Archives for January 2015

‘Evaluating American English File Text Books Based on Cunningsworth’s Criteria’ by Saeideh Shahriari & Amir Reza Nemat Tabrizi

Abstract

This study evaluated American English File text books based on Cunnings Worth (1995) model. A sum of 45 English learners and 20 teachers were selected from the total population of the available intermediate and advanced students at Shokouh English Institute in Kerman. Then, a checklist in the form of a questionnaire, which was adapted primarily from Cunningsworth’s (1995) checklist, was distributed among the teachers and students. The items of the questionnaire were developed according to 14 categories which were mentioned by Cunningsworth (1995). Using SPSS 16.0, the researcher evaluated both students’ and teachers’ answers based on the differences in the students answers according to their gender and also on the differences between teachers’ and students’ answers to the same questionnaire. The study was carried out and data was analyzed using an independent t-test to evaluate the teachers’ and students’ answers to questionnaire items. The results of questionnaire showed that the American English File textbooks were perceived as adequate books and they met the standards of a good textbook based on Cunningsworth’s (1995) criteria.

Index Terms: American English File Text Books, Cunningsworth’s criteria, Textbook Evaluation

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‘A Cross-cultural Investigation of Compliments and Compliment Responses: Comparing Persian Speakers, EFL Learners and English Native Speakers’ by Rozana Shamsabadi & Abbas Eslami Rasekh

Abstract

Compliments are one of the speech acts which require tact as there are cross-cultural differences which make them different across languages.  The research presented here is a comparison of compliment strategies across English and Persian. A cross linguistic comparison is made between three data types: Native Persian (NP), Native English (NE) and non-native English (NNE) to find the differences that exist between three groups of performances in the two languages. 30 advanced EFL learners, both male and female undergraduate and graduate students participated in this study. Family members were tape recorded for collecting natural data.  An open-ended DCT was employed for collecting data for our inferential and descriptive statistical analysis. The results of the analysis of data collected suggested that EFL learners differ from NE speakers in their Politeness strategies in giving and responding to compliment. The reasons were discovered to be both communicative incompetence and L1 transfer. Persian learners of English transfer some of their L1 pragmatic norms to L2 because they perceive these norms to be universal resulting from lack of awareness of the sociocultural norms governing compliments.

Index Terms: compliment, compliment response, speech act, cross-cultural differences

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‘The Effect of Jigsaw Technique vs. Concept Map presentation Mode on Vocabulary Learning of Low- Intermediate EFL Learners’ by Elham Asghari Astane & Shaban Berimani

Abstract

The present study aimed at finding the effectiveness of two techniques for teaching English vocabulary to Iranian EFL learners; A jigsaw procedure as an innovative cooperative technique and concept-mapping procedure as a technique that elicited the schemata, background knowledge and students ideas as well. Forty-four students were chosen from Mojtama Fanni Tehran and College institutes located in Babol through convenience sampling. The Jigsaw group consisted of Twenty-two low-intermediate participants in Mojtama Fanni Tehran. The concept-mapping group was taught vocabulary through concept- mapping technique in College institute. In fact they were our two independent experimental groups who were at low-intermediate level of proficiency. Then, they were homogenized by Oxford Proficiency Test. To evaluate the effect of each technique distinctively, both groups were given the same items as a pretest and posttest. After the eight sessions of treatment, the data was analyzed by independent t-test through SPSS version 18 to compare the results of pretests and posttests of both groups. The results revealed that both techniques were effective in learning vocabulary items and the concept-map group performed better on the post-test of vocabulary.

Index Terms: EFL learners, concept mapping, cooperative technique, jigsaw

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‘Speech Act of Congratulation among Persian Speakers’ by Farid Ghaemi & Fatemeh Ebrahimi

Abstract

Speech act of congratulation refers to expression of joy in the success or good fortune. This type of speech act in contrast to other types like request, apology, complaint, etc. is not the focus of attention like the other types. Therefore, the present study sought to scrutinize congratulation response among Persian speakers. To do so, 5o participants (26 men and 24 women) took part in this study. They completed a DCT (Discourse Completion Test) that contained two sections. The results revealed that Iranian mostly used illocutionary force indicating device, expression of happiness, and best wishes. Moreover, there was not any difference between men and women in applying formal or informal codes when expressing congratulation response.

Index Terms: Congratulation, Persian speakers, Speech act

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