Explicit teaching of segmentals versus suprasegmentals: Which would yield better listening comprehension skills for interpreter trainees? An experimental study (Published)
The present study investigates the effect of explicit teaching of segmentals and suprasegmentals on developing listening comprehension skills for Farsi-English interpreter trainees. Three groups of student interpreters were formed. All were native speakers of Farsi who studied English translation and interpreting at the BA level at the University of Applied Sciences in Tehran, Iran. Participants were assigned to groups at random, but with equal division between genders (6 female and 6 male students in each group). No significant differences in English language skills (TOEFL scores) could be established between the groups prior to the experiment. Participants took a pretest of listening comprehension before starting the program. The control group listened to authentic audio tracks in English and discussed their contents, watched authentic English movies, discussed issues in the movies in pairs in the classroom. The first experimental group spent part of the time on theoretical explanation of, and practical exercises with, English suprasegmentals. The second experimental group spent part of the time on theoretical explanation of, and practical exercises with, English segmentals. The total instruction time was the same for all three groups, i.e. 12 hours. Students then took a posttest in listening comprehension skills. The results show that the explicit teaching of segmentals significantly improved the students’ listening comprehension skills more than that of the other groups. These results have pedagogical implications for curriculum designers, interpreting programs for training future interpreters, material producers and all who are involved in language study and pedagogy.
English Language Teachers Attitudes about Their Contribution in Curriculum Process in the Saudi Education System (Published)
In Saudi Arabia curriculum designing and development is always performed by the educational authority the Ministry of Education. Unfortunately, teachers’ voices are completely ignored, although they are the principle role-players in the educational process. Teachers, on their part, have practical knowledge based on their daily work with the students. This knowledge is useful because teachers can assess whither the new ideas will work in the classroom. In the current study the researcher investigated the teachers’ viewpoints on their participation in the curriculum design process. A researcher-made questionnaire was used to collect data from the samples. The results showed that teachers have positive attitudes about their participation in the curriculum designing process
EVALUATING THE STUDENTS’ LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY IN THE ENGLISH DEPARTMENT, COLLEGE OF BASIC EDUCATION IN KUWAIT (Published)
In the context of English language programs and the evaluation of such programs, this study analyzes the usefulness of the program taught to English-teachers-to-be students in the English Department, College of Basic Education in Kuwait. Based on the calculation of grades obtained in the initial placement test and a replica test conducted four years later, the change in the students’ language proficiency was measured. The paper reviews the results of the 50 participant students in both tests in five main testing categories based on the four language skills. The findings reveal very little improvement in language proficiency, which also seems to be very weak initially for an English teacher. This finding implies a major problem with the current program. Finally, a number of recommendations for program and student improvement for the College of Basic Education, and English programs in other colleges and universities, are considered.