‘The Impact of Cultural Orientation on EFL Learners’ Reading Comprehension and Achievement Motivation’ by MINA SADEGHI, JAHANBAKHSH NIKOOPOUR & FARSHAD AGHVAMI

Abstract

This study investigated the effect of cultural orientation on reading comprehension and achievement motivation of the EFL learners. To conduct this study, the researcher recruited 60 Iranian EFL learners at language institutes. All learners were selected from the intermediate level. They were assigned to two groups; experimental and control groups. The researcher used a number of cultural concepts and orientated the learners to these concepts as treatment in the experimental group. After the treatment the researcher administered the reading comprehension post test to measure the participants’ reading comprehension and a questionnaire to assess their achievement motivation. The findings showed the impact of familiarity with the cultural concepts before starting the reading texts on the participants’ reading comprehension and their achievement motivation.

Key words: culture, reading, EFL learners

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‘The Relationship between Critical Thinking and Reading Strategies Regarding Goals and Objectives in the Process of Curriculum Development’ by MANSOUR FAHIM & ASGHAR AFSHARI

Abstract

The current empirical study has attempted to determine if there is any significant relationship between critical thinking of Iranian fresh EFL learners and  those categories of reading strategies (cognitive, meta-cognitive)regarding goals and objectives in the process of curriculum development that are mostly used by EFL learners. Thirty Iranian EFL Fresh female students studying in a private institute in Tehran in Iran participated in this study. Based on the purposes of the study, two questionnaires were administered to the participants: a critical thinking questionnaire and a reading strategy questionnaire based on the goals and objectives in the process of curriculum development. Results of the study showed that the most frequently used reading strategies regarding the goals and objectives in the process of curriculum development were meta-cognitive strategy and cognitive strategy. Statistical analyses revealed no correlation between learners’ critical thinking ability and their overall use of reading strategies regarding the goals and objectives in the process of curriculum development.

Keywords: Cognitive strategy; curriculum development, metacognitive strategy; critical thinking

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‘The Impact of Teacher Self-disclosure on Iranian EFL Learners’ Language Proficiency’ by AMIR REZA NEMATTABRIZI & MAHNAZ POUYAN

Abstract

The present study was an attempt to investigate the effect of Iranian English teachers’ self-disclosure in their classroom practices on students’ general language proficiency. To do so, following a test of language proficiency (TOEFL PBT), 52 Iranian EFL learners at the advanced level were randomly divided into two control and experimental groups. The experimental group received practices followed by teacher’s self-disclosure, while the control group did not follow this procedure. Following the treatment which lasted 25 sessions, both groups were subjected to another version of the TOEFL test as the post-test of the study to identify any improvements in their performance. The results revealed that teacher self-disclosure can positively influence students’ language proficiency.

Key words: Teacher self- disclosure, language proficiency, TOEFL, Iranian EFL Learners

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‘Engineering Humanism in EFL Classroom: Depicting an Optimal Zone’ by KATAYOON MANSOURI

Abstract

The purpose of humanistic education is educating the whole person-the intellectual and the emotional aspects. Similarly, Lei (2007) believes that the aim of the humanistic educations is   not only developing the cognitive and linguistic capabilities of the learners but also paying attention to the learners’ emotions and feelings. Arnold (1998) goes on to hold that humanistic language teaching does not mean to substitute the cognitive for the affective, but rather to add the affective. This paper first presents a brief overview of philosophy, rational and principles of humanism, then some points to humanize materials are recommended. Afterwards, an optimal zone is regarded for humanism, and at last some critical points are mentioned.

Key Words: Humanism, Humanizing materials, Optimal zone, Optimal learning

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‘Interaction Hypothesis: A Comprehensive Theory of SLA?’ by FARID GHAEMI & NASER SALEHI

Abstract

The role of interaction in second language acquisition has always been controversial. A bunch of theories have been proposed as to the role of “nature” or “nurture” in SLA. Interaction Hypothesis (IH) introduced by Long accepts the role of “nurture” in SLA claiming that negotiation of meaning through interaction can facilitate the process of language learning. In this review, the IH will be evaluated according to Jordan’s Guidelines for theory construction in SLA. The findings show that IH generally conforms to the Guidelines and, apart from some shortcomings, can be considered a progress toward constructing a comprehensive theory of SLA. Finally, Ellis’s Interactionist Theory, a combination of IH and socio-cultural theory, is suggested as an updated version of IH.

Key words: Interaction Hypothesis, Second Language Acquisition, SLA theory

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‘Convergence and Divergence in British and American English: Culinary Vocabulary’ by ELAHEH JALILI ME’MARIAN

Abstract

This article explores the possible Convergence and/ or Divergence in “culinary vocabularies used in British English and American English”. This article explores ways to describe and understand the evolution of English language. The idea for this article formed when during a talk with friends, I conceived that there are different words for naming the same foods in close languages, and even within the same language. To put this idea into perspective, I fielded this question that “do the culinary vocabularies in American and British English are on a trend toward convergence or a divergence?” This study seems to have addressed an issue which has not seemingly been attended to yet under a linguistics umbrella. Therefore, this study focuses on depicting the possible future of these two varieties of English in terms of their historical and sociolinguistic changes. The historical and sociolinguistic changes include such features as “fashion”, “external factors”, and “social needs”. A similar survey including fifteen American and fifteen British students in an age range of 18-30, with the purpose of determining the interaction between the two varieties of English, it was found that the culinary vocabularies used by the two groups of speakers do not follow a total converging trend; with such words being in a constant partial convergence and divergence state.

Keywords: Language change, British English, American English, Culinary vocabulary, Divergence, Convergence

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‘Phonological Contrastive Analysis of Supra-Segmental Features RP and GIE with Special Focus on Gujarati Phonology’ by Paresh Joshi

Abstract

Present paper is an endeavour to investigate underlying differences in supra-segmental features of Received Pronunciation (RP) and General Indian English (GIE), particularly Gujarati English Phonology (GEP). The analysis takes into consideration peculiar features of all the three phonologies i.e. RP, GIE and phonology of Gujarati English.

Although a contrastive analysis of RP and GIE will bring out gross phonological peculiarities of all the Indian Speakers of English including Gujarati Speakers of English (GSE), the rationale for such a contrastive analysis is to arrive at gross phonological features which are very peculiar to GSE under the influence of Gujarati phonology with a view to devising pedagogical strategies to resolve pronunciation problems pertaining to supra-segmental phonology there by enhancing the international intelligibility of GSE.

Key words: Contrastive Analysis, Supra-Segmental Phonology, Received Pronunciation (RP), General Indian English (GIE), Gujarati English Phonology (GEP), Non-native speakers (NNS), Guajarati Speakers of English

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