|1.||Language Use among Secondary School Students in Kazakhstan|
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.29964 Pages 1 - 14
This study analyzes the results of a survey conducted among 76 urban high school students of both genders at a school in Astana, Kazakhstan, to compare patterns of language use among children from classes with Russian and Kazakh language of instruction. The study revealed that Russian continues to dominate most of the spheres of language use and is utilized as the main language of communication by over 50% of students enrolled in Russian classes, as well as the alternate language of communication with peers by around 70% of the Kazakh-speaking youth attending Kazakh classes. The study also revealed that immediate family, including parents and grandparents in particular, play an important role in preserving the use of Kazakh as the main language of communication. Seventy seven percent of students in Kazakh classes use exclusively Kazakh in communication with grandparents. Meanwhile, in bilingual and Russian-speaking families parents no longer push the use of Kazakh by children with only 19% of children using exclusively Kazakh with grandparents. Importantly, the study revealed that children in both groups increasingly rely on the use of Russian and English in communication across various modern media, such as TV and the Internet. The study concludes that the continuing dominance of Russian may create challenges for maintenance of Kazakh during introduction of trilingual education policy and recommends that greater attention should be paid by policy makers to development of Internet content in Kazakh, while ethnic Kazakh parents should maintain a stricter mono-lingula policy at home to preserve Kazakh.
|2.||Invitation Strategies as Produced by Yemeni EFL Learners|
Yahya Mohammed Ali Al marrani, Nabil Saleh Suraih
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.19483 Pages 15 - 34
The current study investigated the types of invitation strategies as produced by Yemeni EFL learners. The study participants were 171 undergraduate students from Sana’a University. All of the participants were relatively homogeneous in terms of their cultural background. The data were collected by using Discourse Completion Test (DCT). The analysis of the data was based on Suzuki (2009), Al-Khatib (2006), and Tillitt and Bruder (1999) classifications of invitation strategies. The results of the study showed that Yemeni EFL learners preferred to be direct in the use of the speech act of invitation making, with highest frequency of imperative strategy followed by Yes/No questions strategy. This might reveal a part of the influence of their mother tongue on their responses. They were also aware that direct invitations were generally acceptable in their culture. Moreover, the results of the study showed Yemeni EFL learners translated the utterances in their mother tongue into the target language without pondering the differences between the two languages in sentence patterns and word order. Implications of the study are provided as well.
|3.||The Match or Mismatch of EFL Students' Learning Styles and Writing Assignments|
Mohammad Aliakbari, Khalil Tazik
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.95967 Pages 35 - 47
Along with the ever-increasing attention to the learners and learning in ESL/EFL classrooms, language learning styles have been considered as the cornerstone of learners' successful achievements. Referent to this assumption, researchers often agree that accommodating teaching styles to students' learning styles and taking into account their individual differences in language classes can lead to improved learning. Therefore, this study intended to investigate the effects of accommodating writing assignments to the learning styles of EFL learners on their writing improvement. More specifically, the present research aimed at investigating the effect of visual style on improving EFL undergraduate students' writing. Accordingly, 22 EFL learners whose major learning styles were visual were selected as the participants of this study. To start with, a pretest was taken. Through the analysis of pretest scores, researchers commenced the instruction in about 10 sessions. During these sessions, one of the researchers instructed the participants, worked on their writings and gave assignments and topics which matched their style. At the end of the course, a posttest was administered and two raters, familiar with writing assessment, independently scored the writings, and then the means of pre and posttests were subjected to a matched t-test. Results (t= 2.379, sig. = 0.04, p<0.05) showed that giving writing tasks to the visual students based on their style improved their writing. In conclusion, if teachers take individual differences into account, especially in writing classes, more promotion in EFL undergraduate students' writing can be achieved.
|4.||An Investigation into the Developmental Patterns of Lexical Collocation among Iranian EFL Learners|
seyed Ali Mirsalari, Ali Darabi Bazvand, Alireza Khoram
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.02486 Pages 48 - 69
It is commonly accepted that collocations are of utmost importance in the field of L2 acquisition. However, EFL/ESL learners’ deficiency in knowledge of English collocations along with the trouble they encounter in learning and using them is well documented. Furthermore, it is not clear which pattern of lexical collocation (adjective + noun or verb + noun) exerts more degree of difficulty on learners. Therefore, the current study investigated the Iranian EFL learners’ (N=56) receptive and productive knowledge of collocations in one hand and tried to analyze the degree of difficulty each pattern of lexical collocation (adjective + noun or verb + noun) brings to bear on learners, on the other. To measure the learners’ knowledge of lexical collocation, the authors constructed, validated, and used a 100 test, consisting of 50 multiple choice and 50 blank-filling collocation items. Pearson correlation along with a series of paired-samples t-test was run to analyze the data. The findings of the study showed that 1) the participants’ receptive and productive knowledge of collocations are not significantly related to each other, 2) their productive knowledge of collocations lagged far behind their receptive knowledge of collocations, and 3) the participants’ performance was similar on the two patterns of lexical collocation tested. The findings of the study suggest the need for a broader view of knowledge of collocations and adopting a pedagogical approach to the teaching and learning of this important aspect of L2.
|5.||The Assessment of Oral Proficiency through Holistic and Analytic Techniques of Scoring: A Comparative Study|
Ehsan Namaziandost, Sheida Ahmadi
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.83792 Pages 70 - 82
It is an acutely hard and intricate matter to assess the skill of speaking. Holistic and analytic scoring are usually utilized as two methods of testing speaking performance. In the current study, these two methods of evaluating the spoken proficiency were examined in depth. English speaking skills of a total of 70 subjects, who were Iranian third-grade university EFL (English as a foreign language) learners, were assessed by an interlocutor and an assessor. The interlocutor carried out the holistic scoring while the assessor conducted the analytic scoring. Categories within the analytic scoring comprised of content and organization, pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar. The analytic average for the four criteria was 3.396, while the holistic scoring mean was 3.628. The findings revealed that there existed a statistically significant difference between the holistic and analytic methods of assessment as the p-value was calculated at 0.002 (p < 0.05). It is, thus, suggested that applying both techniques of scoring in the assessment process might be regarded suitable since they seem to supplement each other, and together help towards more comprehensive assessment.