i-manager's Journal on English Language Teaching (JELT)


Volume 9 Issue 2 April - June 2019

Research Paper

Iranian EFL Teachers’ Writing Assessment Beliefs, Literacy, and Training Needs: Do Majors Matter?

Fatemeh Soltanpour*, Mohammadreza Valizadeh**
*Department of English, Kar Higher Education Institute, Iran.
**School of Foreign Languages, Istanbul Gelisim University, Turkey.
Soltanpour , F., & Valizadeh, M. (2019). Iranian EFL Teachers’ Writing Assessment Beliefs, Literacy, and Training Needs: Do Majors Matter?. i-manager’s Journal on English Language Teaching, 9(2), 1-16.

Abstract

This study gauged the current level of Iranian EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teachers in writing assessment literacy (WAL) and identified their training needs in this area. Further, this research investigated the teachers’ beliefs about scoring accuracy in writing assessment, general assessment issues in writing classrooms, and different writing assessment methods. 146 participating Iranian EFL teachers were divided into two groups of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) and Non-TEFL, based on their university degrees, so the mentioned issues were explored in terms of the teachers’ majors in order to find any significant associations between the teachers’ majors and the raised issues or any significant differences between the two groups of teachers’ beliefs in the above-mentioned subjects. Quantitative data were collected via a questionnaire. A significant association was found between the teachers’ majors and the status of receiving prior writing assessment training. Moreover, comparative analyses between the TEFL and Non-TEFL groups revealed significant differences in all areas of WAL training, as well as the teachers’ beliefs about general assessment issues in writing classrooms and different writing assessment methods. However, regarding the teachers’ self-report about the perceived level of training need and the teachers’ beliefs about writing scoring accuracy, no significant differences were found between the two groups in majority of WAL areas and belief statements. To improve the condition, amending of the language teacher education programs is a vital step to be taken in Iran.

Research Paper

Exploring Challenges in Writing EFL Master Theses: Students and Supervisors’ Perspectives

Saman Ebadi*, Fereshteh Pourahmadi**
*_**Department of Applied Linguistics, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran.
Ebadi, S. & Pourahmadi, F. (2019). Exploring Challenges in Writing EFL Master Theses: Students and Supervisors’ Perspectives. i-manager’s Journal on English Language Teaching, 9(2), 17-28.

Abstract

This study is intended to explore challenges in writing master theses from postgraduate English as foreign language (EFL) students’ and supervisors’ perspectives. To do so, 40 EFL postgraduate students and 10 supervisors were selected non-randomly based on availability sampling from five major Iranian universities. Qualitative data were gathered via semi-structured interviews the results of which were analyzed by utilizing thematic analysis. The findings revealed a number of main challenges faced by postgraduate students in writing master theses as reported by supervisors and the students themselves, some of which were common challenges for both groups. The main common challenge reported by both the students and supervisors was the students’ lack of research knowledge including the inability to write academically using academic vocabularies, lack of research design knowledge such as analyzing data by SPSS software and choosing a researchable topic. Implications of the study for universities, EFL postgraduate students, and their supervisors are discussed in this study.

Research Paper

Language Teacher Autonomy in Turkish EFL Context: Relations with Teachers’ Autonomy and Job Satisfaction Levels

Ali Dincer*
*Department of English Language Teaching, Erzincan BinaliYildirim University, Turkey.
Dincer, A. (2019). Language Teacher Autonomy in Turkish EFL Context: Relations with Teachers’ Autonomy and Job Satisfaction Levels. i-manager’s Journal on English Language Teaching, 9(2), 29-43.

Abstract

International reports suggest that teacher autonomy is diminishing across the world. With a centralized education system, Turkish teachers have the lowest level of professional independence in the education system and their students have the lowest level of English proficiency among many countries. Despite the important role that teachers play in their students’ success, there is a scarcity of research on language teachers’ autonomy and their job satisfaction in the field of foreign or second language (L2) instruction. Given that, this study aims to investigate the relationships between English as a Foreign Language (EFL) teachers’ actual and desired levels of autonomy and their job satisfaction in Turkey. A total of 102 EFL teachers working in public schools completed teacher autonomy scales about their actual and desired control discipline, curriculum, classroom environment, assessment, pedagogy, and professional development. They also rated their job satisfaction and expressed their opinion regarding their autonomy and job satisfaction in teaching English. Findings showed that the teachers’ actual autonomy levels were significantly lower than their desired levels across all possible areas of control. The highest discrepancy between actual and desired teacher autonomy was present in the areas of classroom environment and curriculum. Surprisingly, teacher autonomy levels were not significantly related to job satisfaction. Qualitative data partially supported the findings, showing that teachers want more control over curricula. In addition, external factors such as curriculum, classroom environment, and salary, and internal factors such as self-evaluation, the joy of teaching, and student motivation, were linked to the levels of teacher autonomy and job satisfaction. The study discusses implications for improving teacher autonomy and job satisfaction in EFL contexts in Turkey and across the world as well.

Research Paper

An Analysis of the High School English Curriculum in Turkey from an Elf Perspective

Ali Karakas*
*Department of English Language Teaching, Mehmet Akif Ersoy University, Burdur, Turkey.
Karakas, A. (2019). An Analysis of the High School English Curriculum in Turkey from an Elf Perspective. i-manager’s Journal on English Language Teaching, 9(2), 44-53.

Abstract

Recently, there has been some redesigning in the English language teaching curriculum in Turkey as a consequence of overall educational reforms. However, there has, so far, been no research that has investigated the current high school English curriculum in light of the recent linguistic developments in the field of English language teaching. Thus, the current study explores the high school English curriculum to determine whether there is any reference to the current status of English as a lingua franca in general and its implications for teaching in particular. The data consisting of curricular documents and observation reports on teachers’ practises were analysed through a combination of qualitative content analysis and negative analysis. The curricular data analyses show that there is a limited mention of ELF and in name only, with almost no reference to ELF principles for teaching. Similarly, the analyses of observational data indicate that teachers follow a traditional way of teaching English without paying much attention to the current status of English and how they should prepare students for real-world English use. Overall, the results suggest that there is little space for ELF in the current curriculum at the level of policy and nearly none at the level of practice.

Review Paper

Implementing Dynamic Assessment in Assessing Vocabulary Development: What the Literature Says

Amirreza Karami*, Kristina M. Howlett**, Freddie A. Bowles***
*_***Department of Curriculum and Instruction, University of Arkansas, USA.
Karami, A., Howlett, K. M., & Bowles, F. A. (2019). Implementing Dynamic Assessment in Assessing Vocabulary Development: What the Literature Says. i-manager’s Journal on English Language Teaching, 9(2), 54-61.

Abstract

The current literature review reports the results of four international research studies conducted within recent years to investigate the effectiveness of implementing Dynamic Assessment (DA) in assessing vocabulary development of English language learners. The results of the literature review highlight the positive effects of implementing DA in vocabulary acquisition despite the fact that the researchers found few studies that discussed DA for vocabulary development. This literature review includes a brief summary of the current research from 2015-2018, limiting the findings of DA to vocabulary development, and suggesting guidelines for implementing DA in language classrooms and for future research. The theoretical background of DA supports its applicability to classroom practices, based on the sociocultural theory of Vygotsky. The opportunity provided for the learners during the implementation of DA furthers cognitive, language, and developmental skills. The finding of this literature review highlights the applicability of DA in language classrooms for vocabulary development from the point of view of sociocultural theory.