‘An Exploration of Sources of Foreign Language Listening Comprehension Problems from University Student’s Perspectives’ – Mansooreh Mallah, Khadijeh Jafari & Seyyed Hassan Seyyed Rezaee

Abstract

In spite of the importance of listening as the most challenging skill for students, there is less research about listening problems of EFL learners as compared with other language skills. The aim of this study, therefore, was to examine Iranian EFL students’ listening comprehension problems from students’ point of views. Fifty male and female students studying English at Islamic Azad University of Gorgan, Golestan Province, Iran voluntarily took part in this study. A teacher-made questionnaire with 26 items on students’ listening problem was developed. The results of questionnaire indicated that listener-related factor (e.g., lack of concentration, long texts and existence of noise) was the main source of listening comprehension problem among these students. The second source of problems related to speaker included bad accent and existence of hesitation in spoken text. The third groups of problems related to the content of listening text included unfamiliarity with topic, feeling fatigue while listening to long texts, and difficulty in understanding the idioms; and the last source of problem was related to linguistic features such as not distinguishing the word boundaries and the signals of changing from one point to another point. The findings of the present research may raise both students’ and teachers’ awareness regarding university EFL students’ listening comprehension problems.

Index Terms: listening comprehension problems, EFL students

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‘Critical Thinking Skills Instruction and Reading between the Lines’ – Hossein Pourghasemian & S. Mohammad Bagherzadeh Hosseini

Abstract

Critical thinking (CT) is an important life skill in modern societies and is of particular import in academic settings where students need to be able to analyze ideas to get at clear understanding. However, unlike ordinary thinking, which is an inborn human endowment, CT seems to require implicit or explicit instruction. Attempts have been made to introduce it into general education. And like any other innovation, it has found its way to second language pedagogy. Hence, there have been studies to relate CT to second language acquisition (SLA) in general and language skills in particular. This study set out to see if training in CT skills had any effect on the inferential reading comprehension. Sixty college students were selected through a proficiency (TOEFL) test and were then randomly assigned to two equal sized groups: critical and noncritical. Both groups received reading comprehension instruction, but the critical group got supplemental in CT skills. A specially tailored reading test was administered to measure the participants’ inferential understanding. The results indicated that the critical group outperformed the noncritical group t (58) = 3.27, p > 0.5. The implication for language teaching may be either adoption of a critical orientation to teaching, or adaptation of CT skills to fit the language class.

Index Terms: critical thinking, inferential reading comprehension, second language acquisition.

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Volume 7 – Issue 1

  1. Error analysis of the Grammatical Patterns in the English Translation of the Abstracts of the Persian Articles in the Iranian Published Academic Journals
    Author/s: Forouzan Dehbashi Sharif & Mehdi Hassani
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  2. Critical Thinking Skills Instruction and Reading between the Lines
    Author/s: Hossein Pourghasemian & S. Mohammad Bagherzadeh Hosseini
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  3. An Exploration of Sources of Foreign Language Listening Comprehension Problems from University Student’s Perspectives
    Author/s: Mansooreh Mallah, Khadijeh Jafari & Seyyed Hassan Seyyed Rezaee
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  4. Computer-Based Language Testing for GES 100 (Communication Skills in English) in UNIPORT: Is it Appropriate and Effective?
    Author/s: Umera-Okeke, Nneka
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‘Error analysis of the Grammatical Patterns in the English Translation of the Abstracts of the Persian Articles in the Iranian Published Academic Journals’ – Forouzan Dehbashi Sharif & Mehdi Hassani

Abstract

The present study aimed to shed light upon the grammatical errors in the English translation of the abstracts of the Persian articles in the Iranian Published academic Journals to discover to what extent the English abstracts of the Persian articles in the Iranian Published academic Journals completely follow the English grammatical patterns. In this regard, The Persian abstracts and their English translations from selected journals were extracted as the corpus of this study. The errors in the corpus were identified and classified into the Syntactico-Morphological category according to Keshavarz’s (2011) model. The results of this research showed respectively that errors in the use of articles, lack of concord or agreement, wrong use of plural morpheme, errors in the use of prepositions, wrong use of parts of speech were repeated in most of the Persian translated articles. In testing the null hypothesis of this research, there was a significant difference between the rates of the grammatical errors in the English translation of the abstracts of the Persian articles in the Iranian published academic Journals based on a selective taxonomy of error analysis model.

Index Terms: Academic journal , Abstract, grammatical errors.

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‘An Investigation of Intermediate EAP Students’ and Teachers’ Attitude towards Teacher Self-disclosure’ – Mohammad Ali Ayatollahi & Lida Moradizadeh Kermani

Abstract

Much research has been carried out on teacher self disclosure in the field of education in general and applied linguistics in particular. In spite of thorough research, popularity, and benefits, there are some gaps in the research of this area. To fill the gap, this study was set out to investigate the effects of teacher self disclosure on EAP students’ attitude toward self disclosures in language classes. Moreover, the present study attempted to if teacher self disclosure changes and approximates students’ attitude toward teachers’ attitude or not. The researcher recruited 60 students and 25 teachers to participate in the present study. The student participants were divided into two groups _control and experimental group_ and the treatment was mild doses of teacher self disclosure. Through using a quasi-experimental design, the researcher gathered the data through administering a questionnaire. The gathered data from pretest and post test questionnaire, using t-test procedure, were compared to find answers for this study’s research questions. The results indicated that there is a significant difference between teachers and students in terms of their attitude toward teacher self disclosure. Moreover, the results revealed that teachers self disclosure significantly affects students’ attitudes. However, further analysis of the data showed that even after students received treatment, there was yet a significant difference between teachers and students in terms of their attitude toward teacher self disclosure. The findings have implications for EFL teachers and course designers.

Index Terms: Teacher self disclosure, attitude toward learning, EAP.

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‘Evaluation of Two ESP textbooks for Nursing Students’ – Fatemeh Alipanahi & Neda Ghorbani

Abstract

This study aimed at evaluating the quality of two ESP textbooks: English for the Students of Nursing and Medical Terminology, and also comparing them from the viewpoints of students and teachers who used them in order to provide a clear picture of the current status of these textbooks. In this research, two forms of survey questionnaires were utilized to elicit the viewpoints of the participants including 54 nursing students and 1 teacher. Students’ questionnaire comprised of 23 items and teacher’s questionnaire comprised of 38 items which explored 7 main parts: practical considerations, layout and design, activities, skills, language type, subject and content and conclusion. There were also the students’ profile and needs analysis forms. Three kinds of computations were done on the gathered data: per-statement analysis, per-classification analysis, and two paired samples t-test to elicit the attitudes of the students and their teacher regarding these two textbooks, ESN and MT. The results indicated that teacher and students were not satisfied with most of the criteria which English for the Students of Nursing should fulfill. Moreover, the results showed no significant difference between the students’ and teacher’s opinions.

Index Terms: ESP; Materials; Materials evaluation; Textbook evaluation.

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‘The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Reading Com-prehension of Iranian EFL Learners’ – Fatemeh Alipanahi & Hadis Tariverdi

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between reading comprehension and emotional intelligence (EI). In addition, the present study focuses on different components of EI and different correlations that they may have with reading comprehension. To do so, PET (2011) as proficiency test was given to 72 upper-intermediate EFL learners majoring in English Translation at Zanjan University. From among them, 50 learners constituted the participants of the study. Then, the researcher administered the Bar-On’s (1995) Emotional Quotient Inventory and a reading comprehension test to the participants to investigate any relationship between EI and reading. These administrations also led to investigating the possible relationship between different components of EI and reading. Pearson correlation coefficient revealed a significant relationship between EI and reading comprehension (r=.68). Similarly, a significant correlation was found between EI subscales and reading comprehension (r= .71).The findings of this study can lead EFL teachers and language planners to think of effective and sensitive instruction methodologies and materials through identifying and understanding students’ significant individual differences. As findings show, emotional intelligence is one of the various aspects of the individual differences whose fostering can assist students in adapting to the environmental demands and pressures of the college environment.

Index Terms: emotional intelligence, reading comprehension, EFL learners.

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‘Feedback and Learning English Collocation’ by Fatemeh Alipanahi & Maryam Naghiloo

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of feedbacks on collocation learning by intermediate EFL learners. Fifty five intermediate EFL learners from a language institute constituted the participants of the study. They were females, aging from 17 to23. Oxford Placement Test (OPT) (2004) was administered to the population to have participants of approximately equal level of English language proficiency. 42 homogenous learners were selected and were randomly assigned into three experimental groups. . Then, in order to choose the unfamiliar collocations to be instructed during experiment—the researcher selected 140 collocations and administered them to the selected learners. There were 100 collocations with which learners were unfamiliar. During the instruction, each group received one type of feedback; Group A received direct feedback, Group B received indirect feedback, and Group C received self-correction feedback. There was no control group. At the end, a post-test was administrated to the groups. The results of One-Way ANOVA and Paired-Samples t-test revealed that feedbacks had positive effect on collocation learning of the students; however, students in indirect feedback group outperformed the direct and self-correction feedback groups. The results can lead EFL teachers and practitioners to carefully examine specific educational context and learners’ needs before the application of different feedbacks.

Index Terms: Collocation, Direct feedback, Indirect feedback, Self-correction feedback.

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Volume 6 – Issue 6

  1. ICT and its role in English Language Teaching ClassroomsAuthor/s: R. D. Gomathi & D. Ramya
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  2. Modes of Learning English as a Second Language and the Role of Motivation: A case study on the second year students of the Faculty of Arts, University of JaffnaAuthor/s: Dr. Mrs. Shanmugayogini Ravindran
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  3. Exploring Short Stories to Design Tasks for Developing Language Profi-ciency and Life ValuesAuthor/s: Dr. P. Bharathi & Dr. V. Aparna Reddy
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  4. The Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Reading Com-prehension of Iranian EFL Learners
    Author/s: Fatemeh Alipanahi & Hadis Tariverdi
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  5. Evaluation of Two ESP textbooks for Nursing Students
    Author/s: Fatemeh Alipanahi & Neda Ghorbani
    Abstract | Access Full Paper
  6. An Investigation of Intermediate EAP Students’ and Teachers’ Attitude towards Teacher Self-disclosure
    Author/s: Mohammad Ali Ayatollahi & Lida Moradizadeh Kermani
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‘Exploring Short Stories to Design Tasks for Developing Language Profi-ciency and Life Values’ – Dr. P. Bharathi & Dr. V. Aparna Reddy

Abstract

English language teaching in Engineering colleges has the dual aim of developing proficiency in language skills and inculcating ethical values. This can be done effectively by adapting authentic literary texts and designing tasks to achieve the aims. It is a common conviction that language and literature are complementary to each other where language gives meaning and shape to the ideas and emotions that are culturally bound. So language cannot be taught in isolation where it becomes incomplete and perilous. In this paper a short story by O. Henry, “The Last Leaf “ is selected and  various  tasks   pertaining to  developing language skills as well as ethical values  are presented . Tasks related to character building, soft skills and sensitivity to life values are highlighted where by the interest of students in language learning can be enhanced.

Keywords: ELT, ESL.

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