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  • Author: Amin Karimnia x
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Short communications. Book review: Jenny Reeves & Alison Fox (Eds.), Practice-Based Learning: Developing Excellence in Teaching. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press 2008, 87 pp

Short communications

The current study was targeted at investigating the relationship between translation students’ personality types and the quality of their English-to-Persian translations with respect to different text types. To this aim, 35 undergraduate senior students of translation were randomly sampled. To obtain some demographic information about the participants, the researchers used a background questionnaire. The participants were given three different text types for the translation task. An advertisement, a scientific text and a narrative text were chosen to serve Reiss’ text typology (1971) including operative, informative and expressive texts, respectively. The students were also provided with retrospective questionnaires to shed light on their performance in the act of translating. Subsequently, once the participants’ personality types were determined via the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) anchored in Jung’s psychological theory, their dominant mental functions involving intuition, sensation, feeling and thinking were identified. To analyze the data, the One-way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) procedure and post-hoc analysis were employed. The results of the study indicated that the only dichotomy showing a significant difference was that of intuition versus sensation. Simply put, the intuitors outperformed their sensor counterparts in the translation of the expressive text. Taking into account the findings of the current study, the researchers suggest some pedagogical guidelines too.

Summary

This study investigated the medical students’ English language learning needs and their perceptions of ESP courses in an academic environment. To do this, 100 medical students studying medical sciences in the faculty of medicine in Mashhad, Iran, were selected as the participants. Hutchinson and Waters’ target language needs analysis framework was drawn on as the analytic model guiding the study. A needs analysis questionnaire was used for data collection. The questionnaire designed to identify the learners’ perceptions of the frequency of English language skills/sub-skills use, the importance of English language learning, their ability in using language skills, their needs of language learning and their preferences of an English language course. After gathering and analyzing the data, it was found that reading skill is given priority by the students in terms of frequency of use, importance and proficiency. It also revealed that students need and prefer training in speaking, listening and communication skills. Considering the students’ perceptions of the current ESP course, the findings implied that the English language skills incorporated in the current ESP book for the medical students and the allocated time for this course are not compatible with the English language learning needs and wants of the students.

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between English teachers’ epistemological beliefs and moral dilemma. In doing so, 70 English teachers were selected from different language institutes and were included in the research sample. The instruments used to collect the data included the Schommer Epistemological Questionnaire (SEQ) and the Defining Issues Test (DIT). The collected data were analyzed using Pearson Product Moment Correlation method and descriptive statistics in SPSS software. The findings revealed that the participants believed that knowledge improves with experience over time, and that there was also an innate ability to acquire knowledge. They also displayed conflicting views about the simplicity/complexity of knowledge. The analysis of different stages of moral development in the views of the English teachers showed an ascending trend in the moral development from stage 2 (the focus on personal interests) through stage 6 (appeal to intuitive moral principles/ideals). Besides, significant differences were found among different stages of moral development as assessed by the EFL teachers and also in terms of the impact of different moral reasoning schemas on the participants when making judgments about different moral dilemmas.

Abstract

Effective teaching is considered to be one of the factors that can facilitate learner achievement. The present study investigated the indicators that constituted good teaching from the perspective of higher-education students at Applied Linguistics departments, Iran. To do this, following a substantial review of the literature, the five major indicators (with their sub-components) defining teaching effectiveness were identified (viz. Preparation-Organization, Knowledge, Learning-Thinking, Enthusiasm and Delivery). Next, the questionnaire developed by Delaney et al. was administered to 80 higher-education students who were selected through convenience sampling by emails. The open-ended nature of the data needed a manual approach to the analysis and coding of the data. Overall, 13 final characteristics were observed based on the analysis and were further discussed and elaborated on.

Summary

Since textbooks are one of the integral components of the learning process, their evaluation is important to improve their correspondence to the learners’ needs and goals. Particularly, in societies in which English is used as a foreign language, ESP textbooks play a crucial role in developing students’ skills of English in job-related situations. The present paper discusses the quality of ESP textbooks by performing a case study of an English for Specific Purposes (ESP) textbook “English for the students of Visual Arts (Painting, Graphics, & Sculpture)” developed and published by SAMT as the pioneer in developing ESP textbooks in Iranian academic setting. The study tries to investigate the overall suitability and pedagogical value of the ESP textbook and the features which make it distinguishable among its global counterparts. The study was carried out by drawing on a model proposed by McDonough and Shaw (2003), with an intention to evaluate the present quality of the Visual Arts ESP textbook critically. Both visual and content-based aspects of the book were thoroughly evaluated to identify their general pedagogical value by using the method of qualitative descriptive analysis. In that way, the Visual Arts textbook was analysed on the basis of the framework and guidelines suggested in the available checklist. In addition, semi structured interviews with graduate students, English instructors, subjectspecific instructors, and experts in Visual Arts Courses such as Painting were performed to clarify their opinions about the need for ESP and to analyze their perceptions of English language in general and English for special purposes in particular. The findings of the present study have revealed that there is a fundamental necessity for revision and development of future ESP textbooks in Iranian context. Moreover, the findings imply that traditional materials and frameworks are not responsive to students’ needs and genre knowledge in majors of the Visual Arts.

Summary

The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of the use of communicative methods and form-focused methods as implemented in English for Specific Purposes (ESP) courses. To accomplish this, two groups of management students were selected for the study. Each group consisted of 30 participants. Their level of proficiency in English and their subject matter knowledge were tested through a sample of IELTS and a pre-test. The two groups were at the same level of proficiency in both general English and English for Students of Management before receiving treatment in 20 sessions within a period of 75 days. Participants in Group A received a form-focused method with some occasional uses of their L1. In Group B, however, the participants were exposed to a communicative ESP course which exclusively relied on English the L2. After the period of treatment, the two groups were examined via a post-test. Results showed that Group B was more successful in the post-test. Moreover, the learners who were proficient in English and the subject matter achieved more from the communicative methods of language teaching in the ESP course. Findings imply that the nature of the subject matter, or whether it is theoretical or applied, could be a factor in deciding a method of language teaching for ESP courses.

Abstract

This study investigated Nowruz (Persian New Year) messages by Presidents Hassan Rouhani and Barack Obama in March 2016. The study critically analyzed the discourse of these two presidential messages and uncovered the hidden aspects of their ideologies, policies, and background worldviews. In doing so, an integrated version of Halliday’s systemic functional grammar (SFG) and critical discourse analysis (CDA) was used. The analysis of data included various linguistic dimensions (e.g. processes, modality, transitivity) of the messages and their statistics. Although results suggested that Obama intended to build a more intimate situation, both presidents tried to inspire a spirit of action, development and effort in their respective governments. The messages did not reveal considerable thematic differences, except some discoursal religious features expressed in Rouhani’s message.

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