‘Evaluation of English Textbooks in High School and Pre-university Based on Table of Content and Course Objectives’ by Maryam Ghane Shirazi & Mostafa Zamanian

Abstract:

Teachers, learners, textbooks and contexts are the main four facets in educational context. Among these factors, textbooks act as the crucial one in English Language Teaching, particularly while English is considered as the Foreign Language. In Iran, EFL classes in school period are supposed to be the primary source of linguistic input for students. Taking these points into consideration, the present study carries out the evaluation of the last four English books the Iranian students study in high school and pre-university based on their table of content. The result showed the disparity that exists between high school English books and pre-university one. The former aims to make English known to the students with the great emphasis on grammar and vocabulary, while the latter focuses on reading comprehension.

Index Terms: English Language Teaching, English as a Foreign Language, Textbook, Textbook Evaluation

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‘Group Learning Role in Foreign Language Learning: Group Work vs. Individual Work’ by Farid Ghaemi, Seyed Moslem Hahsemizadeh, Fazlolah Samimi & Mojtaba Rahmanian

Abstract:

This study explored the effects of “group work” on the EFL students’ proficiency. The Participants of the study were 134 students at Farzane Language institute. Four different proficiency levels were chosen: 1) Beginner 2) Lower intermediate 3) Upper intermediate and 4) Advanced intermediate. They were randomly divided into control group and experimental. The experimental groups were asked to work with group work techniques and the control group to work individually. Two instruments were used to gather the required data: A 30-item proficiency test for each level and the line of SPECTRUM series. Analysis of the results revealed that those groups of proficiency worked with group work techniques gained better results and the end of the term. Results of the independent t-test showed significant difference between experimental and control groups. Group work as a powerful technique proved itself as one of the best strategies in an EFL environment.

Index Terms: Authenticity, grouping technique and group work, information gap, student-centered learning.

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‘The Role of Self-Efficacy and Autonomy in Iranian EFL Teachers Engagement’ by Farid Ghaemi, Maryam Shokrolahi & Seyed Moslem Hashemizadeh

Abstract:

There has been growing interest in the role of teachers in teacher education programs. Hence, this study was conducted to examine the role of teacher efficacy and autonomy in teachers engagement .For this purpose, 80 EFL teachers were sampled from an English language institution in Tehran to answer three questionnaires, teacher self-efficacy scale (TSES), teacher autonomy inventory (TAI), and the Utrecht work engagement scale (UWES).The results of data analysis revealed that both teacher efficacy and autonomy were positively associated with teachers’ engagement. Therefore, it could be concluded teacher self-efficacy and autonomy positively predicted engagement. And more specifically, among the teacher efficacy and autonomy, teacher autonomy with a higher value predicted more changes in teachers’ engagement. The present study shed light opportunities to improve teacher development that impact on not only teachers’ classroom practices but also students’ achievements.

Index Terms: Teacher autonomy, teacher efficacy, teacher engagement.

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‘A Two-Way Evaluation of Practical Uses of Group Work Activities In ELT Course Books’ by Saman Ebadi (Ph.D.), Shokoofeh Vakili Latif & Elham Bahramzadeh

Abstract: This study investigated the effectiveness of group work activities in five well known and randomly selected ELT course books used in Iran. Group work activities were analyzed based on the Jacobs and Ball`s(1996) evaluative framework to find out about their possible match or mismatch with cooperative learning and task based teaching principles. Later, semi-structured interviews were conducted to find out about learners’ perspectives on group work activities. The conformity between findings of text analysis and interviews pointed out to the failure of group work activities to meet the condition of positive interdependence. Results also showed that most of the activities were one way (static) tasks which could not contribute to meaning negotiation and language use and usage development of learners. The findings of this study have implications for the structure of group work activities in ELT course books and could be used to humanize them and serve the needs of students.

Index Terms: Cooperative learning, ELT course books, group work activities, task-based teaching.

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‘The Relationship between Personality Traits and Metacognitive Listening Strategies among Iranian EFL Learners’ by Farid Ghaemi & Farzaneh Sabokrouh

Abstract: Language learning was varied depending on individual characteristics and variations of language learning outcomes was attributed to learner characteristics. On the other hand, when we studied the recent research on second or foreign listening instruction, most of them had emphasized the need for assessing the effectiveness of metacognitive strategy training in order to improve second language listening comprehension. According to this goal, the research objective was to investigate the relationships of personality traits with metacognitive awareness of listening strategies among Iranian adult learners of English utilizing the NEO PI-R and the SILL. 80 participants were students studying English in one of the institutes in drawn from four intact classes. The instruments were used including background questionnaire, general English proficiency test; metacognitive awareness listening questionnaire consists of 21 randomly ordered items related to L2 listening comprehension and the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised developed by Costa and McCrae (1992). The analysis of the data sources from the NEO PI-R, the Metacogntive Awareness Listening provided the framework for the discussion on the correlations of each of the five domains and the 30 facets of the FFM and the metacognitive groups. NEO Personality Inventory-Revised questionnaire and Metacognitive Awareness Listening Questionnaire (MALQ) were administered to see whether there was any correlation between the students’ use of metacognitive listening strategies and five domains of personality traits. The results displayed that there were relationships among variables but some subscales were related and some other was to some extent, related.

Index Items: Listening Comprehension, Metacognitive Strategies, Personality Traits

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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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