|1.||Investigating Gender-biased Items in a High-stake Language Proficiency Test: Using the Rasch Model Measurement|
Soodeh Bordbar, Seyyed Mohammad Alavi
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.73645 Pages 1 - 21
The consequential aspect of validity interprets the real and potential consequences of a test score, particularly when it comes to sources of invalidity related to the conceptions of fairness, bias, injustice, and inequity. Differential Item Functioning (DIF) analyzes the test items to evaluate test fairness and validity of educational tests. Besides, gender is mentioned as one of the elements that frequently acts as a source of construct-irrelevant variance. If gender imposes a large influence on the test items, it will bring about bias. In an attempt to explore validity and DIF analysis, the present study explores the validity of a high-stakes test and considers the role of gender as a source of bias in different subtests of language proficiency tests. To achieve this, the Rasch model was used to inspect biased items and to examine the construct-irrelevant factors. To obtain DIF analysis, the Rasch model was run to 5000 participants who were selected randomly from a pool of examinees taking part in the National University Entrance Exam for Foreign Languages (NUEEFL) as a university entrance requirement for English language studies (i.e., English literature, Teaching, and Translation). The findings reveal that the test scores are not free from construct-irrelevant variance and some misfit items were modified based on the fit statistics suggestions. By and large, the fairness of the NUEEFL was not confirmed. The results obtained from such psychometric assessment could be beneficial for test designers, stake-holders, administrators, as well as teachers. It also recommends the future administering standard and bias-free test and instructional materials.
|2.||A Corpus-Based Variation in the Processing of Determiners in Nigerian Undergraduates Descriptive Writing|
Anas Saidu Muhammad, Manvender Kaur Sarjit Singh
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.14237 Pages 22 - 38
In this study, we built a learner corpus, specifically the C-BUK corpus, to investigate variation in the processing of determiners in the descriptive ESL writing of the Nigerian undergraduate. The theoretical assumption that guides this study is that of the usage-based theory. Basically, the method applied in this study is the quantitative descriptive research design within the multi-dimensional corpus-based orientation. The findings showed that the overall undergraduates attained the highest frequency in processing the determiner capable of pronominal function (DD). This was followed by the singular determiners (DD1), the wh-question determiner (DDQ), post-determiners capable of pronominal function (DA), and pre-determiners capable of pronominal function (DB). These prove variant to the DDQGE, DDQV, DB2, DAR, DAT, DA1, DA2, and the DD2 forms of determiners, which were least processed. In terms of their gender variation, the females achieved higher frequencies in processing the DD, DD1, and DB, which was in variance to the males that attain a higher frequency in DDQ and DA. In terms of their ethnic group variation, the Igbo group achieved higher rates in DD1, DDQ, and DB. The Hausa group and the Yorùbá group attained higher rates in DA and DD respectively. The pedagogical implications suggest for the organization of seminars and the adoption of situated learning methods in order to enhance the Nigerian undergraduates English writing systems.
|3.||An Exploration of the Impact of Modalities of Error Feedback on Intermediate EFL Students’ Speaking Ability|
Azin Nasrollahi, Maryam Irandegani
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.65487 Pages 39 - 51
Over that past few decades, peer feedback has received substantial attention in language pedagogy. This study scrutinized the impact and the benefits of different modalities of error feedback on the oral proficiency of the intermediate EFL learners. To this end, 80 female learners in a high school were divided into four groups, namely, the intra-error feedback group (Intra-EF group), the inter-error feedback group (Inter-EF group), the teacher error feedback group (TEF group), and the control group. The study was conducted in eight sessions for the participants in the teacher error feedback group and the control group; and in nine sessions for the participants in the intra-error feedback group, and inter-error feedback group. Treatment sessions for the experimental groups included three sessions for completing the speaking activities tasks and three sessions for feedback conferences. Yet, the participants in intra-error feedback and inter-error feedback groups attended one extra session, during which the researcher guided them through the purposes and procedures of inter- and intra-feedback via instruction and modeling and with the help of a feedback sheet. The participants in all groups completed the same speaking activities under the same process of discussion, but received different modalities of error feedback in feedback sessions. Results revealed that different stages of peer error feedback (i.e., intra- and inter-error feedback), as well as teacher error feedback influenced the learners’ speaking ability. Moreover, peer error feedback and teacher error feedback exerted different effects on their speaking ability.
|4.||The Historical Detection of the Postmodern Man’s War Obsessions in Austor’s Man in the Darkness|
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2019.26349 Pages 52 - 61
Literature has always been one of the sources of inspirations and recording of the events of each era. Postmodern fictional works have tried to deal with the manifestation of postmodern man and his postmodern obsessions. This paper, hinging upon the text and context analysis, has tried to show Paul Austor’s tact in the revelation of postmodern man’s war obsession in his work Man in the Darkness. These have been presented via the lenses of postmodern narrative and plural histories as the prominent postmodern features. He has been able to make it clear that man in his body/soul, text/ context, and reality/fantasy is obsessed by war and postmodern world idiosyncratic obsessions the prominent of which is the threat of imminent war and is consequences and drawbacks on the mind, soul, context, reality, and fantasy of postmodern man at the mercy of diverse interpretations of texts and war events. These all may have been the imminent threats of international conflict or the like which has changed the war themes unstable, loose, and nebulous.
|5.||Reception of Literary Translation in Iran: A Case Study of Fasihi’s Translation into Persian of Aþk by Elif Þafak|
Ziba Ghamsarian, Mohammad Saleh Sanatifar
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.86580 Pages 62 - 73
Translation readers’ interest in classic or modern texts determines the translation trend in any society and culture. Not surprisingly, in the context of Iran where Irfan and mysticism have a long history, rich literature and cultural roots, translations of mystical books have received more attention. One literary work that has come to the center of attention is the novel Aþk written by the Turkish author Elif Þafak (2010) and translated as Mellat-e Eshgh into Persian by the famous Iranian translator, Arsalan Fasihi. The purpose of the present paper was to study from a cultural point of view how this translated novel has been received in Iran. To serve the purpose of the study and in light of the Juass’s reception theory, the researchers chose to interview five participants including the translator of the book. The results of the study revealed that the Persian translation of Aþk is well-received in Iran. It is argued that the role of the translator, the genre of the book, proper timing and locality, and the role of the publication and distribution are the most important causes behind the popularity of the translated novel.
|6.||Students` Satisfaction with their Achievement in English Program in the Junior High Schools|
Mehdi Moqadam Tabrizi
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.54227 Pages 74 - 83
Educational programs, wherever they take place and whomever the content and the results are intended for, are in constant need of revisions and decisions to be made as to the effectiveness of the program. Alderson and Genesee on the one hand and Upshur on the others maintain that the result of assessment can be used by different people and for different purposes. These assessments can measure learners` satisfaction as well which can be shown as the result of program evaluation and the very topic under study here. Although satisfaction has been introduced differently, it can be observed as an index of achievement and accomplishment in different learning environment which can lead to more engaged, motivated, and responsive learners. The sample in this study consisted of the students aged 13 to 15 and included both males and females. Stufflebeam`s CIPP-based questionnaire was used in this study. The data collected through the questionnaires were analyzed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 21.00. The chi-square result indicated dissatisfaction of the students with their achievement in the region.
|7.||Adequacy in Machine vs. Human Translation: A Comparative Study of English and Persian Languages|
Mehrdad Vasheghani Farahani
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.98700 Pages 84 - 104
Adequacy as the extent to which translation corresponds to the source text has always been a salient feature of any machine translation service. For this reason, the main objective of this comparative study was to analyze and compare translation adequacy in machine vs. human translation from English into the Persian language. In other words, this study sought to investigate whether machine translation product was adequate enough as compared to human translation. For this purpose, seven various texts were selected and translated from Persian to English by two translation students as well as machine translation services including Google Translate and Bing Translation. In addition, a reference translation by two expert translators was prepared against which human and machine translations were compared and analyzed. Moreover, the Sketch Engine software was exploited to analyze the translations. The results of the study revealed that there was no statistically significant difference between human and machine translations as compared to the reference translation and that machine translations were adequately appropriate translations. The findings of this research might have useful implications for research in the field of machine translations. In addition, the results of this research have practical implications for those who are interested in doing research in machine translation.
|8.||Conversational Maxims and Implicature in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Zulu Sofola’s Wedlock of the gods|
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.93685 Pages 105 - 120
The study focused on conversational maxims and Implicature in Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and The jewel and Zulu Sofola’s Wedlock of the gods. This study adopted content analysis as its research design. The data for the study were extracted from Wole Soyinka’s The Lion and the Jewel and Zulu Sofola’s Wedlock of the gods. The conversational maxims were identified in the data and interpreted, bearing in mind the context in which the maxims were used, and the implicature generated as a result of the violation of the maxims were examined and discussed. The findings revealed that the authors of the texts had a definite purpose for flouting the conversational maxims at some point, thereby generating conversational implicature. The findings also showed that there is a connection between the conversational maxims and conversational implicature because it makes the characters dialogue more effective, realistic and persuasive. The study concluded that the characters in the texts showed a high degree of cooperativeness in their expressions by employing the four conversational maxims, and regularly also, they violated the maxims in other to achieve their conversational goals.
|9.||Creating language awareness: Teaching and learning of remedial grammar and vocabulary for effective language use|
Al Muzzamil Fareen Jabbar
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.42104 Pages 121 - 136
Remedial language teaching is widely significant in identifying language related problems of the students and in providing them sufficient guidance to overcome from their language learning difficulties in academia. In this pursuit, Remedial English Course (REC) is introduced to the lateral entry students who have newly enrolled in the second year of Computer Science Engineering course in a reputed engineering college in Tamil Nadu, India. A diagnostic test is administered to analyze the language skills of the students. It is found that the students are almost poor in the basic grammar and they are not able to use appropriate vocabulary to construct good sentences. In light to overcome their language difficulties, a remedial course is conducted for developing their language skills to communicate effectively in both academic and social contexts. Error analysis and remedial measures for learning adequate grammar and vocabulary is undertaken to help the students explicitly learn language components in both discrete sentences and paragraphs. With teacher guided and peer reviewed learning process, students are made familiar to apply and understand the literary and practical use of language components to efficiently communicate in any given contexts.
|10.||Designing and Validating an English Language Acquisition Scale and Examining its Relationship with English Achievement and Teacher Effectiveness in EFL Classes|
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.39358 Pages 137 - 153
This study aimed to design and validate a questionnaire addressing factors which underline the characteristics of acquisition of English language in EFL classrooms and explore the relationship among the underlying factor of the questionnaire, the characteristics of teachers and Grade Four Senior High School (G4SHS) students’ achievement in EFL classrooms. To this end the 41-item English Language Acquisition Scale (ELAS) was designed by the researcher and administered to 518 G4SHS students. Also, to find the relationship among the ELAS, its latent variables, factors underlying English teachers’ attributes in EFL classes and students ‘achievement 126 participants were randomly selected out of population to answer the 102-item English Language Teachers’ Attribute Scale (ELTAS) and a Schema-Based Cloze Multiple-Choice Items Test (SBCMCIT) respectively. The results showed that the ELAS consists of five factors, that is, Learning booster, contribution, Engagement, Orientation and Criterion. When the ELAS and its underlying factors were correlated with ELTAS and its sub-constructs not only the scales themselves but also their underlying factors showed significant relationships with each other. Also, the ELAS and its underlying factors showed significant relationship with English achievement scores.
|11.||The Effect of Flipped Professional Development on Novice English Teachers’ Achievement|
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.03164 Pages 154 - 167
Flipped Learning is a rather new approach to teaching. In this approach, the place of teacher’ s lectures in the classroom and homework assignments are exchanged to enhance active learning, engagement, and achievement. Flipped learning can be applied for the professional development of pre-service and in-service teachers as well. This study investigated the effect of flipped professional development on the achievement of novice EFL teachers. For this purpose, 150 teachers were selected through purposive sampling from different language institutes and non-profit educational complexes such as Roshangar and Tazkieh in Tehran, District 2. The teachers were divided into experimental and control groups. The experimental group was attended the flipped classroom, whereas the control group attended traditional lecture-based classrooms (equal N=75). Based on the teachers’ needs, the course of “Classroom Management “was adopted to be taught in 6 weeks. “Farhangyada, “which is a learning management system, was employed to load the required material of the course for the experimental group. An instructor taught the content of the course for the control group in the traditional way. To collect data, pre-test and post-test were conducted to explore teachers’ achievement. Results indicated that teachers in the flipped professional development performed better than teachers in the traditional class.
|12.||The role of task-based translation teaching in the development of translation competence A study of Iranian translation trainees|
Hamed Ghaemi, Seyedhamed Sadoughvanini
doi: 10.14744/alrj.2020.17894 Pages 168 - 183
The present study aimed at investigating the role of task-based translation teaching in the development of translation competence. This study consisted of two phases including 1) questionnaire development phase and 2) investigating the impact of task-based translator training program on the development of translation competence (TC). In phase one, a questionnaire of translation competence acquisition was developed and validated for the Iranian context. In the second phase, two main types of translation tasks, i.e. technical tasks, and textual tasks, were selected and applied on the participants of two experimental groups. At the beginning and at the end of the treatment both experimental groups received TC questionnaire. The statistical analysis of the data revealed that there was a strong statistical difference between the mean score of TC in pretest and posttest at ∝=0.05. Also, considering TC components in ESG group, there was a considerable and statistically meaningful increase at ∝=0.05 from pretest to posttest. Likewise, as for all TC components in GT group, there was a substantial and statistically meaningful raise at ∝=0.05 from pretest to posttest. Finally, all TC components were compared individually in both ESG and GT groups to find out in which group the increase of TC components were statistically meaningful. The results showed that bilingual and instrumental sub-components had more significant growth in ESG group, while the other four components grew predominantly in GT group.