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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

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This journal is peer reviewed and indexed in: SCOPUS, ERA, IBZ, IBR & more


Papers in Press

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Students' relational involvement in literary worlds: Levels of engagement when reading fiction in a first and second language

Birgitta SVENSSON, University of Gothenburg, Sweden | Contact Author

Monica KARLSSON, Halmstad University, Sweden | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 1-24. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

The primary aim of this paper is to examine students´ relational engagement in a short story, as well as their use of mental state expressions in responding to it in three different writing assignments, one of which involved photo elicitation. A secondary aim is to examine and compare the relational engagement between students reading the story in Swedish (i.e., their L1) and English (i.e., their L2), respectively. The theoretical framework draws on research in relational engagement/transactional theory, the Appraisal system, Dual Code Theory (DCT), and the Linguistic Threshold Hypothesis. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were used. A total of 33 students participated in the study, half of whom read the story in Swedish, and half in English. The results show that the students used a wide range of mental state expressions, but also that these expressions changed in accordance with task formulation. The results also show that the photo-elicitation assignment yielded the strongest relational engagement. Furthermore, students reading the story in Swedish generally demonstrated a stronger relational engagement than students reading the story in English.

Citation: Svensson, B., & Karlsson, M. (2020). Students' relational involvement in literary worlds: Levels of engagement when reading fiction in a first and second language. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 1-24.

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The creation of a periphrasis: estar, ir, and venir in construction with gerunds in Rioplatense Spanish

Alicia OCAMPO, University of Minnesota, USA | Contact Author

Francisco OCAMPO, University of Minnesota, USA | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 25-62. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

The present study deals with the meanings conveyed by verbal periphrases with the auxiliaries estar ‘to be in a place’, ir ‘to go’, and venir ‘to come’, plus a gerund, as in: te lo está explicando ‘he is explaining it to you’, te lo va explicando ‘he [gradually] explains it to you’, and te lo viene explicando ‘he keeps explaining it to you’. These verbs underwent a process of grammaticalization which turned them into auxiliaries, conveying mainly tense and aspect. There has been a cross-domain mapping from the literal spatial meaning into metaphorical temporal values. In the periphrases, all three verbs perform a common role: they provide a temporal frame for the progressive situations (expressed by the gerund) to occur. However, the cognitive topology of the source domain still applies to the auxiliaries, whose different metaphorical meanings are responsible for the contrast in meanings and functions among the three periphrases. The analysis is based on a corpus of 20 hours of informal conversations.

Citation: Ocampo, A., & Ocampo, F. (2020). The creation of a periphrasis: estar, ir, and venir in construction with gerunds in Rioplatense Spanish. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 25-62.

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Hearing, seeing, experiencing: Perspective taking and emotional engagement through the vocalisation of Jane Eyre, Heart of darkness and Things fall apart

Cecilia BJÖRKÉN-NYBERG, Malmö University, Sweden | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 63-88. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

Readers’ emotional engagement with fiction is a busy research area situated at the intersection between cognitive, affective and narrative theory. Perspective taking is a feature that cuts across these disciplines since the narrative situation is crucial for communicating the experiences of narrators and characters in literary texts. However, what has been explored in less detail is how the vocalisation of printed text facilitates an empathetic response due to the expressive impact of the human voice so that narratives may be visualised and experienced in a variety of ways. Within audionarratology, the concept of voice is undergoing a redefinition since it has ceased to be textually mediated and can be experienced directly. Audiobook narration is a case in point. In the present study, it is argued that empathy is a mediating agent that resides in the vocalisation of text rather than in the text itself. For the purpose of exploring this phenomenon, a pilot study was carried out. Three canonical English texts that had previously been studied in their entirety in print by a group of students were accessed in part in a remediated audio format. The listening experiment showed that the individual voice profile of each of the narrating actors had a significant impact on perspective taking and emotional engagement.

Citation: Björkén-Nyberg, C. (2020). Hearing, seeing, experiencing: Perspective taking and emotional engagement through the vocalisation of Jane Eyre, Heart of darkness and Things fall apart. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 63-88.

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Vocabulary in EFL teaching materials for young learners

Marie NORDLUND, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden | Contact Author

Cathrine NORBERG, Luleå University of Technology, Sweden | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 89-116. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

Vocabulary is a key factor in successful language acquisition and as the textbook is central in the teaching of English, ideas behind vocabulary input in teaching materials should be based on research findings. The present study is an analysis of seven teaching materials used for young learners in Sweden. The results show that only a limited amount of the vocabulary students encounter in textbooks features in the exercises, with the focus placed on practising words already occurring with high frequency in the textbooks. Most exercises have an incidental vocabulary-learning focus and also require students to deal with language only in a mechanical way. This suggests there is no pedagogical thought behind the vocabulary input and that the inadequacies of textbooks are not properly addressed in workbooks. A conclusion to be drawn is that many teaching materials intended for younger learners in Swedish schools are questionable from a language learning perspective.

Citation: Nordlund, M., & Norberg, C. (2020). Vocabulary in EFL teaching materials for young learners. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 89-116.

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The art of read-aloud, body language and identity construction: A multimodal interactional analysis of interaction between parent, child and picture book

Margaretha HÄGGSTRÖM, University of Gothenburg, Sweden | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 117-140. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

The aim of this study is to explore how different semiotic resources are used and shaped by and within social interaction during read-aloud situations between one parent and two children. The study is based on multimodal interaction analysis and the data is based on six read-aloud occasions with one parent and two children during a period of two weeks. The point of departure is the interaction between the children, the parent and the book, focusing on the semiotic resources the participants use in relation to the reader’s performance and the children’s identity production. The results highlight the impact of the reader and the importance of the reader’s approach and skills. The results also show that when children are asked to take part in conversations and participate on their own terms, the read-aloud occasion can offer a significant arena for children’s identity production.

Citation: Häggström, M. (2020). The art of read-aloud, body language and identity construction: A multimodal interactional analysis of interaction between parent, child and picture book. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 117-140.

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Error gravity analysis of IELTS students’ academic writing task 2

Seyed Mohammad ALAVI, University of Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

Majid NEMATI, University of Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

Jafar DORRI, University of Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 141-154. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

This study aimed to explore language areas where students need support, practice, and feedback in their IELTS academic Task 2 writing. To fulfill the purpose of the study, a convenient sample of 200 IELTS candidates (N=200) at Amir Kabir University of Technology were invited to write an IELTS academic task 2 essay. Two certified IELTS examiners rated the essays based on the following criteria: Task Achievement (TA), Cohesion and Coherence (CC), Lexical Resource (LR), and Grammar Range and Accuracy (GRA). The results revealed that students need more training, practice, and feedback on Task Achievement in comparison with the other three writing task rubrics. Following TA stood CC, LR, and GRA. This study suggests that writing instructors in general, and IELTS teachers in specific, introduce the writing assessment rubrics (IELTS writing band descriptor for IELTS candidates) to students fully and analyze some sample writings in their classrooms for the students to familiarize them with IELTS examiners’ expectations. It was concluded that teachers should spend more quality time on providing students with task achievement feedback as it tops the error gravity list.

Citation: Alavi, S. M., Nemati, M., & Dorri, J. (2020). Error gravity analysis of IELTS students’ academic writing task 2. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 141-154.

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On the functions and forms of metadiscursive hedging in applied linguistics

Marziyeh NEKOUEIZADEH, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran | Contact Author

Mohammad BAVALI, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran | Contact Author

Mohammad Sadegh BAGHERI, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran | Contact Author

Ehsan RASSAEI, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 155-170. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

Metadiscourse, defined as discourse about discourse, has been borrowed from philosophy into applied linguistics and has evolved as a new area of research in this field. Although metadiscourse is a relatively new subfield in applied linguistics, it has been researched by a range of scholars around the world. The current paper reports the findings of a qualitative library research conducted to identify the functions and forms of metadiscursive hedging in applied linguistics. First, it defines the topic briefly and reviews the existing, but still burgeoning, literature on it. Then, it establishes an interface between fuzzy logic, linguistics, pragmatics, politeness, and applied linguistics. The paper concludes with a discussion of the future directions of research on metadiscursive hedging in applied linguistics.

Citation: Nekoueizadeh, M., Bavali, M., Bagheri, M. S., & Rassaei, E. (2020). On the functions and forms of metadiscursive hedging in applied linguistics. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 155-170.

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Book Review: Zimmerman, E., & McMeekin, A. (Eds.). (2019). Technology-supported learning in and out of the Japanese language classroom. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. [pp. xvi+355; ISBN-13: 978-1-78892-349-1]

Monica KARLSSON, Halmstad University, Sweden | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 171-179. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

Citation: Karlsson, M. (2020). Review of the book echnology-supported learning in and out of the Japanese language classroom. Bristol, by E. Zimmerman & A. McMeekin. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 171-179.

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Book Review: Yigitoglu, N. & Reichelt, M. (Eds.). (2019). L2 writing beyond English. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. [pp. 234; ISBN 978-1788923132]

Birgitta SVENSSON, University of Gothenburg, Sweden | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 180-186. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

Citation: Svensson, B. (2020). Review of the book L2 writing beyond English, by N. Yigitoglu & M. Reichelt. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(1), 180-186.

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An analysis of L1 readers’ meaning-making processes through producing and answering questions regarding picture books: Eye-tracking measurements and interviews

Kaori OKUIZUMI, Nippon Sport Science University, Japan | Contact Autho

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press]. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

The aim of this research was to investigate readers’ meaning-making processes from words and pictures in picture books. Ten junior university students were engaged in eye-tracking analyses and interviews, and their eye movements and fixations from the words to the corresponding picture parts were analyzed. The results showed that the students produced some original questions when they were viewing and tracking on the double-page spread, and they demonstrated many types of approaches to producing and solving their own questions, utilizing structural relationships among the visual cues corresponding to their questions. The results of the study revealed tendencies that have implications for the processes of identifying how readers create structural relationships among visual cues in reading texts, and how they utilize these relationships to ask questions. It was concluded that these tendencies as well as the readers’ questions may be helpful in identifying students’ reading/viewing states.

Citation: Okuizumi, K. (2020). An analysis of L1 readers’ meaning-making processes through producing and answering questions regarding picture books: Eye-tracking measurements and interviews. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press].

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The attitudes and opinions of young students towards their own language: The case of Tsonga-speaking students at the University of Johannesburg

Lidon CHAUKE, Nelson Mandela University, South Africa | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press]. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

Tsonga people are one of South Africa’s recognised ethnic groups with a population of over 4.5 million speakers in the country (Census 2011). This qualifies the language as one of the least spoken indigenous languages in the country when compared to Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Sotho, and Tswana. In cases where a language is spoken by the minority, there tends to be concomitant negative attitudes towards that particular language by speakers of the majority languages. This paper reports the findings of a study that investigated the attitudes and opinions of young Tsonga-speaking students towards their own language (or their perception of the self) at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. Ten (N=10) Tsonga-speaking students were asked how they felt about their own language. Structured questionnaires that consisted of both open ended and closed ended questions were used. Results indicated that the participants of the study not only had positive attitudes and opinions towards their own language, but they also had the same with the other indigenous South African languages.

Citation: Chauke, L. (2020). The attitudes and opinions of young students towards their own language: The case of Tsonga-speaking students at the University of Johannesburg. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press].

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The enacting of emotions in two picture books: Interpretations through a multimodal discourse analysis

Birgitta SVENSSON, University of Gothenburg, Sweden | Contact Autho

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press]. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

This article examines the emotional dimension in both image and text in two Swedish picture books: Gittan och gråvargarna and Stackars Pettson. To this end, a multimodal discourse analysis (MDA) model, developed by Painter, Martin and Unsworth (2013) is used. The analysis illustrates similarities, but also differences, in the way the two picture books draw on visual and verbal interpersonal meaning-making systems, and how they use text and image as narrative elements. This should partly be seen as an outcome of the picture books’ different drawings styles (generic versus naturalistic drawing style), and that they address different age groups. The emotional level is examined in light of how each picture book may challenge the reader’s/viewer’s Theory of Mind capacities and knowledge of literary/artistic conventions. For example, intertextuality and a psychological/symbolic dimension are incorporated into one of the picture books, whereas the other involves characters’ intentionality and multiple shifting emotions.

Citation: Svensson, B. (2020). The enacting of emotions in two picture books: Interpretations through a multimodal discourse analysis. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press].

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Exploring the rhetorical structure of written personal narratives: A move analysis of Persian and English native speakers’ and Iranian EFL learners’ narratives

Zahra YAZDANPANAH, Kish International Campus, University of Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

Majid NEMATI, University of Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press]. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

This study aimed to investigate personal narratives written by members of three types of discourse community: native Persian speakers, native English speakers, and beginner-level Iranian EFL learners. The aim was to elicit the cognitive internal organization of their narrative productions in terms of moves and steps. The three groups of participants were asked to write down one of their happiest memories Biber, Upton and Connor’s move analysis model (2007) was used to elicit the moves and sub-moves out of the personal narratives. The findings showed that because of structural and cultural variations among the discourse communities, different sub-moves were employed by the members of parent discourse communities to achieve their communicative purposes and to convey their intended meanings. Persian native speakers emphasized temporal setting and describing the situation while English native speakers preferred to state the reasons why it was a happy memory. Iranian EFL learners transferred the general narrative framework from Persian to tell their narratives in English due to the lack of linguistic knowledge and unfamiliarity with the rhetorical structure of English personal narratives. The study concluded that the explicit teaching of the moves and steps to EFL learners enabled them to produce native like texts in English.

Citation: Yazdanpanah, Z., & Nemati, M. (2020). Exploring the rhetorical structure of written personal narratives: A move analysis of Persian and English native speakers’ and Iranian EFL learners’ narratives. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press].

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The impact of self-assessment on Iranian young learners’ language proficiency

Elika MOSSADEGH RASHTI, Kish International Campus, University of Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

Seyed Mohammad ALAVI, University of Tehran, Iran | Contact Author

International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press]. | Download PDF | Add Print to Cart

The present study explores the effect of a self-assessment approach on the process of improving Young Learners’ English language ability achievement in a foreign language learning environment. To achieve the objective of this study, two self-assessment sheets were designed based on the course book taught to the 8- to 12-year-old young learners (N= 110) studying at a non-governmental primary school. These participants were divided to two levels of proficiency. They were then asked to fill in the sheets and describe their attempts and achievements in learning the chosen language constructs. A YLE Cambridge test was administered to the participants at the very beginning of the semester and in the end of the course. The results showed that performing self-assessment in YLs’ classes can have a positive effect on improving their general level of language proficiency. This finding can be appealing to materials developers and test designers for young learners.

Citation: Mossadegh Rashti, E., & Alavi, S. M. (2020). The impact of self-assessment on Iranian young learners’ language proficiency. International Journal of Language Studies, 14(2), [Article in Press].

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