Archives for May 2016

‘The Effects of Time Constraints on the Unity and Coherence of IELTS Candidates’ Writing Skills’ by Mohammad Zare, Sanaz Mohazabieh & Zahra Kamali

Abstract

This study investigates the effects of time constraints on writing ability of IELTS candidates in terms of two writing features of unity and coherence. To do this, a total number of 30 Iranian EFL learners attending IELTS preparation classes were chosen from both genders of male and female. Two standard IELTS writing task2topicswere selected by the researchers for both pre and post-tests. The candidates were categorized into two groups of control and experimental. The control one took the post-test under ordinary conditions, without limitation, allocating 40 minutes of time whereas the experimental group, were asked to achieve a task 2 essay under timed condition of 30 minutes.  Both pre and post-test writings were corrected by three IELTS writing assessors in order to increase the validity of scoring and decrease the subjectivity of the issue. With regard to first research question addressing the difference in writing performance of both genders under time stress, the findings indicated they both performed the same and less time allocation affected both genders’ performance to the same extent. The second research question that investigated the general effect of time stress on coherence and unity of the writings revealed the application of an increasing number of irrelevant sentences and reducing the unity of the writing task. However, the number of appropriate transitions that increase the coherence of the task was observed to be more in post-test which is due to the treatment during the course. Moreover, during a one to one interview, most students objected to the time limitation and its effect on their anxiety which made them seek resort to apply more irrelevant sentences. In the end of the study, it was concluded that time constraints affect the unity of the writing task, but not the coherence.

Index Terms: Coherence, Time Constraints, Transitions, Unit.

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‘A Comparison of Learners’ and Teachers’ Attitudes towards Communicative Language Teaching in Iran’ by Ashraf Hosseini Breshneh & Mohammad Javad Riasati

Abstract

Around the world need for good communication skills in English has created an enormous require for English teaching. Many people today want to improve their control of English or to ensure that their children achieve a good successful completion of English. And chances to learn English are provided in many different ways such as through formal instruction, travel, and study abroad, as well as through the media and the Internet. An increase in worldwide need for English has created a huge demand for quality language teaching and language teaching materials and resources. Learners set themselves demanding goals. They want to be able to overcome English to a high level of accuracy and fluency. In an attempt to let learners’ voices be heard, this study compares learners’ and teachers’ attitudes towards four factors relating to Communicative Language Teaching: the importance of grammar; the quality and quantity of error correction; the use of group work and pair work; and the role of teacher in the classroom. It also investigated the reasons behind attitudes the teacher and learners held toward CLT. For this purpose, an explanatory mixed method research was conducted. The first-phase quantitative study investigated teachers’ and learners’ attitudes toward CLT, while the second phase qualitative study explored the reasons underlying the teachers’ and learners’ attitudes toward CLT. Result of the data analysis showed that there were significant differences between the teacher and the learner participants about CLT, in general and the principles of grammar and error correction. The results of the interview showed that the teacher participants were familiar with CLT and agreed with this method of teaching. According to the findings from the interviews, the learner participants pointed out that both grammar and communicative activities are important but grammar should be taught indirectly.

Index Terms: Communicative Language Teaching, EFL learners’ teachers` attitudes, CLT principles.

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‘Use of Technology in Language Learning’ by Dr. Ashu Tomar

Abstract

Technological advance has contributed greatly to the acceleration of human progress in the past several centuries.  The information and communication technology can be a tremendous force for human development for all those connected by providing information, enabling empowerment and raising productivity.  Technology can be globalizing communication, but globalization and its new rules – is also shaping the path of new technologies. The last 20 years have seen some remarkable innovations in the delivery of education.  The technologies available today, and those about to emerge, have the potential to transform the business of education.  Some nations may decide to invest in technology for education for the “glitz factor”: the technology is there; it is fashionable to have the latest and the best, and it gives a sense of progress to use state-of-art-technology. The demand for more open and accessible learning has continued to increase. Many factors are contributing to this changing educational culture, the most important of which are economic, social, and technological forces.  These forces are worldwide in scope and power, and have had a profound impact on business practices, manufacturing processes, financial services, government policies, and, more recently, teaching practices and learning behaviours. The challenge of providing education and training to a huge and diverse population with a variety of learning goals and styles, at an acceptable cost, will require new forms of global educational delivery. The paper attempts to study the use of technology in learning English language.

Index Terms: Glitz- showiness, Innovation- new, A-V materials- audio video materials, Repertoire- skills, Diacritic- mark added to a letter to indicate a special pronunciation

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