The English Language Teaching (ELT) Textbook Evaluation Checklist was developed in response to the need for a reliable, valid and practical instrument to evaluate English language teaching textbooks. The checklist was qualitatively developed by a review of the literature (Mukundan & Ahour, 2010; Mukundan et al., 2011a) and was refined through qualitative (Mukundan et al., 2011b) and quantitative (Mukundan & Nimehchisalem, 2012a) methods. As the validation test results of the checklist (Mukundan & Nimehchisalem, 2012b; Nimehchisalem & Mukundan, 2013) indicated, it could be refined further to improve its validity, reliability and practicality. The present study discusses the modifications made to the checklist following the comments of a panel of experts (n=3), who were sent a copy of the old version of the checklist. They commented on the comprehensiveness, importance and clarity of the domains and items of the checklist independently. The qualitative method was used to collect and analyse the data. The checklist was refined based on the experts' comments; problematic items were removed or revised and a scoring guide was added to it. The refined instrument is more economical than its previous version, and yet further research is required to test its validity empirically.
English language textbook evaluation, evaluation checklists, checklist validation
The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the transformational leadership style of Iranian high school coaches and the sport commitment of Iranian high school football players. This study also examined the effect of age and playing experience on athletes' sport commitment. A total of 270 football players were selected from 31 high school football teams in Iran using the simple random sampling procedure. Instruments of the study were the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) (Avolio & Bass, 1995) and Sport Commitment Model Scale (SCMS) (Scanlan, Carpenter, Schmidt, Simons, & Keeler, 1993). The results of the study indicated that there is a positive and significant relationship between the transformational leadership style of coaches and sport commitment (r=.419, β=.478, ρ value=.001). In addition, the results also showed that there are no significant differences in sport commitment of football players of different ages (F=1.115, p value=0.330>0.05) and years of football experience (F=0.053, p value=0.948>0.05). Findings of this study suggest that the transformational leadership style is effective in enhancing the sport commitment of Iranian high school football players.
Despite their being the most notoriously confusing aspects of English language instruction, phrasal verbs are of high relevance for ESL/EFL learners because knowledge of them is often equated with language proficiency and fluency. With textbooks containing a noticeable number of phrasal verbs, it is of pedagogical significance to see if these combinations are appropriately dealt with in semantic terms. The present corpus-based study was, thus, intended to explore the semantic treatment of these combinations in a pedagogical corpus of Malaysian ESL textbooks. Using WordSmith software and the Oxford Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs as research instruments, the study revealed that despite the overwhelming number of phrasal verbs in the corpus, most of these combinations were presented with a very thin skeleton, as they were repeated in different forms with the same meaning. In addition, some items were presented with their rare and infrequent word meanings. Therefore, the selection and presentation of the word senses of different phrasal verb combinations proved to be more intuitively than empirically motivated.
Phrasal verbs, ESL textbooks, corpus linguistics, semantics
Globally, journal publication index is used as a key indicator to measure university performance. At the macro level, it contributes to the university ranking. At the micro level, it reflects academicians' scholarship values and credentials. Over the last decade, tertiary education has rapidly grown in the Asia Pacific region. Tertiary institutions are competing among themselves nationally and regionally for university ranking, student intake and research funding. These three elements have numerical figures that are inter-related and powerful enough to dictate the fate and survival of an institution. Journal publication output plays a big role in this numerical game. For that reason, it is the topmost interest of many institutions and faculties to boost research writing output of their members. Paradoxically, minimal efforts have been made in the majority of instances to understand the needs and obstacles for such an aim to be realised. In this study, a preliminary attempt was made to gather the views and perceptions of academicians from an educational faculty in Malaysia. The data were collected via an online survey. The findings informed that academicians were facing different sets of challenges in different stages of their careers. Beginners reported the lack of technical support as the major hindering factor faced by them in producing academic output while the more senior members identified personal factors such as paradigm shift and motivation as the major hindering factors faced by them. Thus, the differential needs of academicians need tobe acknowledged and to be supported with suitable mechanisms and catalysts.
Journal publication, research culture, education faculty, Malaysia, Asia Pacific
The rising cost of living and difficult economic conditions have made Malaysian individuals and households more conscious of their financial management. This study aims to (1) identify the levels of financial literacy, financial strain, financial capability and financial well-being and the type of money attitude of young Malaysian employees; (2) explore the differences in financial well-being based on the demographic characteristics of young employees; (3) analyse the relationships between the financial well-being of young employees and their financial literacy, money attitude, financial strain and financial capability; and (4) identify the determinants of financial well-being among young employees. The sample for this study consisted of 508 young employees in the public and private sectors aged 40 years and below from four urban areas in central Peninsular Malaysia, who were selected through the multi-stage sampling technique. Data were collected through self-administered questionnaires. The findings indicate that respondents who had moderate levels of financial literacy, financial capability and financial well-being scored high in effort and retention money attitudes and had a low level of financial strain. Statistically significant differences emerged in the financial well-being of those of different marital status (married and single) and the different household income groups (lower, middle and high-income), while there were significant relationships between financial well-being and financial literacy, type of money attitude, financial strain and financial capability. Demographic characteristics (gender and monthly household income), financial literacy, retention-money attitude, effort-money attitude, financial strain and financial capability had significant influence on financial well-being with financial strain being a major factor contributing to financial well-being.
Emotional Intelligence, perhaps one of the most popular and extensively researched constructs of the twentieth century does not need any introduction. Its importance and relevance in various fields has been scientifically researched and asserted. Yet, the cross-cultural relevance of the concept still remains an unexplored area. Emotions being predominantly culture specific, the applicability of the various tests proposed by the theorists across cultures raises pertinent questions. This paper, though does not go into the empirical study, rather restricts itself to a qualitative analysis of the 'ability model' proposed by Mayer and Salovey against the background of Indian culture through the Bhagavad-Gita. Also, it does not take the entire text of the Bhagavad-Gita, as it is beyond the scope and limit of this paper to do so. It draws attention to a few slokas in the text which throws open fresh prospects of research and an understanding of Emotional Intelligence in the east, specifically, India. It draws attention to the similarities and the contrasts between an emotionally intelligent person as surmised by Mayer and Salovey, and the 'Sthithapragnya' as described by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita.
Emotional intelligence; cross-cultural; Bhagavad-Gita; Sthithapragnya; ability model
Over the past several decades, fertility has declined almost everywhere in the world. In Hong Kong, young people's perceptions of parenthood seem to be changing rapidly in the pale of a competitive global economy. This paper addresses the views of young Chinese people in relation to parenthood in a society where East meets West. The study is a qualitative research with a cross-sectional design and a focus group approach. The aim is to explore the possible impact of global and Chinese cultural values on young people's perceptions of parenthood. Data was collected in six audiotaped focus group interviews with 40 young people aged 17 to 25. A mix of purposive and snowball sampling was used. The findings suggest that traditional cultural values such as family security and relationships, honouring of parents and elders and family loyalty are still strongly supported by many young adults. However, the sample youth was also influenced by global values such as freedom, personal goals, ambition, wealth, pleasure and a varied life. Many young people prefer to have children for reasons which seem to be linked to global values of individualism, liberalism and intrinsic rewards. Reasons of having children are less about continuing the family line but more as a means to maintain the marriage. There is also a trend of delayed parenthood. Some young people do not consider having children due to such reasons as personal development and structural factors as prolonged continuing education, long working hours, cross-border work and low salary. The insights from this study inform service providers, policy makers and interested parties who together can jointly map out appropriate youth and family interventions to assist young people in their transition to young adulthood.
Chinese cultural value, global culture, parenthood, young people
Due to the high risk of global warming from the increased level of energy consumption, energy sustainability is increasingly practised around the world especially in the residential sector. Attempts to save energy in hot-humid climates however, are mainly through improved mechanical cooling. Consequently, residential buildings are built to be air tight and they are provided with insufficient opening areas for natural ventilation which in turn, results in the deterioration of indoor air quality (IAQ). Previous studies on IAQ with respect to ventilation rates are mostly on indoor concentrations of contaminants and various diseases associated with them. Detailed studies on openings and their impact on delivered ventilation rates are still limited, particularly in hot-humid climates. This study investigates natural ventilation provisions in different house design types in Putrajaya, Malaysia with respect to the Uniform Building By-Law (UBBL) governing them. Five terrace house design types were selected, of which two were found to be non-compliant with UBBL 10% window area requirement. Simulations were conducted using the Integrated Environment Solution (IES<VE>) software and the results reveal that house types complying with the UBBL requirements exhibit higher ventilation rates and a longer duration of leaving windows open is found to improve ventilation rates. This paper informs regulatory stakeholders, designers and clients of the residential building sector of the impact of open designs on occupants' health and the importance of UBBL compliance and enforcement. This study further emphasises the need for occupants to increase the duration of leaving windows open and to embrace night ventilation as a means of improving natural ventilation in their homes.
Hot-humid climate, Indoor Air Quality, natural ventilation, residential buildings, terraced houses, Uniform Building By-Law, ventilation rates, window openings
Economic impacts are the main factor in developing sustainable ecotourism. They provide alternatives for the local community to support their lives in addition to traditional farming. Several research studies have focused on local perceptions upon tourism development impacts, but visitors' opinions have received less consideration. This study, therefore, is focused on visitors' perceptions and their intention to support ecotourism development in the Alamout area in Iran. A survey was conducted to assess the visitors' perception, intention to revisit and their support for ecotourism development. The structural equation modelling was developed by using AMOS to analyse the data. The result of the study indicates that "Create jobs", "Economic benefits to residents" and "Employment opportunity" were the high agreed positive economic impacts while "Increase the real estate prices", "Attract non-local investors" and "Increase in the price of goods" were the high negative perceived impacts from visitors' view. Results of the confirmatory factor analysis confirmed that visitors who perceived negative economic impacts were less likely to revisit or recommend the area.
Ian McEwan is one of the modernist writers who utilises new and uncommon ways of narrating. We find him dealing with history, wars and social themes, all knitted together in a manoeuvring way. The unreliable narrator, a technique he employs, is an innovation first seen in the modern era in Wayne C. Booth's 'The Rhetoric of Fiction' in 1961. McEwan's employment of this technique is an issue needing further analysis. In 'Atonement', his character Briony, who is still a child, narrates parts of the novel but her narration is questioned, for she might not be truthful or honest. Her being unreliable adds much to the novel and affects the fates of her sister Cecelia and the latter's lover, Robbie. It is not only a matter of telling the story, it also interferes in the discourse of the action and propels the events in a different direction. As a result, it seems dubious to give the role of talking to a character (Briony) to narrate and cope with events, and so her telling is questioned to a certain extent because the events she narrates are deceitful on the one hand, while on the other, she is too young and hard to be trusted. The present paper attempts to read 'Atonement' from a new perspective and show what is meant by an unreliable narrator and how this technique is employed. How significant is the technique in terms of recounting the events in a piece of fiction? This paper illustrates the significance of the aforementioned technique, which adds new understanding to the reading of McEwan's 'Atonement'.
'Atonement', credibility, Ian McEwan, narrative technique, unreliable narrator
Interleaving has been shown to promote inductive category learning compared to massing. Interleaved presentation allows for the identification of features that are different between categories, thus enhancing discrimination learning of categories, whereas massed presentation promotes identification of features that are common among stimuli from the same category. Previous studies that found the interleaving effect employed the "bottom-up" learning approach (i.e. learning through exposure to exemplars) to inductive category learning. It is not known whether the same effects of interleaving can be observed in category induction using the top-down learning approach (i.e. learning when explicit information about the categories and the experimental procedures involved is given in advance). Thus, it would be interesting to compare "bottom-up learning" and "top-down learning" of categories. Using paintings from several artists, the present study investigated the effect of "bottom-up" learning (i.e. learning through exposure to exemplars) versus "top-down" learning of categories. One hundred and twenty undergraduate students participated in the present study, which used a 2 (Presentation style: Massed vs. Interleaved) x 2 (Learning type: Bottom-up vs. Top-down) mixed-factorial design. Consistent with previous findings, the benefits of interleaving were achieved using the "bottom-up" condition, while the current study also achieved some positive outcomes using the "top-down" condition. However, no significant effect of learning type was found, which indicates that performance in both groups did not differ significantly. Participants in both learning conditions perceived massing to be more helpful to learning than interleaving although their actual performance showed the opposite.
The Greater Mekong Sub-Region (GMS) is regarded as a single tourism market. This paper investigates international tourist visits to the GMS. We employ the panel data approach by using data from the GMS countries and their four major source countries i.e. Japan, Malaysia, China and Korea. The study concludes that capital investment is the most important factor for international tourism supply while income level is the most important factor for international tourism demand. Hence, we suggest that GMS countries should offer tourists a unique experience by presenting nature tourism and ecotourism. They can focus on attracting higher-income international tourist groups to improve their tourism markets and increase their competitiveness in tourism in order to achieve a sustainable single tourism market.
International tourism market, simultaneous equations, regional tourism
Julia Kristeva's notion of the melancholic subject deals with the subject's sense of loss in the absence of the unnameable Thing. As a result of melancholia, the melancholic subject is a stranger to his mother tongue and cannot express his feelings through language; therefore, he cannot communicate with others. Using this framework, this article focuses on Alice Walker's The Third Life of Grange Copeland in light of Julia Kristeva's melancholic subject. In this novel, Mem is tormented, both physically and psychologically, by her husband. As a result of her loss of a mother figure and husband's affection, she falls into melancholia. This article sheds light on how Mem's loss of a mother figure and lack of love from her husband leads her to melancholia and how she reacts to the physical and psychological pressures she must confront.
Julia Kristeva, melancholic subject, Alice Walker, The Third Life of Grange Copeland, sense of loss
This study investigated the effect of an informal values education programme on the development of concept of responsibilities among 5th grade students from ethnic minority groups in Vietnam. For this purpose, 38 students from an experimental group received a values education intervention, while 38 students from a control group did not. The intervention programme was adapted into the Vietnam culture in general and into the Vietnam ethnic minority groups' characteristics in particular. The pre-test and post-test of both groups were evaluated using a questionnaire that measured children's concept of responsibilities designed for the purposes of the study. Findings showed significant differences between the pre-test and post-test for the experimental group on the specified variables but not for the control group. Based on the results, an informal values education programme that has been culturally adapted is therefore suggested to make a positive impact on the development of concept of responsibilities among 5th grade students from the ethnic minority groups in Vietnam.
Responsibility, moral education, values education.
This paper discusses the concept of al-wasatiyyah and some of its implications for correctly perceiving the phenomenon of Islamic built environment. The paper concludes that although those implications are rather indirect and implicit in nature, the relationship between the two, i.e. al-wasatiyyah and Islamic built environment, is very strong and reciprocal. Since they have much in common, and since they exert a considerable influence on each other's ultimate actualisation, the concepts of al-wasatiyyah and Islamic built environment should be brought much closer to each other in reviving and unifying the Muslim community. The discussion in this paper focuses on the universality and flexibility of Islamic built environment; how a delicate balance between the form and function in Islamic built environment ought to be established; and avoiding vices, which are most often associated with built environment and which are caused by extravagant and excessive tendencies. The nature of the paper is conceptual rather than empirical, featuring a qualitative methodology that combines the descriptive and analytical methods.
Al-wasatiyyah, Islamic built environment, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), universality, form, function
This research investigated the effects of resort service quality, location quality and environmental practices on the loyalty of guests. Data were collected from 529 guests of river and lake resorts in Peninsular Malaysia. Partial least square technique was used in analysing the data. Results indicate that guest loyalty is affected by the quality of service and location of resorts, as well as their environmental practices. These results suggest that well-trained staff, prompt service and sufficient information on the tourism attributes of the resort are crucial to providing guests with high-quality service. The findings are useful for policymakers and resort managers in terms of enhancing the understanding of the combined effects of resort service quality, location quality and environmental practices on guest loyalty. With regard to its theoretical contribution, this study has extended the previous research on the effects of environmental practices on customers' decisions by advancing the understanding of the relationship between resort environmental practices and guest loyalty.
Service Quality, Location Quality, Environmental Practices, Loyalty
Critical pedagogy has gained significance by the development of educational ideals, seeking equality at different levels of society (Freire, 1973). It has found its way into ELT in recent years. Since ELT practices are coupled with methodology courses in which different methods of teaching and learning are explained, teachers have become familiar with different methods and techniques of teaching, enabling them to take advantage of various trends in education. But it seems that ESP has not benefitted that much from insights gained into critical pedagogy because some of the ESP professors are those whose academic studies are not in ELT. Since, in Iran, the fields of study, other than ELT, do not take full advantage of English methodology courses, they seem not to be aware of innovations in English teaching. Thus, the development of a CP questionnaire for ESP context seems necessary. This paper reports the steps that were taken in developing and validating a critical pedagogy questionnaire for ESP context. In order to validate the questionnaire, 123 respondents were asked to answer the items. Three main sources of evidence were drawn upon to support the credibility of the questionnaires: reliability, content and construct validity. Opinions from a group of experts and a pilot study guaranteed the content validity of the questionnaire, respectively. Furthermore, Principal Component Analysis was used to measure the construct validity of the questionnaire, which resulted in the items loading under five major subcomponents. The reliability coefficient was also calculated for all five subcomponents, using Cronbach's alpha. The results of the study showed that this questionnaire could be a valid and reliable instrument for examining the criticality of ESP teachers. The questionnaire may be used in studies aiming to examine whether Iranian ESP teachers' practices, in particular, are consistent with the principles of critical pedagogy. Furthermore, the extracted components can be useful guidelines to increase the understanding of ESP practitioners of the principles of critical pedagogy.
Critical pedagogy, English for specific purposes, questionnaire development, validity, reliability
The expansion of low-cost carriers (LCC) in the past two decades has increased the number of air passengers and visitors to countries around the globe. The resulting growth of the tourism industry worldwide has challenged airports in shaping their operations. Thus, the purposes of the study were to: 1) investigate efficient areas in airport operations; and 2) investigate inefficient areas in airport operations of Thai airports. Semi-structured interviews were adopted to collect qualitative data from 30 LCC staff. The research results showed that Thailand airports had efficiencies in providing a number of security check points, cooperation of security agencies, standard safety equipment, wide ranges of ancillary services, friendly staff and regular arrangement of airport meetings with airline representatives, whereas capabilities of security staff, airlines and passenger facilities, language ability of airport staff, attitudes of airport staff, service allocation, unequal treatments, price of food and goods and terminal function designs are areas of inefficiencies.
This article explores, via a postmodern approach, how Barth dealt with the intricate relationship between postmodern fiction and its modern counterpart by constructing a subjective narrative event in his novella, "Lost in the Funhouse". It examines the transparent and correspondent representation of the narrative event as a category of Barthian critique of modern literary exhaustion, and how Barth appropriates remedial recycling for fictional conventions. This apocalyptic homogeneous narrative device involves a constant reciprocal examination of contemporary fiction and its possible future. It is carried out through mutual subversion and, ultimately, challenges the notion of inherited literary forms and their utilisation over time. As such, the whole narrative event is achieved via a self-reflexive trajectory and multifarious textual solipsism.
This study is an attempt to analyse the Tamil movie song, 'Annaiyin Karuvil', meaning 'mother's womb' from the Tamil movie 'Haridass'. This song is one of the popular motivational songs of a Tamil lyricist, called Annamalai. The texture discourse of this song will be analysed in terms of grammatical and lexical usages found by making use of discourse analysis.
Texture discourse, Discourse analysis, Grammatical and Lexical usages, Eksophora, Coherence, Cohesive, Restatement, Cataphora and Reference
This study examines the use of author self-reference, but pronouns, in the form of third person point of view in academic writing. The data for analysis were retrieved from C-SMILE (Corpus of State University of Malang Indonesian Learners' English), which consisted of 124 theses and 138 research articles of EFL learners, who were undergraduate students of the Department of English, State University of Malang. Results demonstrated abundant uses of the researcher as author self-reference. This leads to the possibility to expand the notion of ventriloquizing drawn on spoken discourse for application into written discourse. We hypothetically believe that ventriloquizing, which occurs in academic writing, has a strong relation with self-effacing device as a strategy to disguise authors' identity. We conclude that the authors' (EFL learners') choice of the researcher as referent is highly affected by the "ventriloquizing-like" strategy in their L1 and L2 although they are different in terms of purposes.
Since reading and writing have been taught separately and independently by some English instructors, students, especially EFL learners, do not use their knowledge in either area to improve their literacy learning in general. This study is aimed at examining the impact of incorporating reading in efforts to improve the writing skills of EFL students. In this study, five Iranian students, studying in an international school in Malaysia, were purposively selected. Two instruments were used: a compiled genre-specific corpus as the main tool to evaluate the participants' level of proficiency in writing and two semi-structured interviews as supplementary instruments to obtain EFL participants' perspectives on the effect of reading on the development of writing skills. The method used to analyse the corpus was CACA, short for computer-assisted corpus analysis, where the written texts from the pre-test and the post-test were used and compiled into a corpus and then tagged and analysed using suitable concordance software. After intervention was done, the participants were given some instruction on how to write effectively. The findings indicated that the participants' writing skills had significantly improved by integrating reading in writing tasks. It is hoped that the findings of this study will help students as well as English teachers realise the significant role of reading in writing i.e. in enhancing writing performance and motivating students to read at the same time.
Corpus linguistics, EFL learners, reading, reading to writing, writing
Citation index for publication is one of the sought-after criteria for university ranking and it contributes to significant merits in an academician's performance evaluation. Citation indices are systematically generated to indicate the number of times a paper is cited by other writers. As such, it is deemed to be more neutral and unprejudiced in determining the value of the research articles. In view of the importance of citation index, this study compares the strategies used in presenting research work in the introductory sections of highly cited research articles and those that have never been cited. In order to be cited, the introduction section of the research article must be able to capture the interest of readers, which includes editors, reviewers, and the research community. Otherwise, readers may choose to read or cite other articles. Given the importance and complexity of an article, the introduction section is deemed to be the most challenging section to write by many scientific writers. Therefore, this paper compares the presentation of the introduction sections of Computer Science research articles in highly cited articles and those that have never been cited. A total of 127 research articles published in Scopus-indexed journals written by academicians from Malaysian universities were analysed using move analysis. The scheme for move analysis is derived from the CARS model (Swales, 2004). Apart from promoting the findings obtained in the research work, this study also suggests that the highly cited research articles have higher percentages of strategy realisation compared to research articles that have low citation.
Citation, non-native writers, research article, introduction section
This investigation is a case study of a process of negotiation of professional identity of a Thai pre-service teacher during her teaching practicum through the lens of Symbolic Interactionist theory. It posits that interaction with different objects allows for complexity of professional identity formation to emerge. The participant's narratives in the form of reflections over 15 weeks were collected and transcribed for analysis. Key phrases of the participant's role claims were investigated to identify themes vital to observe her self-image as a teacher. Findings also revealed that the interaction with social objects i.e. her students as human agency, was found to be most influential on her identity formation. This study hopes to shed light on teacher training education on the importance of teacher identity, which is central to beliefs, assumptions and values that guide a teacher's practice in the process of becoming one.
Pre-service teacher, professional identity, Symbolic Interactionism, narratives
English Language writing teachers have always corrected students' writing, hoping that their efforts would help students to write better. Students, on the other hand, may use the teacher's feedback to improve their writing. Teachers' strategies in giving feedback have been researched extensively, as compared to students' strategies in revising their writing. The objectives of this study are to find out the most common strategy used by the students, and further, to determine which strategy is considered as being the most effective. A qualitative approach was used in this study, where data were collected from the analysis of students' opinion-based essays and retrospective interviews. The study revealed that the most common strategy used was closely follow because students believed that they needed to make sure the revised essays were error-free. The results also showed that the same strategy was considered as being successful as many of the revised WCF were errorfree. The results implied that even though students may successfully revise the essay, they may not necessarily understand the nature of the errors committed. It is recommended that teachers give written corrective feedback with oral feedback and this should be done while students are writing the essay, in line with Flower-Hayes Cognitive Process Theory Of Writing.
ESL writing, student response revision strategy, teacher feedback, writing as a process, written corrective feedback.
This study aims to propose a practical theoretical framework in constructing a prototype lesson of online-mediated lessons in English for Domestic Tourism using social constructivism theory in investigating the quality of an online prototype lesson in terms of the validity, reliability and effectiveness and exploring students' opinions towards this online lesson. The sample group consisted of 20 students, and the research instruments were InConMedt, a pre- and post-test of WBST-EFT with a rating scale and the interview. The results from priori-validation indicated that this online prototype task posed high content and construct validity and reliability. The statistical results from dependent-samples of the t-test showed a significant improvement at the .01 level in the high- proficiency group. Most importantly, the two proficiency groups had positive opinions of this online lesson.
Online lesson, English for Specific Purposes, English for Tourism, social constructivism
This study investigates temporal changes in Iranian EFL learners' L2 motivation and the possibility of predicting their motivated learning behaviour, ideal and ought-to L2 selves and L2 learning experience in light of Dörnyei's (2005) L2 motivational self-system framework. To this end, 1,868 learners of four educational levels (i.e. junior high and high school levels, BA/BSc and MA levels) filled out the questionnaire developed by Taguchi et al. (2009). The results of the one-way ANOVA revealed a higher motivational disposition for secondary school students and an age-related decline specifically concerning preventional-focus variables. Moreover, the results of the regression analyses showed that different factors predicted the three components of L2 motivational self-system and intended effort of the four educational groups. Most of the predicting factors of students' ideal L2 self, learning experience and motivated behaviour had a promotional focus whereas preventional-focus variables were among predictors of students' ought-to L2 self.
This action research project aimed to investigate an ESL teacher's strategy of using the content-based instruction (CBI) method to increase student interaction in an English class and to examine the students' reactions to this approach. Based on the teacher's self-critical reflection, classroom teaching observations were conducted. At the end of the semester a questionnaire was given to students to obtain their response to this method. The findings suggested that the information gap was one factor which supported the initiation response and feedback (IRF) structure used by the teacher to trigger interaction in the classroom. Video footage also provided evidence that the majority of the students were willing to make an effort to interact in English, and the survey analysis showed positive responses from the students. In spite of the positive outcomes, the teacher's lack of skills in code-switching between the students' first language (L1) and the target language (L2) and selecting CBI learning materials relevant to industry are issues for consideration in further research and practice.
Having to sit oral tests is tense particularly for individuals who have poor command of the language being tested. This study examines students' reasons in perceiving an oral test as the easiest or hardest and analyses whether they perform poorly (achieving the lowest score) in the test which they perceived as being the most difficult by comparing their perceived oral test difficulty and perceived oral test performance with their actual oral test performance. The study examined 63 students, selected by means of purposive sampling. Data of the survey research were obtained through a self-administered questionnaire and from students' test scores. The descriptive analysis revealed that the prepared individual speech was perceived as the easiest test, followed by the impromptu two-way communication, 20-minute group discussion and the 30-minute group discussion, while the most difficult test was the impromptu individual speech. Besides that, the top four challenges faced by students in the oral tests which they perceived as being the most difficult were insufficient ideas and/or elaboration, time constraint, being nervous and lack of preparation. The implications of the research on adequacy of oral practice were also discussed as the findings provided better understanding of the challenges faced by participants in oral tests.
Reasons of performance, perceived test difficulty, perceived performance, actual performance
Staff network from many government universities called recently on the Thai Higher Education Commission to solve their job insecurity, low salary and job and environmental condition stresses resulting from government occupational policy regarding education and occupation. The aim of this study is to investigate the causal relationship of occupational stress among male academic university employees in Thailand. The research conducted in this study was a cross-sectional study among 2,000 male academic employees who worked at Thai government universities in Thailand. The stratified random sampling method was used. Causal variables consisted of wages, family support, periods of duty and job and environmental condition. The effect variable consisted of stress. The results of this study found that job and environmental condition, which is one of the psychosocial dimensions of occupational health, had the most direct effect on stress (p<0.05) while variables such as family support and periods of duty were occupational stress at the low level. The most significant causal variable was job and environmental condition related to occupational stress among male academic university employees in Thailand. Some suggestions for the next research are that greater importance should be placed on psychosocial research in Thailand, especially qualitative method among male academic university employees to confirm these results, and that there should be comparisons between female and male academic university employees.
Causal relationship, occupational stress, male academic university employees
This study investigates how Indonesian learners acquire scalar implicature. The objectives are to examine the robustness of the pragmatic effects of scalar implicature acquisition and to find out whether such variables as language proficiency (measured by the students' Grade Point Average), gender and previous English learning experience, which were not controlled in previous studies, can affect the interpretation of SI. Twenty-eight learners participated in this study. The instruments used were adopted from Noveck (2001) and Slabakova (2010). They included both factually universal and factually existential statements, to which the students were asked to choose Agree or Disagree. Results showed that despite an attempt to control such variables as language proficiency, gender and previous English learning experiences, the majority of the participants in the present study had a tendency of thinking more pragmatically than logically. The finding of the present study confirms the assumption held in previous studies that the pragmatic effect of the interpretation of scalar implicatures is robust.
Scalar implicature, pragmatic effects, language proficiency, gender, previous English learning experiences, factually universal and factually existential statements, interpretation of scalar implicatures