Archives for September 2014

‘Communicative Approach towards Teaching Of English Prepositions’ by VIPUL B. GODHANIYA

Abstract

Preposition is a very important part of speech in English. Not only there are a great number of them in English, but also they are used for a wide range of syntactic, semantic and pragmatic functions. Knowing how to use prepositions correctly in English is considered a yardstick against which one’s English level is measured.  It is difficult to learn and to teach correct usage of English prepositions. They make confusions even for native speakers also. The successful teaching of English prepositions depends upon the correct usage of them and practical or communicative approach towards them. English language and grammar have been taught through various methods, techniques, and approaches since the discipline ELT came into existence. Some of the methods are popular like direct method, audio-lingual method, silent way method, suggestopedia, and natural approach, community language learning method, total physical response method, and structural-situational approach among the language experts. But these methods haven’t played significant role in second language learning. So, experts of ELT are bound to investigate impressive techniques for teaching of second language. It would be fair to say that if there is any one umbrella approach to language teaching that has become the accepted ‘norms’ in this field, then it would have to be the Communicative Language Teaching Approach. This is also known as CLT. The present research paper aims to discuss teaching of English prepositions with the help of Communicative Language Teaching Approach. Researcher suggests some useful methods to teach English prepositions in this research paper. This paper may help teachers of English for discussing English prepositions in language classrooms.

Key terms: Communicative Approach, English Prepositions

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‘Developing English Communicative Skills of Grade Five Students from Primary Schools in Lampang through Task-Based Learning’ by JUAJAN WONGPOLGANAN, SIRIPHAN KHATKUMHAENG, PRANOM WONGMEUNRAT, BUSSARAKUM INTASUK & THANAPHAN NA CHIEANGMAI

Abstract

The purposes of this quasi-experimental research were: 1) to improve English learning and teaching in schools from the practicum school network of Lampang Rajabhat University, Lampang, Thailand; and 2) to launch the co-operative network for improving the learning and teaching of English from individuals, schools, communities and the like. The samples were 147 Grade Five students of the six primary schools in Lampang Province. Those schools were selected purposively and the students were treated as the experimental group using task-based learning (TBL) activities. The achievement tests were assigned to the students both before and after the commencement of the lessons. After the five-week teaching, the participants were assigned to answer the questionnaire on their satisfaction towards TBL and their teachers. Moreover, the university students who volunteered to teach those school children were assigned to evaluate their attitudes towards their teaching using TBL. The researchers observed the classroom atmosphere and the interaction between the teachers and the students and between the students themselves. The findings revealed that the school children’s communicative skills after the lessons were developed significantly and it can be concluded that both Grade Five students and the university students were satisfied with TBL activities and their classroom interaction.

Keywords: English for communicative skills, task-based learning (TBL), primary  school  students

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‘New Directions for Materials Development in the Third Millennium’ by MOHAMMAD KHATIB & ASGHAR AFSHARI

Abstract

If we look back at our recent past, we can identify trends which are likely to characterize the nature of future society. As we begin the new millennium, many changes in society may affect trends in educational structures and language teaching respectively. A new millennium marks a moment when it is appropriate to think about what we have done, where we are now and how we should plan for the future (Littlejohn, 1998). This paper is an attempt to provide a picture of new directions for materials development in the third millennium by identifying four major trends supposed to affect the field in the new millennium including social constructivism, postmodernism, intercultural communicative competence, and   technological advancement.

Key words: constructivism, future curriculum, postmodernism, third millennium, intercultural communicative competence

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The Review of the Article `Test-taking Strategies for a High-stakes Writing Test: An Exploratory Study of 12 Chinese EFL Learners’ by ROZANA SHAMSABADI

Abstract

This review, grew from the original article by Yun Xuand Zunmin Wu , aims to report on a qualitative research study into the test-taking strategies employed in completing two picture prompt writing tasks—Situational Writing and Interpretational Writing in the Beijing Matriculation English Test. The research reveals a variety of test-taking strategies involved in completion of the two tasks. Based on the strategies employed, the results proved the presence of similarities in having the same starts according to the first picture, having parallel narrations, applying equal effort to each picture, not missing essential information of the pictures, and adding an ending to their narration in all participants’ writings. Students strived to guess test-developers’ intent and figure out the “best” theme instead of freely expressing their own interpretations. What the results of this study reveal is that they might fail to achieve the crucial goal of measuring creative thinking .The researcher found that the original intention of Interpretational Writing had been badly distorted. The present review of this article has attempted to explore the extent to which this paper fulfils the stated aims by having a cautious look through the papers` methodology in general and participants’ choices in details.

Keywords: EFL learners, Test-taking Strategies, High-stakes Writing Test

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‘The Impact of Cultural Orientation on EFL Learners’ Reading Comprehension and Achievement Motivation’ by MINA SADEGHI, JAHANBAKHSH NIKOOPOUR & FARSHAD AGHVAMI

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of cultural orientation on reading comprehension and achievement motivation of the EFL learners. To conduct this study, the researcher recruited 60 Iranian EFL learners at language institutes. All learners were selected from the intermediate level. They were assigned to two groups; experimental and control groups. The researcher used a number of cultural concepts and orientated the learners to these concepts as treatment in the experimental group. After the treatment the researcher administered the reading comprehension post test to measure the participants’ reading comprehension and a questionnaire to assess their achievement motivation. The findings showed the impact of familiarity with the cultural concepts before starting the reading texts on the participants’ reading comprehension and their achievement motivation.

Key words: culture, reading, EFL learners

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‘The Relationship between Critical Thinking and Reading Strategies Regarding Goals and Objectives in the Process of Curriculum Development’ by MANSOUR FAHIM & ASGHAR AFSHARI

Abstract

The current empirical study has attempted to determine if there is any significant relationship between critical thinking of Iranian fresh EFL learners and  those categories of reading strategies (cognitive, meta-cognitive)regarding goals and objectives in the process of curriculum development that are mostly used by EFL learners. Thirty Iranian EFL Fresh female students studying in a private institute in Tehran in Iran participated in this study. Based on the purposes of the study, two questionnaires were administered to the participants: a critical thinking questionnaire and a reading strategy questionnaire based on the goals and objectives in the process of curriculum development. Results of the study showed that the most frequently used reading strategies regarding the goals and objectives in the process of curriculum development were meta-cognitive strategy and cognitive strategy. Statistical analyses revealed no correlation between learners’ critical thinking ability and their overall use of reading strategies regarding the goals and objectives in the process of curriculum development.

Keywords: Cognitive strategy; curriculum development, metacognitive strategy; critical thinking

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‘The Impact of Teacher Self-disclosure on Iranian EFL Learners’ Language Proficiency’ by AMIR REZA NEMATTABRIZI & MAHNAZ POUYAN

Abstract

The present study was an attempt to investigate the effect of Iranian English teachers’ self-disclosure in their classroom practices on students’ general language proficiency. To do so, following a test of language proficiency (TOEFL PBT), 52 Iranian EFL learners at the advanced level were randomly divided into two control and experimental groups. The experimental group received practices followed by teacher’s self-disclosure, while the control group did not follow this procedure. Following the treatment which lasted 25 sessions, both groups were subjected to another version of the TOEFL test as the post-test of the study to identify any improvements in their performance. The results revealed that teacher self-disclosure can positively influence students’ language proficiency.

Key words: Teacher self- disclosure, language proficiency, TOEFL, Iranian EFL Learners

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‘Engineering Humanism in EFL Classroom: Depicting an Optimal Zone’ by KATAYOON MANSOURI

Abstract

The purpose of humanistic education is educating the whole person-the intellectual and the emotional aspects. Similarly, Lei (2007) believes that the aim of the humanistic educations is   not only developing the cognitive and linguistic capabilities of the learners but also paying attention to the learners’ emotions and feelings. Arnold (1998) goes on to hold that humanistic language teaching does not mean to substitute the cognitive for the affective, but rather to add the affective. This paper first presents a brief overview of philosophy, rational and principles of humanism, then some points to humanize materials are recommended. Afterwards, an optimal zone is regarded for humanism, and at last some critical points are mentioned.

Key Words: Humanism, Humanizing materials, Optimal zone, Optimal learning

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‘Interaction Hypothesis: A Comprehensive Theory of SLA?’ by FARID GHAEMI & NASER SALEHI

Abstract

The role of interaction in second language acquisition has always been controversial. A bunch of theories have been proposed as to the role of “nature” or “nurture” in SLA. Interaction Hypothesis (IH) introduced by Long accepts the role of “nurture” in SLA claiming that negotiation of meaning through interaction can facilitate the process of language learning. In this review, the IH will be evaluated according to Jordan’s Guidelines for theory construction in SLA. The findings show that IH generally conforms to the Guidelines and, apart from some shortcomings, can be considered a progress toward constructing a comprehensive theory of SLA. Finally, Ellis’s Interactionist Theory, a combination of IH and socio-cultural theory, is suggested as an updated version of IH.

Key words: Interaction Hypothesis, Second Language Acquisition, SLA theory

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‘Convergence and Divergence in British and American English: Culinary Vocabulary’ by ELAHEH JALILI ME’MARIAN

Abstract

This article explores the possible Convergence and/ or Divergence in “culinary vocabularies used in British English and American English”. This article explores ways to describe and understand the evolution of English language. The idea for this article formed when during a talk with friends, I conceived that there are different words for naming the same foods in close languages, and even within the same language. To put this idea into perspective, I fielded this question that “do the culinary vocabularies in American and British English are on a trend toward convergence or a divergence?” This study seems to have addressed an issue which has not seemingly been attended to yet under a linguistics umbrella. Therefore, this study focuses on depicting the possible future of these two varieties of English in terms of their historical and sociolinguistic changes. The historical and sociolinguistic changes include such features as “fashion”, “external factors”, and “social needs”. A similar survey including fifteen American and fifteen British students in an age range of 18-30, with the purpose of determining the interaction between the two varieties of English, it was found that the culinary vocabularies used by the two groups of speakers do not follow a total converging trend; with such words being in a constant partial convergence and divergence state.

Keywords: Language change, British English, American English, Culinary vocabulary, Divergence, Convergence

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