‘The Effect of Iranian EFL Learners` Social Class on Their English Language Learning Strategies: A Sociolinguistic Perspective’ by Azizeh Chalak & Mahshid Kourang Beheshti

Abstract

Language learning strategies play a crucial role in language learning. The choice of strategies is influenced by a variety of factors such as learning style, motivation, age, gender, attitudes, beliefs, type of task, L2 level, tolerance of ambiguity, cultural and contextual factors. This study was an attempt to examine the relationship between Iranian EFL learners’ social classes and their language learning strategies (LLS). Two types of questionnaire- questionnaire of Oxford’s (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) and a general biographical questionnaire- as well as an interview and an observation were employed as the instruments for the data collection procedure. The questionnaires were distributed among 90 Isfahanian female EFL learners enrolled in Iran Language Institute (ILI) to look for different strategies- if any – occupied by learners. To determine whether there was a relationship between social class and language learning strategies, an ANNOVA test was administrated. The findings  revealed that (a) there was not a significant relationship between social class and the language learning strategies; (b) Iranian EFL learners were medium users of language learning strategies; (c) the cognitive category had the highest mean, followed by compensatory, metacognitive, memory, affective, and social; (d)in all social classes, Cognitive strategies were used at most; (e) and finally,  in higher mediate and mediate class, students preferred to use Social strategies less than other categories while, in lower mediate class the less preferred category was the Affective one. It is suggested that educators and administrators can look for more trenchant factors that affect learners’ choices of language learning strategies.

Index Terms: language learning strategies, social class, socio-economic status.

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‘The Effect of the Bidialectism of Gilaki Intermediate Learners in Contrast to Monolinguals of Farsi Speakers in Learning Speaking Skill of English as a Foreign Language’ by Faridodin Rostami Shirkoohi, Behnam Behforouz

Abstract

Bilingualism and bi-dialectism are two near technical terms which may be used incorrectly. Bilingual is defined as having or using two languages especially as spoken with the fluency characteristic of a native speaker. The present research will attempt to examine the relation between knowing two languages and learning a third one. It will be found if those who use two languages, dialects or accents are much more successful during the process of learning a third language or not? 40 Iranian intermediate English as a Foreign Language Learners were selected to participate in this study. A standardized test, PET was conducted in order to ensure that the participants were homogeneous regarding their EFL proficiency. A pre-test was also administered on the writing ability of participants prior to the treatment. The text book which was covered in these classes was Interchange Intro, Third Edition by Cambridge University Press 2005. Classes held in 45 days and 17 sessions. Each session lasted for 1.5 hours. At the end of the course the speaking ability of the learners were tested. The finding of the study revealed that there is a significant difference between learners which speak Gilaki in addition to Farsi language (Group 1) with those of Group 2.

Index Terms: Bidialectism, Gilaki, EFL, Monolingual, Farsi Speaker.

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‘Using E-learning Techniques and Tools for Enhancing Main English Language Skills’ by Khaled Kordi Tamandani and Mehrnaz Jahanshahi

Abstract

English is one of the most widely spoken and recognizable languages. It has become a part of the cultural and social upbringing of many communities.  The use of E- learning techniques has become a new platform for learning different English Language skills such as reading, listening, writing, and speaking. These skills are the most important factors which lead to a better understanding of English language, vocabulary build up and accent reduction which in-turn effects the language of a person. Various E-learning techniques like online or offline dictionary software, Internet-based materials, and websites, YouTube and Podcast have played a crucial role in improving and learning English Language skills of non-native learners. This paper deals with the incorporation of these techniques for the effective use in acquiring, enhancing, and improving these main English language skills.

Keywords: E-Learning, Internet, MALL, English Language Skills, Dictionary, Computer, Software.

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‘Investigating the Concept of Politeness among the Students of Junior and Senior High Schools’ by Razzagh Kiyani & Mehdi Bagheri Hariry

Abstract

The purpose of the present study is to investigate the concept of politeness among the students in secondary schools, namely junior and senior high schools. The research method is descriptive and that of content analysis. For the purpose of the study 1000 students participated from both junior and senior high schools. In the first step a Discourse Completion Test (D.C.T) were distributed among the speakers of both groups. Then making use of Blum kulka measure (1989), the requests of both student groups were examined. The analysis and investigation of the findings of the DCT test suggest that in some cases the speakers of junior high school use more indirect approaches compared to their counterparts in senior high school and therefore are more polite. Besides, the study indicates that some of the following reported items are absent in the aforementioned measure: lack of response to a request, providing preparatory sentences, using polite addressed forms and taboo words.

Key Words: Politeness, Indirectness, Discourse Completion Test, Students.

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‘Improving Teaching through Action Research; Perceptions, Practices and Problems (3Ps): Voices from Secondary Level Teachers in an EFL Context’ by Janak Singh Negi

Abstract

Teachers are the major key to bring out improvement in the field of teaching and learning. Action research is the major tool to help teachers overcome their problems in the classroom and enhance their instructional practices. But, are the EFL teachers in the remote and resource poor areas conducting an action research? This study represents the voices from one of the similar areas of the Far Western part of Nepal and attempts to examine the perceptions, practices and problems (3ps) of conducting action research. The result showed that although teachers were familiar with the basic concept of the action research, they rarely practiced it due to various reasons.

Keywords: Action Research, Reflective Practice, EFL, Professional Development.

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‘Teaching Contextual Vocabulary for Group Discussion Skills Using Formulaic Expressions in the ESL Classroom’ by Dr. K.N. Shoba

Abstract

Group Discussion (GD) is considered as a modern method of assessment of students’ overall personality for selection in interviews towards employment especially in the Indian context. It is also well-known that teachers of English train their students using several strategies to create adequate awareness among students to acquire the essential skills to participate and perform in GDs. Along with personality skills like Assertiveness, Critical Thinking, Leadership, language skills like appropriate Vocabulary for Agreeing, Disagreeing, Summarizing ideas also become indispensable to succeed in a group discussion. However, ESL learners find it difficult to initiate ideas, transit smoothly between ideas and argue politely. Many a time, they come across as aggressive and not assertive. In spite of valid arguments, the discourse markers or rather their lack thereof, create barriers in communication, especially in a GD. This conceptual study analyses the use of formulaic expressions or prefabricated chunks to help learners use them in the most appropriate contexts.

Keywords: Key Words: Contextual Vocabulary, Group Discussion, Formulaic Expressions, Lexical Chunks..

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‘Game-Based Language Learning: Activities for ESL Classes with Limited Access to Technology’ by Sadeqa Ghazal & Smriti Singh

Abstract

Playing games is often believed to be an educationally unproductive activity in strictly traditional educational settings. The prevailing Indian educational system is no different. It puts a lot of onus on rote-learning which is clearly what Paulo Freire calls the ‘banking concept of education’ in which knowledge is merely transferred from one person to another. In an ESL class, such an approach reduces language learning to merely a process of re-production and does not allow co-creation of knowledge. Driven by learner-centred pedagogy, we propose adopting game-based language learning for ensuring learner engagement and developing intrinsic motivation. The immense and complex role that learner engagement, autonomy, and motivation have to play in the overall learning process is adequately addressed in game-based learning. This paper presents an argument in favour of adopting game-based language learning in ESL classes. The paper describes the benefits of game-based language learning and three non-digital games that can be used and adapted in ESL classes with limited or restricted access to computers and other technical devices. When carefully blended with text-based instruction, game-based learning can be very useful in enriching ESL learning in mainstream classrooms.

Keywords: ESL learning, game-based learning, learner-centred pedagogy, non-digital games, motivation.

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