This article presents a study which aimed to explore in what ways Armenian EFL students use their English language knowledge outside the classroom. The study involved 38 EFL learners of different English proficiency levels, ages, and genders. Data were collected using surveys and in-depth interviews. Findings indicate that most of the Armenian EFL learners use English out of the class very often, especially with social media, listening to songs, watching movies and clips, as well as travelling and searching on the Internet. Based on the findings, specific recommendations are offered to bring the students’ interests into the classroom.
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Speaking has been increasingly promoted in curricula, both nationally and internationally, as one of the major aims of foreign language teaching. However, the unique features of this skill make it the most challenging one to assess. Portuguese EFL teachers seem to be at odds with suitable assessment procedures designed to monitor students’ progress. This paper examines the rationale underlying some of the core concepts on educational classroom-based assessment, including their definitions and key characteristics, as well as briefly outlining the theoretical premises of the communicative competence model designed by Canale and Swain to suggest what may be assessed. It also focuses on a new approach to language assessment – learning-oriented assessment, by highlighting its twofold potential to be the link between instruction and what is learned and to promote effective student learning. The paper concludes with two different practical examples of how to assess speaking in the classroom with a learning-oriented perspective in mind.
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The main aim of this study is to probe into major impediments in teaching literary criticism to the Persian speaking Iranian students of translation studies and to argue in which ways teaching literary criticism may be a successful undertaking in the educational establishments in globally less widely taught and learnt languages like Persian. For this purpose, following a mandatory literary criticism course, 35 male and 65 female graduate students from Fars and Isfahan universities were selected through convenience sampling and encouraged to fill in “record-of-work” forms, including reflection on learning strategies as well as their personal experiences and impressions. Next, to triangulate the results, fifty participants were selected to partake in semi-structured interviews, and findings were sorted and content analyzed based on Oxford’s (1990) dimensions of Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) and the tenets of grounded theory. It was revealed that there exist major defects with the current socio-pragmatic and pedagogical status of teaching literary criticism to the Iranian MA students and educational gaps are typically ascribed to the learners’ cultural conditions in Iranian EFL context. Results can hopefully provide EFL teachers with ways to recover defects in teaching literary criticism in less widely taught and learnt languages and provide learners with immediate feedback to meet cultural requirements in doing literary criticism.