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ALRJournal: 3 (5)

Volume: 3  Issue: 5 - 2019

ORIGINAL RESEARCH
1.The Role of Human Agents for Language Maintenance of a Chinese Community in Malaysia
Teresa Wai See Ong
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.73745  Pages 1 - 18
Language planning and policy plays a vital role in language maintenance and language shift studies. In this study, the purpose was to examine the role of human agents in Chinese community language maintenance in Malaysia, specifically in Penang, due to its long history of being a Chinese settlement. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 46 participants from three groups. Haugen’s (1972) 10 ecological questions were employed to assist in data analysis. The findings showed that at the macro level, the Penang Government, the official actors did not play an important role in maintaining Chinese community languages in Penang, while at the meso and micro levels, the Chinese community in Penang and individual parents, the community-based and grassroots actors put in many efforts to ensure that the younger generation continues to learn and speak Chinese community languages. This study contributes to a deep understanding of the roles played and efforts made by three groups of human agents, macro, meso, and micro, in Chinese community language maintenance at three levels of organisation in Penang and that they differ due to socioeconomic pressure.

2.The Effect of Genre-based Instruction of Humorous Narrative Texts on EFL Learners’ Writing Performance
Payman Rezvani
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.74946  Pages 19 - 31
This qusi-experimental study investigated the instructional efficacy of genre-based instruction along with humorous texts on Iranian EFL learners' writing performance.Out of 90 participants, 60 EFL male and female students at university level, with the age range of 19-28, based on a standard profeciency test, Preliminary English Test (PET), were selected and randomly assigned into the control and experimental groups. Each group contained 30 students for which a pre-test and post-test were administered. The teaching materials of narrative texts were prepared in a way to conform to the genere-based approach;however, to the experimental group, humorous texts were assigned. The results of the study, based on statistical analysis of One Way ANOVA, indicated that the genre-based+humorous texts methodology had significant effects on the EFL learners' writing performance. It revealed the fact that using genre-based instruction along with humorous texts might be benificial to the English langauge teaching pedagogy.

3.The Effect of Unfocused Direct and Indirect Written Corrective Feedback on the Implicit and Explicit Grammatical Knowledge and Writing Accuracy of EFL Learners
Zohreh G. Shooshtari, Sedigheh Vahdat, Mohammadreza Negahi
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.62533  Pages 32 - 48
This study investigated the effect of direct and indirect unfocused written corrective feedback (WCF) on the implicit and explicit grammatical knowledge as well as the writing grammatical accuracy of Iranian EFL learners in their new pieces of writing. To that end, 90 participants selected from a statistical pool of 380 EFL learners in seven private English language institutes were assigned into two treatment groups of unfocused direct and indirect WCF and one control group via random matching technique to receive the intended treatment. Five instruments, namely, Timed Grammaticality Judgment Test, Metalinguistic Knowledge Test, Untimed Grammaticality Judgment Test, Oral Imitation Test, and Writing Test were used to measure the probable learning gains in implicit/explicit grammatical knowledge and the writing accuracy of the participants due to the treatment. In turn, the statistical analyses of MANCOVA, MANOVA, and one-way ANOVA were used to analyze the data. Although no significant difference was identified between the two types of WCF in learning gains, the results showed that these two types of instructional treatment helped improve the explicit and implicit grammatical knowledge as well as the writing accuracy of the participants. Theoretical and pedagogical implications of the findings are discussed.

4.An Ethnographic Study on Beliefs and Attitudes of Some Brazilian Teachers of English
Flávius Almeida Dos Anjos, Denise Scheyerl
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.49368  Pages 49 - 62
Many specialists agree that beliefs have a powerful impact on teachers practices. However, it should be taken into account that their attitudes affect their practices as well. This paper is about English language teachers´attitudes and beliefs. The objective was to share some data from an ethnographic research developed with a group of high school English teachers from Brazil. The research data ratified our hypothesis of the existence of a relatioship between belief and attitude, what, to us, until then, was a gap in the studies of Applied Linguistics. Although initially we had in mind the idea that attitudes could generate beliefs, we verified that attitudes are part of beliefs as well as they are personal, contextual, and incidental, what we explain in this paper. The data were collected through an interview and a questionnaire, which made it possible, based on the teachers’ statements, to figure out how beliefs and attitudes operate and converge. That is why a study as this is relevant since it can contribute to the field so that teachers can understand even better their pedagogical settings.

5.Nٍorth Cyprus ELT Students` Attitudes toward the Effectiveness of the Anti-Plagiarism Software, Turnitin
Ebrahim Mohammadkarimi, Momen Yaseen M. Amin
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.66376  Pages 63 - 75
Students assessment is one of the essential components of education to evaluate the effectiveness of a program and decision makings. Anti-plagiarism software packages are widely used in many universities and institutions to assess students` performance in their assignments and papers and to give them feedback. This study attempted to investigate students` background and familiarity regarding the concept and kinds of plagiarism, their reasons for plagiarizing, suggestions for avoiding it, and their attitudes toward effectiveness of the anti-plagiarism software Turnitin. Using survey and open-ended questions, followed up by interview, in this study we analyzed the collected data from 42 university students in the department of English Language Teaching (ELT) in North Cyprus. This study triangulated data collection tools by using surveys and interviews, also the data were analyzed with SPSS 21.0. The results of survey revealed the students` familiarity with the concept and kinds of plagiarism and their reasons for plagiarizing, open-ended questions concerned with ways of avoiding plagiarism, their attitude toward effectiveness of the anti-plagiarism software, specifically Turnitin and their previous formal studies about plagiarism. In additions, the interview focused on the confirmation of survey and open-ended questions as well as the extent of intentionality of plagiarizing and their extra suggestion.

6.Pragmatic Competence of Young Children: A Case Study of Thanking, Requesting, and Apologizing
Ali Darabi Bazvand, Alireza Khoram
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.47965  Pages 76 - 86
Effective communication requires pragmatic competence. Such competence involves the correct use of conversational norms and extends beyond the literal meanings of words and sentences. This paper examined the pragmatic competence of elementary school children who spoke Persian as their native language. It investigated three types of speech acts (Thanking, Requesting, and Apologizing) represented in young children’s performance (N=10) by answering to a discourse completion test (DCT) questionnaire. Qualitative analysis of the data shows that children like adults use different strategies of politeness in the form of both Face Enhancing Act (FEA) and Face Threatening Act (FTA).Positive direction strategies were adopted in the FEAs for thanking and apologizing, whilst negative direction strategies were embraced in FTAs for requesting. It was also shown that in some instances, children’s linguistic and pragmatic ability is immature. It was concluded that Persian young children like adults follow universal rules regarding the acquisition of pragmatic features, irrespective of the cultural or environmental contexts in which they embark on pragmatic rules. Implications of the study are also presented.

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