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A Clash of Learning Cultures? Expatriate TEFL Teachers in Brunei Darussalam

A Clash of Learning Cultures? Expatriate TEFL Teachers in Brunei Darussalam

In the course of research done over the last three years, a number of both expatriate and local EFL teachers, working in Brunei classrooms, have been surveyed and interviewed (Nicol, 004). The teachers expressed strong concerns about the suitability of the O level examination and the disappointing level of English achieved by the students at upper secondary level. While this view was very much in the foreground, there was nonetheless a strong view amongst the expatriate teachers that there was a further obstacle to the learning of English in local schools. (What follows is written from their point of view. Obviously there is another view of the situation, but this has yet to be investigated). This was harder to pin down, but centred on the fact that the values held by school administrators and inspectors differed significantly from their own beliefs. This was a clash that was possibly hindering progress in their classrooms. This study aims to examine their claims more closely, and to answer the following questions: 1) Is there a clash of learning/teaching style that causes problems for
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Metacognitive Learning Strategies and Academic Success of TEFL M.A. Students in Distance Education

Metacognitive Learning Strategies and Academic Success of TEFL M.A. Students in Distance Education

In this study, the target population consisted of TEFLM.A. students of distance education. The sample based on availability consisted of 36 TEFL M.A. students. The sample consisted of 8 males and 28 females. Their ages ranged from 22 to 45. The data was collected during the second semester of 1385-6 Iranian academic year (2007). In order to collect the needed data a questionnaire was used. The questionnaire consisted of two parts. One part sought some Bio- data which consisted of participants' age, sex, and the number of university credit hours taken. To measure the use of MLS, part D of Oxford's (1990) Strategy Inventory for Language Learning (SILL) i was used. This inventory uses a 5 point Likert-scale for which the learners are asked to indicate their response (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) to a strategy description (1. Never or almost never true of me; 2. Generally not true of me; 3. Somewhat true of me; 4. Generally true of me; 5. Always or almost always true of me). Part D is concerned with MLS which are the focus of the present study. This questionnaire has been presented in two versions. Version 5.1 contains a total of 80 items of which 16 items assess the use of MLS by English speakers who are learning a foreign language. Version 7.0 contains 50 items of which 9 items assess the use of MLS by EFL and ESL students. In regards to version 7.0, Oxford states that: "The language is very simplified, but this version [version 7.0] operates similarly to Version 5.1 in most other respects" (Oxford, 1990, p. 199). Therefore, it was decided to use part D of 5.1 Version; however, to minimize the effect of misinterpretation of the items by the subjects it was decided to translate them into Farsi. The translated version was checked by a professional translator for accuracy. It was attempted to find possible associations between students’ average scores and items of the questionnaire. In doing so, at first the means, standard deviations, and rank orders for each item were calculated. Next, for the purpose of analysis, the subjects were divided into the two groups of low and high achievers. Since the subjects average scores were between 12 and 18 (out of 20), the ones with averages below 15 were put in the low achievers and the ones with averages above 15 were put in the high achievers group. The tests used to find possible associations were Somers’d asymptotic tests. To measure correlations, Spearman correlation coefficients were calculated.
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TEFL principles for teaching English in changing Times

TEFL principles for teaching English in changing Times

Today’s society is influenced by new information technologies, which causes important sociological changes that impact education. As such, the field of EFL today demands different abilities and attitudes from teachers. This paper has two objectives: first, to initiate a reflection on the EFL teachers’ role, taking as an assumption that teachers have been influenced by cultural background experiences in their professional development and that this has caused them to develop a narrow view of ideal methods which may not be appealing for nowadays situations, and second, to propose three principles in foreign language teaching that will allow seeing EFL tasks from a wider view: 1) evaluating what comes from one’s cultural background that conforms to a general understanding of what teaching is, 2) re-shaping the teachers’ role in order to align with society’s demands and 3) assuming a dialogic process to building classroom strategies for language teaching and learning.
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EFL Learners Attributions to English Language Learning

EFL Learners Attributions to English Language Learning

investigation. Among the studies conducted in Iran, Eslami Rasekh et al. (2012) focused on learners in private language institutes and found no significant positive or negative relationship between the subclasses of the causal dimension scale and learners’ self-perceived communication competence. In two other studies, Hashemi and Zabihi (2011), and Pishghadam and Zabihi (2011) concentrated on the relationship among EFL learners’ attributions for success and failure, their performance on placement tests, and their achievement in foreign language classes. The results showed that effort, as an internal factor, significantly correlated with high scores on both the final exam and the placement test. In Pishghadam and Motakef (2012) studied gender differences in attributions by Iranian male and female EFL high school learners. The attribution factors of the study included emotion, self-image, intrinsic motivation, and language policy. The results indicated that intrinsic motivation was the main attribution and that gender did not play any significant role in attribution. In another study, Hosseini Fatemi and Asghari (2012) attempted to investigate whether there was any significant relationship between learners' personality traits and their sets of attributions in learning English. They found that neuroticism correlated negatively with self-image, while extraversion was positively related to emotion, self-image and intrinsic motivation. Males and females, however, were not found to be different from each other in the research.
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The effectiveness of english movie subtitles in vocabulary learning among iraqi kurdistan efl learners: soran university efl learners as an example

The effectiveness of english movie subtitles in vocabulary learning among iraqi kurdistan efl learners: soran university efl learners as an example

With increasing access to audio - visual aids especially TV, English foreign language learners have found more opportunities to use audio-visual materials as effective tools in the process of learning English language. Those kinds of authentic materials are helpful for EFL learners motivate to learn more vocabularies and understanding the language better. Since the early 1970s, video materials have made its way into the EFL classrooms, promoting authenticity and diversity for student learning language through the use of popular foreign films via digital media. To (Gray, 1939, P.1) "Vocabulary is an essential means of interchanging ideas and of acquiring new experiences. Man’s growth in ideas has always been accompanied by a corresponding expansion of his vocabulary".
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Examining EFL Teachers’ Views on the Effects of Tests on English Teaching and Learning in Secondary Schools

Examining EFL Teachers’ Views on the Effects of Tests on English Teaching and Learning in Secondary Schools

12 economic problems. Most students come from low income families and generally lack financial resources to sustain their learning efforts. The provision of adequate instructional materials to school is very necessary since many students (80 percent) do not have textbooks. Didactic materials are tools without which the teaching and learning process cannot take place. They are indispensible in the implementation of any syllabus because most of the learning activities are based on them. Therefore, materials should be available and teachers must be sure that all students have access to them. Moreover, the educational authorities should solve this problem by providing students with free books or by subsidising the prices of textbooks. This will allow a large number of students to get them. To ensure that English is taught effectively in schools, the government should make an effort to make teaching materials available.
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Digital Games and English as Foreign Language (EFL) Learning in Tertiary Education in Saudi Arabia

Digital Games and English as Foreign Language (EFL) Learning in Tertiary Education in Saudi Arabia

considered the effect of online interaction in MMORPGs in improving the pronunciation of /v/ phoneme among Saudi EFL learners (Alqahtani, 2016a) and their attitudes towards online interaction in these games (Alqahtani, 2016b). The last-mentioned studies revealed that Saudi EFL learners were fond of COTS games and that they can be considered as frequent and expert gamers. It was also evident that although Saudi students’ experiences in online gaming were not entirely positive, the social interaction was found to be beneficial in improving their English pronunciation. Overall, the literature on digital games in education and EFL learning is explorative in nature, with many studies being conducted on a small number of participants (Arias, 2014). For example, the sample size of some studies mentioned previously (Zheng et al., 2012; Squire et al., 2005) did not exceed 15 students/participants. It is known that qualitative methods are beneficial and appropriate for exploration of unknown areas of knowledge in specific contexts. While sufficient evidence has been found about the impact on digital games on EFL, the findings of qualitative studies cannot be generalised to larger populations or other contexts (Arias, 2014). Some quantitative studies found in the literature of digital games and language learning provided findings of the effect of either specific types of games on EFL learning or the effect on specific aspects of language learning. Further quantitative studies are required to inform evidence-based educational practice in the area of EFL and digital games. Therefore, it appears that there is a limited body of empirical studies on EFL learning and entertainment (non-educational) digital games practices among EFL learners. Specifically, the lack of such studies can be seen clearly when considering the context of this study: Saudi Arabia. In addition to the limited number of studies in the Saudi literature on digital games and language learning, the majority of these studies discussed digital games within educational settings only. For example, studies that featured COTS games investigated the application of these games as an in-class intervention. However, this study is contributing to the body of literature in a Saudi Arabian context seeking possible statistically significant relationships between COTS (non-educational) digital games practices as part of EFL students’ leisure play time and their EFL achievement. In addition, students’ perceptions were captured to support the findings of quantitative data to give a stronger indication of the results of the study.
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Literature and TEFL: Towards the Reintroduction of Literatures in English in the Francophone Secondary School Curriculum in Cameroon

Literature and TEFL: Towards the Reintroduction of Literatures in English in the Francophone Secondary School Curriculum in Cameroon

“Why are we not taught and tested in literatures in English as is the case with Anglophones?” (Atou’ou Linge Zanga, Djoko and Njinke Lengya (2010)). This was a desperate lamentation made by French-speaking student-teachers enrolled in the departments of English and Literatures of English Expression and those of Bilingual Studies of the Higher Teachers’ Training School of the University of Maroua in Cameroon. In both departments we have French and English-speaking Cameroonians who enroll to read among others, English and Literatures in English. This article focuses on the English language learning profiles and performances of French-speaking student-teachers in these departments. In fact, most of these French-speaking student-teachers who were admitted in the department of English and Literatures of English Expression and that of Bilingual Studies had thought that the English courses they were to follow in higher education were extensions of the grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension passages and essay writing exercises that they were used to in secondary school. Most of them were completely disappointed when they encountered courses like Literature and Ideas, Early American Literature, Cameroon, Continental and Diaspora Literature, Introduction to English Literature or Post-Colonial Literature with so many original texts to read, do assignments and answer examination questions thereon. English-speaking students (those who had undergone the Anglo-Saxon secondary school system) on the other hand were not surprised to encounter these subjects and so performed significantly better (12.73 mean) than their French-speaking counterparts (6.33 mean) in the first and second semester examinations of the 2009 academic year. On the other hand, they were not very shocked to meet courses like English Speech and Usage, Grammar: Morphosyntax etc. with a mean performance of 10.12 as opposed to 10.89 for the English-speaking classmates. These results are physically revealing and thus do not necessarily warrant the application of inferential statistics to test their levels of significance.
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ENGLISH FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION IN EFL CONTEXT

ENGLISH FOR MEDICAL EDUCATION IN EFL CONTEXT

Finally, all participants were asked to suggest their preferable ways in teaching and learning English for medical students. Some medical students suggested that all English language skills should be included in English class and that matches what was revealed in similar needs analysis studies (Yeniçeri 2008; Chia et al. 1999). Others suggested that English curriculum should also include medical topics and medical terminology that might be helpful for their professional training in the medical field. These suggestions were in consensus with findings of some previous research studies (Narunatwatana 2001; Tasçi 2007; Yeniçeri 2008; Sari 2003). Accordingly, it is believed that specific English courses such as EMP which are mentioned in this study could be the ones that should be used. However, some participants suggested that these specific courses need to be divided throughout the years of medical study according to their relevance to each stage; besides, general English should also be taught in the pre-medical year to ensure that all students can handle the EMP courses. One teacher said “First, we have to offer GE with focus on grammar, then we teach special medical English”. This is also what other research has revealed in this respect as in (Chia et al. 1999; Hwang and Lin 2010). Moreover, other students proposed that English language course should focus on communication skills or use communication as a method of teaching to help students interact effectively in English. That is indeed what they mentioned by students consistently as their needs. It is also suggested by some teachers that both interactive language teaching and communicative language teaching should be employed intensively for English teaching in medical education. Similarly, the dean focused on using practice in English language class rather than theoretical pedagogy. This is also what has been found in other similar studies regarding medical students’ English language needs (Hwang and Lin 2010; Chia et al. 1999; Narunatwatana 2001; Tasçi 2007). Furthermore, using technology such as computers, the Internet, language lab and audio-visual techniques, were all preferred by most participants including the dean who focused on both language labs and the Internet. The researcher is really keen in using such techniques in language teaching particularly in medical contexts. That can be attributed to the fact that technology can facilitate the students’ English language learning where everything is reachable and applicable. This is also what has been discovered and suggested by many other studies in the field such as (Tasçi 2007; Hwang and Lin 2010; Sari 2003; Kimball 1998; Tarnopolsky 2009).
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Learning English Vowels by Iraqi EFL Learners: Perceived Difficulty versus Actual Performance

Learning English Vowels by Iraqi EFL Learners: Perceived Difficulty versus Actual Performance

Acquisition of second language (L2) phonology is possibly the most challenging task for L2 learners. As a result, many tend to preserve a foreign accent in their speech even after they have attained a high level of proficiency in other aspects of L2 use. The difficulty in acquiring an L2 phonological system has been attributed to factors such as age of L2 perceptual learning, quality and quantity of L2 input and interference from the first language phonological system. This paper contributes to ongoing discussions on the acquisition of L2 phonology by examining the difficulties encountered by two groups of Iraqi EFL learners in the perception of English vowels and the accuracy of perceived difficulty by Iraqi EFL teachers and learners. The results on perceived difficulty were compared with performance in a speech perception task. The findings show that Iraqi EFL learners encounter varying degrees of difficulty in the perception of English vowels. The findings also show that there is an effect in the level of proficiency on the accuracy rate for some vowel categories but two vowel categories, /ɒ/ and /æ/, were persistently difficult for most subjects regardless of their proficiency level in English. Iraqi EFL teachers and learners reported that they encountered difficulty learning some English vowels; however, the vowels that were identified as difficult differed considerably from those identified in the perception task.
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Iranian EFL learners' Perception of Learning Environment in English Language Institutes and its Relationship with Learners' English Proficiency

Iranian EFL learners' Perception of Learning Environment in English Language Institutes and its Relationship with Learners' English Proficiency

Margianti, Fraser, and Aldrige (2001) studied a sample of 2498 university students in Indonesia using a version of WIHIC translated into Indonesian and found relationships between the outcomes of achievement and attitudes and students’ perceptions of their learning environment. A sample of 1879 science students in 50 classes in Taiwan was surveyed by Aldridge and Fraser (2000). The results confirmed outcome-environment relationships for student satisfaction. Such links between leaners’ perceptions of learning environment and learning outcomes have been also reported frequently by other studies (Poth & Fraser, 2001). However, when it comes to the field of language learning, especially EFL contexts, no study to the date has explored the relationship between language learners’ perceptions of learning environments and their level of language proficiency as a proxy for learning outcomes. Motivated by such gap in the literature, the present study attempts to find out if there is any relationship between Iranian EFL learners’ perceptions of actual and preferred learning environments and their English proficiency.
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Learning Activities Activating Kindergartners to Learn to Speak English in an EFL Indonesian Setting

Learning Activities Activating Kindergartners to Learn to Speak English in an EFL Indonesian Setting

This qualitative research is a multi-case study. The data were gathered by doing observations and interviews. The researcher went to some kinder- gartens to observe the subjects—kindergartners who can speak English for communication. Besides having the speaking ability, the subjects also met other criteria set as follows: (1) an Indonesian child of Indonesian mother and father, (2) born in Indonesia and had never lived in an English speaking country, (3) does not live in a circumstance where the people speak English, (4) can use English in oral com- munication despite the syntactical or phonological problems, and (5) there is only one person or nobody who speaks English in the child‘s home. These criteria were made for the sake of having the representatives of common Indonesian children and at the same time avoiding a condition that makes the subjects automatically acquire English.
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Vocabulary Learning Autonomy through Incorporation of English Songs:  Indonesian EFL Students' Perspectives

Vocabulary Learning Autonomy through Incorporation of English Songs: Indonesian EFL Students' Perspectives

One important aspect of language which should be mastered to gain success in second or foreign language learning is vocabulary. Wilkins (in Xia, 2018) emphasized the importance of vocabulary mastery in that without the existence of grammar, one can still deliver messages; however, inexistence of vocabulary will result in total failure of message delivery. It indicated that having vocabulary mastery is pivotal in language learning. With the urgency of having vocabulary mastery as an indicator of success in English learning, the notion of L2 vocabulary learning autonomy offers a wider opportunity and support to gain learning goals. Learners’ autonomy in vocabulary learning is imperative as the extent of success or failure of their lexical growth lies in learners’ hand (Kaur, 2013). Kaur further added that learners own the responsibility for the vocabulary acquisition and its development as well as creating opportunities for vocabulary learning to occur. Nation in Kaur (2013) argued that autonomy can be gained when some conditions are met. They need to be able to set priorities on what aspects to focus on, what to review, how to process materials, and how teacher - students interaction is carried out. Learners' ability to fulfil these conditions may lead to students' autonomy in learning.
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Performance of Indonesian EFL Learners and Thai EFL Learners on Compliment Responses in English

Performance of Indonesian EFL Learners and Thai EFL Learners on Compliment Responses in English

In addition, the discussion seems to suggest three aspects of the CRs by Indonesians and Thais that deserve further explanations. First, it is noticeable that Indonesians and Thais were strongly inclined to indicate modesty in their CRs in English. It can be seen from the ways they respond to compliments both in general or under particular topics, i.e. using strategies in the middle and at the right end of the Acceptance to Denial Continuum and Doubting Question and combining them with strategies at the left end of the continuum to attenuate self-praise. This phenomenon can be traced back to the native cultures of the subjects. Indonesia and Thailand are two neighboring countries in the ASEAN region that are well known to have the so-called collectivist culture, which value group concerns greater than individuals’ (Watts, 2003; Barron, 2009; Mills, 2011). The people are restricted to avoiding expressing self-pride due to the need of maintaining social harmony. These norms and values are so ingrained in the mind of the people that they are most likely to emerge in how they perform speech acts no matter what the language in use is, e.g. responding to English compliments.
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Arts and Humanities. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Postgraduate Taught Masters Module Information

Arts and Humanities. Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Postgraduate Taught Masters Module Information

This module will equip students with the terminology and skills necessary to describe and analyse the struc- ture of English at the word, clause, sentence and text levels. Attention will be given to both spoken and written language samples, and classes will include training in the application of linguistic description to text samples from different media ( spoken and written) and registers (formal and informal).

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Fostering Students’ English Fluency Through Direct And Indirect Language Learning Strategies In Efl Contexts.

Fostering Students’ English Fluency Through Direct And Indirect Language Learning Strategies In Efl Contexts.

In the interim of affective, social, compensation and metacognitive LLSs coming from students' participation the impact in students speaking performance was noticeable since turn taking time responses were given almost immediately. Students were able to participate and express their feelings to interact with their peers, think before performing the spoken language, apply verbal and non-verbal forms of communication to compensate their limited vocabulary or expressions to emphasize an interaction between them. Thus within response time, use of gambits and turn taking can be used to measure the development of some indirect and direct Language Learning Strategies that can boost fluency inside the classroom.
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Priorities in English Pronunciation Teaching in EFL Classrooms

Priorities in English Pronunciation Teaching in EFL Classrooms

Numerous applied linguists assert that pronunciation teaching basically includes both segmental and suprasegmental features although they have set up the priorities differently. In the case of comfortable intelligibility, for example, pronunciation teaching covers the nature of speech sound (consonants and vowels), stress, rhythm, intonation, and connected speech (Celce-Murcia, Brinton, & Goodwin, 1996; Dalton & Seidlhofer, 1994; Cruttenden, 2001; Jenner, 1989). Unlike these researchers, Jenkins (2000) pays more attention to interaction between non- native speakers of English by formulating Lingua Franca Core (LFC)— which is crucial to intelligible pronunciation in EIL context—on the basis of her empirical research. Jenkins argues that the core features of pronunciation should be (1) consonant inventory with the provisos such as some substitutions of /θ/ and /ð/ and rhotic ‘r’; (2) additional phonetic requirements such as aspiration of word-initial voiceless stops /p/, /t/, and /k/, and shortening of vowel sounds before fortis consonants and maintaining the length before lenis consonants; (3) consonants clusters with consideration of omission and addition; (4) vowel sounds; and (5) production and placement of nuclear stress. Jenkins is also concerned with certain holistic factors involved in the production of sounds because “problems in all these articulatory areas have the potential to lead to pronunciation errors at both segmental and suprasegmental levels, and thus to affect intelligibility” (p. 157).
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The Effect of Watching English Language Videos on Iranian EFL Learners’ Cultural Awareness and Incidental Vocabulary Learning

The Effect of Watching English Language Videos on Iranian EFL Learners’ Cultural Awareness and Incidental Vocabulary Learning

However, some studies suggested that using videos as an instructional tool has some disadvantages too (e.g., Caspi, Gorsky, & Privman, 2005; Fisch, 2000). Despite the arguments for and against its potential to help L2 learners acquire the target language and the inconclusive findings across studies, the field is still waiting for more conclusive answers. Eventually, it remains an empirical question whether watching FL videos can lead to incidental vocabulary learning. The study reported below intended to address this point by examining the effect of watching FL video on Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ incidental vocabulary learning. Moreover, this study aimed to examine Iranian EFL learners’ attitudes towards watching FL video in their English language classroom. As noted above, the videos appear to be an excellent use of technology to convey contemporary cultural information using the target language. They provide immediate access to images and to native speakers of the target language for students. In spite of this abundance of authentic audio-visual materials, other researchers (e.g., Chun & Plass, 2000; Lively, Harper & Williams, 1998) question their effectiveness and argue that they might in fact not foster cultural acquisition. Lively et al. (1998) suggest that the "very essence of the input text being imbued with native culture is what makes accessing the language in authentic documents so difficult for students" (p. 82). They urged teachers using videos to intervene or "mediate" the activity by providing students with support for new vocabulary, grammar, and cultural information embedded in the video. Chun and Plass (2000) included cognitive overload among the potential disadvantages of the hypermedia environment.
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Mobile Assisted Language Learning: English Pronunciation among Iranian Pre-intermediate EFL Learners

Mobile Assisted Language Learning: English Pronunciation among Iranian Pre-intermediate EFL Learners

The literature on foreign/second language acquisition highlights that in general in-class activities are not sufficient for effective language learning and that learners should also have input and output opportunities outside the classroom. This holds true for learning pronunciation as the literature suggests that just classroom instruction has a negligible impact on oral production of learners. With their widespread use and their features such as mobility, localization, and personalization, mobile phones offer a great potential for out-of-class learning. Yet, there is scarce research both on the use of mobile phones in language learning contexts and on using mobile phones to improve learners' pronunciation. This study is aimed at making a significant contribution to the literature in these respects.
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Developing EFL Learners Vocabulary by Reading English Comprehension in EFL Classroom

Developing EFL Learners Vocabulary by Reading English Comprehension in EFL Classroom

Vocabulary development by reading comprehension is an important issue in case of English language learning. There is always an interconnection between vocabulary and reading comprehension or text and it is unavoidable. There are a lot of ways to develop vocabulary. After judging these ways researchers have shown three ways of effective vocabulary development (Mezynski, 1983; Stahl and Fairbanks, 1986): (a) wide reading, (b) direct instruction, (c) building an interest in words. Wide and independent reading is also important to develop the vocabulary of the learners because through this they come into contact of new vocabularies. Words like serenity, contaminate, stabilize, phenomenon, and anxiety are "necessary to make critical distinctions in the physical and social world in which we live" (Stanovich, 1992) and which help learners to develop sensitivity to the subtleties in language and thought (Olson, 1986). This paper aims at examining whether reading English comprehension helps to develop vocabulary knowledge of the EFL learners in EFL classroom. To find out how reading English comprehension help to develop vocabulary of the EFL learners two things are checked: 1) whether the learners are trying to understand the meaning of the word at the time of reading comprehension, and 2) after knowing the meaning of the words whether there is any change in understanding the comprehension passage. The data was collected through mcq tests and twenty participants were selected from a second semester EFL classroom of a private university. The collected data reveals that reading comprehension is an effective way for lexical development. This research also reveals the importance of regular reading for the progress of word stocks.
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