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İran’da EFL Derslerinin Sözlü İletişimi ve Beceri ve Motivasyon Stratejilerine Yönelik Bir Araştırma

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Author(s): Ali Hadavi ZADEH | Ali TEMİZEL

Journal: Selcuk Universitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitusu Dergisi
ISSN 1302-1796

Issue: 24;
Start page: 418;
Date: 2010;
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Keywords: Motivation | Learning strategies | learner’s autonomy | anxiety | concern

ABSTRACT
The last few decades have seen a revolution in the world of communication, and specifically over the last ten years a hugedemand among countries to interact and communicate in many different fields such as export and import goods, politicaldiscussions, education, management, bank transactions, negotiations and many others. This rapid increase in communicationbetween the countries of the World led them to progress their ability to communicate in English as the International Language(Holliday, 2005:1). Unfortunately this crucial ability seems to be being neglected in the Iranian Educational System. LearningEnglish from the age of 14 is a compulsory course in Iran and students will continue the English course until the age of 18 atSecondary level. Surprisingly, after 7 years studying English their ability to make small conversation in English is shaky (Jahangard,2007:30).This article is concerned with an investigation into motivational recommendations among Iranian EFL students during theirthree year English Language studies, with the focus on year 8. The aim of this article is to explore the obstacles of oralcommunication skills which would be considered to be speaking and interacting in the target language among learners in their 3year English course in Secondary school.Not being able to communicate in English after studying for nearly 3 years at the Secondary level, students are still strugglingto apply English in their daily conversations. A review of literature will be addressed in the subsequent sections, which reveals aclear definition of different types of motivation and also the obstacles in communication in foreign language classrooms in Iran.Additionally, the advantages and disadvantages of research models and their definitions are presented. To evaluate the quality,validity and reliability of the research I am going to collect central criteria from a number of standardizations. Ethical issues areused to guide the research and at the end of this article I will provide further implications to this research project.Considering the above issues, two methods were used in this survey, which were interviews and questionnaires. From myexperience, applying these two methods in the Iranian education environment would have the most reliable and accurate results Additionally by employing these two methods I can explore the results and investigation in more detail. In view of the context ofthe survey, I wish to emphasis the research aims in the following paragraphs.This research is aimed at revealing the appropriate motivational strategies in Iranian foreign language classrooms. In this way,I wished to see whether learners become less motivated during secondary school or whether the methods do not meet thelearners’ needs. In view of the research aims, two significant types of intellectual project were applied in this research: knowledgefor understanding and knowledge for action (Poulson and Wallace, 2003:23).Elaborating on the research aims, two research questions were suggested as follows:1) What motivates Iranian students to speak English as a foreign language?2) What are the appropriate motivational strategies for the Iranian classroom environment?These research questions were established for two reasons. The first research question focuses on the motivational skills topersuade Iranian learners to speak and to interact more in English as their second language and the second question focuses onthe most suitable ways to teach within Iranian classrooms.In the view of the above research questions, it is clear that Iranian learners are always struggling with oral skills, in and out ofthe school environment. To investigate the main reasons for this lack of motivation among students I am going to focus on 111students from 7 different schools in order to achieve the most reliable and accurate feedback from both learners and teachers.Moreover, learners are not only responsible for not being able to communicate in English after these years; the teachers andthe design syllabus are also having an effect. According to the survey results, speaking is not appreciated by teachers in Iranianclassrooms compared to the reading, writing and listening skills. This tragedy is also caused by not having native speakers inIranian schools. Which, this catastrophe is affecting the learners’ oral skills more than the other skills, and also, the course time isnot sufficient to improve the students’ speaking skills. In the light of all these points, I wish to investigate the lack ofcommunication among Iranian students.The fact that Iranian students are not able to benefit from native speakers and their non-native teachers are not focusing onthe values of speaking in this modern society, led this survey to a new investigation in Middle Eastern countries. This surveyresearched an area that has rarely been explored; therefore I hope this investigation can introduce a real view of Iranian foreignlanguage classrooms.In Iran, the fever for learning English is rising. Official figures state that about 8 million learners are currently learningEnglish as a foreign language at junior and high schools, universities, and private language institutes (Roshd FLT, 2008:15).However, despite this growth, there is little literature on the practical aspects of these classes available. In the Literature reviewsection of this dissertation I am going to throw light on the problems and a brief background of teaching English in Iran, startingwith a summary of some key notions about the current discipline in Iranian schools, according to Iranian and internationalteachers and authors. After evaluating the problems of English teaching in Iran, some practical suggestions are presented forimprovements.Learning and being able to communicate in English as a second language (ESL) is increasing rapidly in Iran. Generally, theinstruction is structural and the pedagogical focus is, consequently, on the grammatical features of English. As Norozi Khiyabanibelieves, structural and grammar-translation methods of teaching are most common, and change is resisted. By applying theGrammar Translation Method, the best results will be achieved in the written exams where learners are able to spend more timeanswering the questions by referring to their grammatical knowledge which roles have been emphasized by their teachers(Krashen & Terrell, 1983:130)
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