E-ISSN 2651-2629
Applied Linguistics Research Journal - ALRJournal: 4 (2)
Volume: 4  Issue: 2 - 2020
1.Attitudinal and Affective Classroom Ecology and Atmosphere
Mehran Memari, Azar Gholamshahi
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.92400  Pages 1 - 14
The most important tool in creating a positive classroom atmosphere and classroom ecology is for the teacher to be a positive role model. A positive classroom environment does not just happen; the teacher creates it. There are a number of ways teachers can create positive classroom environments. In our review of the current literature, no a study was found in Iran to address this issue or make recommendation for specific classroom practices to achieve better results. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the role of school environmental and ecological factors in the language teaching-learning process in a classroom. The data were gathered via administration of semi-structured interviews with 40 Iranian advanced EFL male and female learners with more than 3 years of English education from different language institutes. Audiotaped interviews from the participants were transcribed in detail and the results were classified into three main categories: Materials used in the class, teacher practices to motivate students, and physical environment of the classroom. Student needs, teacher practice related to creating motivation, being friendly, being funny and energetic, and skill were the major material features observed in the study. Results also showed different physical environment features impacting the language teaching-learning process consisted of facility, positive classroom environment, and unmotivated classmates, friendly classmates, and some other miscellaneous variables. In conclusion, most of the participants claimed that the teacher was a key component in each class, by guiding the class so that learning was either facilitated or made more difficult. These findings also have important implications for teacher training, materials development and teachers.

2.Pinkfong Stories in Extending Utterances to Young Indonesian EFL Learners: A Case Study
Muhammad Arif, Sulis Triyono, Wening Sahayu
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.29981  Pages 15 - 24
Motivation has become an issue that is encountered by EFL learners in learning foreign language to early children. In the context of preschools and kindergartens, majority of learners use the conventional drill method to memorize utterances. However, it is bound to fail in maintaining genuine interest of young children and developing natural learning motivation. This article intended to verify preaching among genuine materials such as well-liked children songs and videos, the effect of the level of unknown utterance, and the growth of their learning stimulus. The One Environment-One Language (OEOL) approach was devised in this occasion. It observed the learning growth of a six years old preschooler in twelve months interval assessment. The speaking outcomes which promote this approach in home settings, made full use and derive the benefit of Pinkfong Stories.

3.The Effects of Direct and Indirect Written Corrective Feedbacks on the Business Communication Texts of Technical University Students in Ghana
Edward Owusu
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.46320  Pages 25 - 39
Grading of texts is a major issue in the field of teaching and learning of Business Communication. One emerging technique used in grading students’ texts is corrective feedback. This research was an effort to investigate the effects that direct and indirect written corrective feedbacks had on the business letters of students of Ho Technical University, Ghana. Forty HND 1 (first year) students in the Department of Marketing from the 2016/2017 Academic Year batch of Ho Technical University were the selected participants for this qualitative study. A total of 80 raw data were solicited from the participants. These comprise 40 pre-test and 40 post-test materials (80 texts). Each participant composed two letters – one at the pre-test level and the other at the post-test level. After the pre-test, the texts of the students were divided into two groups. The texts of the first group (DF) were graded using direct feedback method and those of the other group (IF) were graded using indirect feedback method. After the pre-test, the participants were asked to rewrite the business letter. The results from the post-test showed that students performed better at the post-test level when direct feedback technique was applied on their pre-test texts.

4.Trying Self- and Peer-assessment with Intermediate Spanish Students of English
Juan Carlos Araujo Portugal
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.69885  Pages 40 - 53
Assessment is a vital element in any teaching-learning process. Traditionally, the teacher has been the only one responsible for it, especially in the case of summative assessment. The information gathered from it allows teachers to make important decisions as regards their students’ learning process, e.g. to obtain a certificate, to promote onto a higher level, etc. However, new forms of assessment - mainly self- and peer-assessment - are becoming more and more popular, and are being seen as ways of formative assessment that may help students make informed decisions about their own learning process, while becoming more autonomous at the same time. This paper presents the first experience of self- and peer-assessment of two groups of intermediate Spanish students of English and their main impressions about it. According to them, it seems that most of the students consider the experience of alternative assessment useful, particularly as a way to prepare their oral exam. It is hoped that it will serve as the basis for autonomous work and learning in this sense.

5.Acquisition of English Auxiliary Stranding Constructions by Persian EFL Learners
Fatemeh Khezri, Mohammad Javad Rezai, Mohammad Hasan Razmi, Najmeh Dehghani Tafti
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.13008  Pages 54 - 67
English verb phrase ellipsis (VPE) is among the constructions posing learnability problems for Persian learners of English. Just like English, v-stranding VPE in Persian requires (a) the presence of an overt, tense inflecting head, and (b) the satisfaction of an antecedence condition that enforces identity of the target and phrases. Regarding auxiliary stranding in English, the auxiliary be, unlike have, is not allowed to strand, because -ing carrying an aspectual interpretable feature cannot be deleted unless the progressive interpretation is recoverable. This study investigated whether Persian EFL learners could acquire the verb phrase ellipsis in general and the difference between be and have stranding constructions in particular. To this end, 60 intermediate and advanced English as a foreign language (EFL) participants and 10 native speakers of English completed an acceptability judgment task and a translation task. The results proved the Persian EFL learners' ability in the acquisition of the syntactic and discoursal properties of VPE constructions, confirming the role of first language (L1) cross-linguistic influence. On the other hand, the intermediate EFL learners’ comprehension and production of the auxiliary stranding constructions were inconsistent, confirming the Interpretability Hypothesis. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

6.Investigating Inside Reading Textbook Series: Layout and Coherence in Focus
Mehrdad Vasheghani Farahani, Omid Rezaie, Milad Massomzadeh
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.42714  Pages 68 - 80
The attempt of this research was to analyze Inside Reading Textbook Series in terms of layout and coherence. Twenty male and female EFL teachers who had been teaching these series were selected to be interviewed about their ideas on these textbooks. The results of the study showed that 5 out 16 reading texts were in the area of students’ interest since their topics were in relation with the culture, society, tradition and history. Three of the texts were reported lacked students' interests (from instructors’ attitudes) due to the fact that they were both about unfamiliar topics that students did not have any background information about and were not related to the students' cultural, social or historical background. Almost all mentioned reading texts were perceived very intriguing and considered apt for students' level of comprehension or vice versa. All the visual aids which were used considered to be highly purposeful; however, two of them, among all, as stated by teachers, were not useful. The style of written format as well as the size of the readings passages were seen particularly appropriate for learners too.

7.The Effect of ZPD-activated Instruction on EFL Learners’ Vocabulary Knowledge and Written Lexical Density
Vahid Pahlevansadegh, Azizullah Mirzaei
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.43153  Pages 81 - 96
Vygotsky’s Sociocultural Theory (SCT, 1978) of human learning focuses on human cognitive development and its origination in social interaction. One of Vygotsky’s notions is the zone of proximal development (ZPD). This study sought to examine the effect of the ZPD-activated vocabulary instruction (i.e., collaborative dialogue and scaffolding) on Iranian EFL learners’ vocabulary knowledge, their written lexical density, and their domain-specific vocabulary use in writing outputs. Forty male and female EFL students from language institutes in Isfahan (Iran) took part in the study in the form of a pretest-posttest-comparison-group design. A pretest was administered to the first 2 groups (i.e., vocabulary and lexical density groups) to ensure their homogeneity in the control and experimental groups. Afterwards, the control group was taught using their EFL textbooks without any use of ZPD-activated vocabulary instruction, whereas the second group was taught through ZPD-activated vocabulary instruction and received scaffolding. The experimental and control groups also performed 3 writing tasks related to their use of domain- specific vocabulary that was taught to them previously in order to check the effect of ZPD-activated vocabulary instruction on domain-specific vocabulary use. After the instructions, the first 2 groups received a posttest to check the participants’ vocabulary achievement and their lexical density improvement in their writing. The ANCOVA and independent samples t-test results for all groups showed that the experimental group developed great gains of vocabulary, lexical density and domain-specific vocabulary in their writing output, whereas the control group, which was taught using conventional techniques in vocabulary teaching showed a small development in their vocabulary knowledge, lexical density and domain-specific vocabulary knowledge. Further, the results showed that scaffolding was most effective in improving learning. The findings have implications for implementing ZPD-based activities in L2 classrooms.

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