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Amin Karimnia

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

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Amin Karimnia and Mahsa Mahjubi

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.

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Shahram Zadeh and Amin Karimnia

Short communications

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Frough Mehrparvar and Amin Karimnia

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.

Open access

Amin Karimnia and Fatemeh Mohammad Jafari

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.

Open access

Amin Karimnia and Mahmood Khosravani

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.