33 research outputs found

    The development of motivation research in educational psychology: the transition from early theories to self-related approaches

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    Motivation has been one of the earliest concepts of interest in general and educational psychology. Learning is mediated by individuals’ reasons and choices to do something or to abstain from it. The current paper is an attempt to summarise and review the development of motivation theories, models and frameworks within educational psychology. It specifically focuses on the emergence of self-related theories in motivation research. The earlier trends and theories such as expectancy-value theories, goal theories, and attribution theories are briefly described and the influential scholars who contributed to these theoretical developments are introduced. Then, the theoretical transition to self-related theories of motivation is highlighted. A general review of self-worth, self-determination and self-efficacy theories that stemmed from the concept of self is also provided

    Pragmatics: A Book Review

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    Pragmatics was written by Chapman (2011) and published by MPG Books Group, Bodmin and Kings Lynn in Great Britain. Chapman’s monograph offers a beautifully clear and wide-ranging introduction to all the major developments in core theoretical pragmatics, from the very beginning to the present day. With increasing scholarly interest in meaning in context in the field of linguistics (e.g. Halliday, 2001; Hasan, 2009; Van Dijk, 2009), it seems like a timely contribution. The author’s aims of this book are to describe both early and recent developments in pragmatics, and also to show how pragmatics relates to the study of language more generally. It does more than provide an introductory overview. It encourages the reader to engage with some of the fundamental issues faced by pragmatics, and to appreciate the current controversies and debates in which they are engaged. The primary aim of this book is to contribute students taking undergraduate degree level courses in pragmatics or in linguistics more generally,  it should also be useful to postgraduate students in these areas and to researchers in linguistics and related disciplines who are interested in finding out about what is currently going on in pragmatics

    Carroll's Autonomous Induction Theory: Combining Views from UG and Information Processing Theories

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    Without other mechanisms such as induction and parsers, UG-based approaches to linguistic cognition seem to fail to explain the logical problem of language acquisition. Hence, a property theory has to be adopted to combine UG views with other cognitive mechanisms like information processing and restructuring (Ellis, 2008). Pienemann (1998, 2003)'s Processibility Theory, and Levelt’s (1989) psycholinguistic theory of speech production, Jackendof's (1987, 1997, 2002) MOGUL, and Carroll’s (2001, 2002) Autonomous Induction Theory (AIT) are among the models which try to add new views to the UG-based approaches. Although suffering from a number of criticisms and having a high degree of abstractness, AIT with its major premises and conceptions related to the role of induction, attention, input, input processing, feedback, learning, and UG seems to be able to explain some of the UG enigma in second language acquisition

    An Activity Theory Perspective on the Role of Cooperative Assessment in the Reading Comprehension of Iranian EFL Learners

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    Reading comprehension has recently been reconceptualized in EFL reading instruction to foreground the importance of putting a social perspective on learning. Developed as a crucial aspect of Vygotskian sociocultural theory, activity theory views reading as a socially-mediated activity, for which the prerequisite cognitive processes are distributed among teacher, individual reader, other students, and artifacts (Cole & Engeström, 1993). Given that cooperation and division of labor are the central tenets of activity theory, this study aimed at investigating whether assessing cooperative learning had a decisive effect on the reading comprehension of Iranian EFL learners. To this end, 60 sophomores majoring in English translation at Islamic Azad University, Tehran Central Branch, were selected as the participants of the study. The reading instruction was geared to cooperative learning based on the elements of activity theory. Over the course of 12 weeks, both the process and products of cooperative reading were self-, peer-, and instructor-assessed. The findings indicated that assessing cooperative reading through the lens of activity theory had a significant effect on the participants’ reading comprehension. In addition, there was a statistically significant difference between the products of cooperative reading in predicting the participants’ reading comprehension posttest scores. Furthermore, the results showed that the participants held favorable perception toward activity theory-based cooperative assessment. The findings are hoped to shine a light on collective reading and highlight the need for more innovative constructivist approaches to EFL reading in Iran

    Development and Validation of an English Language Teacher Professional Identity Scale (ELTPIS)

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    The notion of teacher professional identity has become a regular fixture in numerous theoretical and empirical studies in both mainstream and L2 teacher education. Consequently, a number of scales have been designed and developed to quantify this construct. To be sure, the extant instruments are general with regard to both context and subject matter, and this line of inquiry has not addressed the quantification of the concept in the ELT profession. The present study was, therefore, an attempt to provide a (re)conceptualization of L2 teachers’ professional identity through exploring its underlying components. To this end, an initial 61-item, self-assessment questionnaire was developed using a comprehensive review of the related literature and experts’ opinion. The trial scale was then administered to a sample of 676 ELT teachers. Results of exploratory factor analysis reduced the instrument to 42 items, leading to a six-factor model which indicated that L2 teacher identity includes: researching and developing one’s own practice; language awareness; institutional and collective practice; engaging learners as whole persons; appraising one’s teacher self; and sociocultural and critical practice. Confirmatory factor analysis substantiated the resultant six-factor model as a robust and valid tool for measuring ELT teachers’ professional identity

    Learning to Become L2 Teachers: Prospective Teachers’ Professional Identity Development

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    Learning to teach is conceptualized as a complex process of identity development. To address this process, this study explored Prospective Teachers’ (PTs) professional identity development at different stages of learning to teach within a four-year Second Language (L2) initial teacher education program. Participating in a sequential explanatory mixed-methods approach, 140 PTs filled out the English language teacher professional identity questionnaire three times: at the end of the second year, third year, and fourth year. Then, after each round of the questionnaire administration, 12 PTs were asked to participate in the interview phase to gain further insight into the participants’ professional identity development. Three separate sets of Freidman test and grounded theory were employed to evaluate the questionnaire and interview data, respectively. The results of both quantitative and qualitative data analyses revealed that the second-year PTs’ language awareness had a major contribution to the enactment of collective identity of language analyst and language user roles as part of their professional identity. Teaching practicum experiences also helped the third-year PTs develop a sense of belonging to the school community by aligning themselves with its rules and policies, which helped them develop their professional identity in a prescribed manner, informing institutionally situated identity of formal teachers. The fourth-year PTs’ identification of themselves with regard to their prospective learners’ needs was also the identity development observed in the form of learner-oriented attitude toward learners as whole persons, all conducive to imagined future identity of needs analysts. The results and implications are further discussed

    Persian Speakers’ Recognition of English Relative Clauses: The Effects of Enhanced Input vs. Explicit Feedback Types

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    Despite consensus in focus on form (FOF) instruction over the facilitative role of noticing, controversy has not quelled over ways of directing EFL learners’ attention towards formal features via implicit techniques like input-enhancement or explicit metacognitive feedback and interactive peer-editing on the output they produce. This quasi-experimental study investigated the impact of input enhancement (IE), metalinguistic feedback (MF), and peer-editing (PE), on 73 intermediate female Iranian EFL learners’ recognition of relative clauses (RCs). The participants, in three intact classes ranged in age between 18 and 30, were randomly assigned as IE (N=23), MF (N=29), and PE (N=21) groups. The 18-session treatment in all groups was based on identical teaching materials and methodology following a reading to writing orientation focused on RCs. The only difference was related to the focus on form that was through enhanced reading texts in the IE group, metalinguistic feedback on discussion of content in the MF group, and peer-editing in pair-discussion of the content in the PE group. Two parallel sets of 40-item multiple choice researcher-made validated tests focused on RCs were employed to measure the participants’ recognition of RCs at the onset and the end of the study. The one-way between-groups analysis of covariance demonstrated significantly higher gains in the MF and PE groups compared to the IE group; the MF achieved higher levels of mastery. The findings highlight the effectiveness of MF and offer implications for more effective teaching of RCs to Iranian EFL learners

    The Effect of System-Nested, Genre-Oriented, Structurally-Mediated Model (SGSM) of Writing Instruction, and Swalesian Model (SM) upon Iranian Learners’ Writing Performance: A Comparative Study

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    The purpose of the present study was first to offer a tentative solution to the problems observed in writing pedagogy in Iran by devising a more comprehensive approach to genre-based writing instruction. In the second phase, a quasi-experimental research design was adopted to determine how effective the model was in writing instruction, compared with the traditional, product-oriented approach, as well as Swales’ genre-based approach. The participants were selected randomly and then divided into three groups: A control group (CG) (N=8) that received product-oriented instruction, Swales’ model (SM) group (N=8), and the system-nested, genre-oriented, structurally mediated model (SGSM) group (N=7). The results obtained through One-way ANOVA revealed that the SM group outperformed the CG group on the posttest of writing. Moreover, the SGSM group outperformed the other two groups on the posttest of writing. The pedagogical and theoretical findings of the study were then discussed.Keywords: writing, genre-based instruction, system-nested, genre-oriented, structurally-mediated mode

    Shedding Light on Ecological Critical Language Awareness Construct: A Questionnaire Development and Validation Study in the Iranian EFL Context

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    The study of ecolinguistics to date has been reserved for the field of discourse analysis. However, applying ecolinguistics in pedagogical contexts is a promising way to increase learners’ critical language awareness. To realize this potential, one needs validated measures to quantify learners’ critical language awareness in ecological contexts to conduct research in this field. In the absence of any instrument to measure language learners’ ecological critical language awareness, the researchers of this study developed and validated a questionnaire. An exploratory sequential mixed methods design with two phases was employed. In the exploratory and qualitative phases, the researchers defined the construct and developed a questionnaire based on the underlying factors of the construct. After taking several steps to ensure its content validity, the questionnaire was administered to 200 intermediate-level EFL learners who were selected through convenience sampling. In the quantitative phase, the participants were exposed to ecolinguiscally-informed teaching materials in an English pedagogical context. The collected data were analyzed, and Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA), Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA), Cronbach alpha coefficient for reliability indices, and model evaluation estimates were run to ensure the measure’s reliability and validity. EFA substantiated the initial components of the six-factor tentative construct. CFA gave statistical support to the six components as well. All components enjoyed high-reliability estimates. The calculated model-fit estimates verified the CFA model as a valid measure of ecological critical language awareness. The developed measure paves the way for further empirical investigation of ways to raise learners’ ecological critical language awareness in EFL contexts

    Strategically Mediated Reflective Practice Framework In Terms of Task, Meaningful Learning, and Interaction

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    It is widely accepted that reflective teaching in its purely cognitive and introspective sense cannot be responsive to the dilemmas and the problems with which teachers encounter during their teaching practice. Thus, the present study believes that the very tentative solution to this problem is introducing teacher education in general and reflective practice in particular from a sociocultural perspective where any sort of knowledge is dialogically constructed as a result of interaction among individuals. Although the shift in paradigm, i.e. moving from a cognitive position to a more situated and social epistemology in teacher education, has already been acknowledged and addressed by scholars such as Johnson (2006, 2009), Johnson and Golombek (2003), Golombek (2011), Freeman (2004), and Hawkins (2004), the current literature on teacher education reveals of no direct or serious attempt as a framework in which such a view has been put into practice in teacher education. As a result, the present study proposed a tentative framework under the rubric of ‘Strategically Mediated Reflective Practice’ (henceforth SMRP) framework that treats reflective practice largely as an interactive process rather than an individualistic and demonstrates how reflective practice is strategically mediated with the help of more knowledgeable others and new insights emerge resulting from dialogical thinking, highlighting the Vygotskian notion of Concept development. More importantly, examining the SMRP framework with four participants, the present study evidently reports the affirmative and constructive outcome of this framework on the utilitarian ground language teaching.
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