correlation coefficients among the 34 beliefs addressed by the BALLI necessitated dispensing with Principle Component Analysis. The application of the Principle Axis Factoring to the beliefs and their rotation revealed 14 factors. One way ANOVA analysis of responses revealed that sophomore undergraduate students differ from senior undergraduate and graduate students in 11 beliefs indicating that formal education affects almost one third of learners’ belief.  The same analysis of the GPAs obtained by 86 sophomore undergraduate participants showed their academic achievement is significantly related to five beliefs. The implications of these findings are discussed within the Iranian EFL context.
Sara Jalali, Gholam Reza Kiany,
Volume 12, Issue 1 (3-2009)
Abstract

Classical test theory and item response theory are widely perceived as representing two very different measurement frameworks. Few studies have empirically examined the similarities and differences in the parameters estimated using the two frameworks. The purpose of this study was to examine how item statistics (i.e. item difficulty and item discrimination) and person statistics (i.e. ability estimates) behave under the two measurement frameworks i.e.CTTandIRT. The researchers tried to compare the two models from both theoretical and practical perspectives. For this purpose, first, a theoretical comparison of the two models was carried out then, a sample of 3000 testees taking part in the English language university entrance exam was used in order to compare the two models practically. The findings showed that person statistics from CTT were comparable with those from IRT for all three IRT models. Item difficulty indexes from CTT were comparable with those from all IRT models and especially from the one-parameter logistic (1PL) model. Item discrimination indexes from CTT were somewhat less comparable with those from IRT.
Mohammad Hasan Tahririan, Mozhdeh Shahzamani,
Volume 12, Issue 1 (3-2009)
Abstract

The present study was conducted to examine the hedging phenomenon, an important linguistic feature which is concerned with the expression of tentativeness and possibility, in journalistic English. It specifically aimed at examining English and Persian social, economic and political newspaper editorials to describe the similarities and differences in the frequency of hedging devices in the two languages. The results revealed that English newspaper editorials enjoyed more hedges than Persian ones. Regarding topic variations, English political editorials were slightly more hedged than the economic and social ones whereas, Persian economic editorials were slightly more hedged than the political and social ones.
Parviz Birjandi, Jamileh Rahemi,
Volume 12, Issue 2 (9-2009)
Abstract

This study was intended to compare processing instruction (PI), an input-based approach to L2 grammar instruction developed by VanPatten (1996), with an output-oriented type of instruction (OI) to assess their relative effects on learners' ability to interpret and produce English causatives. A pretest and posttest (immediate and delayed effects) design was used. 151 university students from four intact classes were randomly assigned to three treatment groups of PI, OI, and EI (Explicit-information-only) and one uninstructed control group (C). Students were assessed on interpretation and controlled written production tasks at the sentence level. Within-group comparisons indicated that the three instructional options, as compared to the control group, resulted in some kind of knowledge gain in both interpretation and production tasks, but the gains were not equal. The results of between-group comparisons contradicted VanPatten's claims about the superiority of PI over OI. While PI and OI were equally better than EI on interpretation tasks, OI group outperformed both PI and EI on production tasks. No significant difference was found between PI and EI on production tasks. The same results were obtained after a one-month interval, reflecting the durability of the instructional effects on the interpretation and production of the target structure.

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