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International Journal of Language Studies

A Quarterly Journal of Applied Linguistics

ISSN: 2157-4898 | eISSN: 2157-4901

Sherpa/RoMEO Color: Yellow

 

Editor: Mohammad A. Salmani Nodoushan

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Impact Factor (IF): NA

Five-Year Impact Factor: NA

Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP): NA

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR): NA

 

This journal is peer reviewed and indexed in: ERA, LB, IBZ, LLBA & more


July 2018 - Volume 12 Number 3 - Pages 1-130

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On the impact of differential item functioning on test fairness: A Rasch modeling approach

Hossein KARAMI, University of Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 1-14. Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

With the rising concerns over the fairness of psychometric tests, Differential Item Functioning (DIF) is increasingly applied in test development and use situations. Despite its widespread application, many questions remain unresolved as to the impact of DIF on the overall performance of test takers on the test and the fairness of the test. Rasch model and the invariance principle provide versatile tools for investigating the issue. This study aimed to shed light on the issue using the framework of the Rasch model. The participants were 1651 examinees (N=1651) who had taken a high-stakes test in 2010. A DIF analysis of the data showed that a large number of items were in fact functioning differentially for examinees from different academic backgrounds. Despite the existence of so many DIF items, the ability estimates obtained from the original test and those obtained from an item composite containing only neutral items showed that the estimates were highly invariant. The implications for validity and fairness issues are discussed in the light of the results of the study.

Citation: Karami, H. (2018). On the impact of differential item functioning on test fairness: A Rasch modeling approach. International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 1-14.

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The effect of focalized narrative texts on reading comprehension of EFL learners at Arak University

Mahsa YAZDANI GHAREHAGHAJ, Tabaran University of Mashhad, Iran | Contact Author

Zargham GHAPANCHI, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 15-30. Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

Most studies on reading comprehension have concentrated on deciphering narrative texts developed conventionally. The present study investigated the effect of focalized texts on Iranian EFL learners’ comprehension measured by multiple-choice reading comprehension test items. 112 Iranian EFL learners (N=112) participated in the study. Each participant read two narrative short story texts in either the original or focalized versions. The readers’ reading comprehension in the multiple-choice task was measured through different types of reading comprehension test items that had been purposefully constructed on the basis of the objectives of the study. The result indicated that the readers’ comprehension was affected to some extent by all of the variables of the study although some were not supported statistically. It appears that proficiency and gender are directly more indicative of readers’ scores. The interaction among the variables measured through regression analyses demonstrated that the order of the effect of variables on reading comprehension was different. The general findings of the study give credit to the interactive view of reading in which every aspect of reader/text could affect reading comprehension.

Citation: Yazdani Gharehaghaj, M., & Ghapanchi, Z. (2018). The effect of focalized narrative texts on reading comprehension of EFL learners at Arak University. International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 15-30.

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Explicit instruction of form in a task-based learning environment

Joy WEIGAND, University of Potsdam, Germany | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 31-54. Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

There is a major debate in second language acquisition as to whether grammar or form should be included in classroom instruction. In accordance with the view that focusing on form is necessary to advance learners in acquiring their second language and attaining their learning goal, teachers using task-based language teaching in Germany were asked about their beliefs regarding teaching grammar, which were compared with their actual practices. Teachers were asked to fill out an online survey that yielded quantitative and qualitative results. Additionally, as a measure of cross-triangulation, two semi-structured interviews were conducted which showed that the teachers believe that grammar should be taught, especially since most learners in Germany request it. Although not all the teachers were familiar with the term task-based language teaching (TBLT), interviewing them directly revealed an understanding of its basic tenets. A survey revealed that their practices were generally in line with these principles. The research also sheds light on the many misconceptions of form-focused instruction in TBLT.

Citation: Weigand, J. (2018). Explicit instruction of form in a task-based learning environment. International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 31-54.

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Gender differences in Iranian EFL learners’ textese and digitalk

Azizeh CHALAK, Islamic Azad University, Isafahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 55-72. Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

This study aimed at investigating gender differences in the textese of Iranian EFL learners, written in English, by scrutinizing the linguistic features through a qualitative design. In doing so, 700 messages were collected from 36 MA Iranian EFL learners of both sexes (18 males and 18 females). Using a coding scheme, the linguistic features were categorized and analyzed. The frequencies and percentages of the textese were calculated, tabulated, and then analyzed. The findings of the study showed that there were differences between boys and girls in choosing textese features and also in the frequency and percentage of their textese. The findings showed that the female participants followed standards of writing, punctuation, spelling, and capitalization more attentively than their male counterparts. There were no significant differences regarding the use of contractions, shortening, clipping, or initials, but females used emoticons and stickers much more frequently than males. The findings of the study have implication for sociolinguistic purposes and for practitioners in the field who aim to raise Iranian EFL students’ awareness of gender differences. This can help them to choose the right kind of the message and features when they e-communicate with others in English.

Citation: Chalak, A. (2018). Gender differences in Iranian EFL learners’ textese and digitalk. International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 55-72.

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The effect of mediational artifacts on EFL learners’ reading comprehension performance

Parisa DAFTARIFARD, Faculty of Persian Literature and Foreign Languages, South Tehran Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 73-90. Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

Drawing upon Vygotsky’s (1986) sociocultural theory (SCT), the present research aims at investigating the effect of mediational artifacts of response-based mediation (based on Vygotsky’s dynamic assessment) and task based mediation (based on Bruner’s scaffolding) incorporated into the reading test on EFL learners’ reading comprehension (RC) performance. To this end, the assisted and unassisted RC performance of 185 learners forming three groups (two mediation groups and one control group) was compared. The groups were selected through convenience sampling. Two experimental groups received mediations as they answered the RC items. The results of independent samples t-tests revealed that mediation types have differential effects on learners’ RC performance. Specifically, those who were trained based on Bruner’s principle of scaffolding outperformed those in Vygotsky’s group. Furthermore, the participants in the response-based group were not able to Transfer what they had learned during the mediational stage into the new context.

Citation: Daftarifard, P. (2018). The effect of mediational artifacts on EFL learners’ reading comprehension performance. International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 73-90.

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EFL learners' proficiency level and critical thinking: The case of Iraqi university students

Abbas Ali REZAEE, University of Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

Lihadh Abdul-Ameer Kareem MUBARAK, University of Tehran, Aras International Campus, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 91-108. Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

Critical thinking is a mental habit that enables people to develop their abilities to criticize, analyze, reach conclusions and make inferences, and it has been proved to be an indicator and predictor of academic performance. This study aims to inspect the current status of Iraqi EFL university students regarding critical thinking ability. It also investigates the relationship between critical thinking ability and English language proficiency of Iraqi EFL university students. It also aims to explore the difference between males and females' critical thinking skills. To attain these aims, 150 Iraqi EFL university students were chosen to participate in this study. In order to collect the data, two instruments were used: Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA) and Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency (MTELP). The findings of the study revealed that the participants' critical thinking ability is estimated within the average and below average levels. It also revealed that there is a statistically significant relationship between the Iraqi EFL learners' critical thinking ability and their proficiency in English as a foreign language. Regarding gender difference, it was found that there is no significant difference between male and female participants' critical thinking ability.

Citation: Rezaee, A. A., & Mubarak, L. (2018). EFL learners' proficiency level and critical thinking: The case of Iraqi university students. International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 91-108.

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Inferring logical relations by male and female EFL learners

Esmaeel ABDOLLAHZADEH, University of Exeter, UK; Iran University of Science & Technology, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 109-130. Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

This study examines the comprehension of the logical relations denoted by different adverbial conjunctives by undergraduate EFL learners. More specifically, it tries to discover if the sex of the participants and type of the text affects inferring logical relations. 254 undergraduate EFL students took a language proficiency and a logical relations test (LRT). The results demonstrated a consistent pattern of performance on conjunctive relations across learners with different language proficiency levels. No significant differences were found between males and females in their performance on the LRT. Further, significant differences and interactions were found in inferring conjunctive relations across text and conjunction types. The results can have both theoretical and practical applications for text comprehension theories and reading-writing instruction.

Citation: Abdollahzadeh, E. (2018). Inferring logical relations by male and female EFL learners. International Journal of Language Studies, 12(3), 109-130.

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