We hereby certify that this thesis by Raheleh Sheikholmolouki
Entitled Effect of Task- Based Instruction on Developing Iranian Intermediate EFL learners’ Speaking ability, Learner Autonomy and Creativity is accepted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Foreign Language .
The committee of final examination:
Gholam-Reza Abbasian, Ph. D.
First Advisor
Bahram Mowlaie ,Ph. D.
Second Advisor
Shadab Jabbar poor, Ph. D.
Head of the M.A. Department
Ahmad Mohseni, Ph. D.
The present study aimed at investigating the effectiveness of task-based instructions on developing Iranian intermediate EFL learners’ speaking ability, learner autonomy and creativity. A group of 52 intermediate EFL learners were selected based on cluster sampling. They were divided into two experimental groups (Cue Card Timed Task vs. Linguistic Summarizing Task). In order to test the major research hypothesis, a two-way ANOVA was run to compare the two groups’ means on the posttests of oral proficiency, creativity and autonomy. According to the results of this study, it can be concluded that there is a significant difference between the LS and CCT groups’ grand means on the three tests. Moreover, the CCT group outperformed the LS group on the grand mean for the posttests of oral proficiency, autonomy and creativity. Additionally, it can be concluded that there were significant differences between the Iranian EFL learners’ means on posttests of oral proficiency, autonomy and creativity irrespective of group membership. Overall, it can be concluded that task- based instruction can affect EFL learners’ speaking ability, learner autonomy, and creativity. So, both learners’ academic achievements and their cognitive factors are functions of the type of instruction, though the extent of functioning might vary depending on the dependent variable type.
Key words:
Task- Creativity- Autonomy- Cue Card Timed- Linguistic Summarizing
This thesis would not have been completed were it not for the help rendered by the following organizations and individuals.
Firstly, the researcher is deeply grateful to her supervisor Dr. Gholam-Reza Abbasian for his great effort, without which this work would have never been completed. His overly enthusiasm and integral view on research and his mission for providing only high quality work and not less, has made a deep impression on the researcher. I owe him lot of gratitude for having shown me this way of research. He could not even realize how much I have learned from him. I am glad I have come to get to know him in my academic life. He always monitored my work and took effort in reading and providing me with valuable comments. He really has a sharp eye for minute details and possesses super-analytical skills. I have to acknowledge his important inputs in all chapters of the thesis.
The researcher would also like to thank her colleagues for the effort they exerted in helping the researcher scored the speaking test. Special thanks to my dear best friends Nasrin Nabavi Ekhlas , Zahra Naderi Farjad and Kosar Ghasemi who motivated me to work energetically and gave me some constructive comments on this thesis.
My thanks and appreciations also go to those informants from Islamic Azad University South Tehran Branch who provided me opportunity to have a wonderful learning experience during my study.
I would like to thank all the students who kindly participated in this study. And last but not the least, my heartfelt appreciations are due to my loving parents who understood and supported me while I was studying.
This thesis is dedicated to all of them: My parents who were very enthusiastic, proud, and supporting me with their love, knowledge, wisdom, and guidance. To my siblings whose love was always the light of my life and from whom I have learned patience and endurance in all difficult and unbearable situations.
Table of Contents
Abstract IV
Table of Contents VII
List of Tables XII
List of Figures XIV
List of Abbreviation XV
Chapter, I Introduction
1. Introduction 1
1.1 Theoretical Background 1
1.1.2 Task- based Language Teaching (TBLT) 2
1.1.3 Task 3
1.1.4 Creativity 3
1.1.5 Autonomy 5
1.1.6 Language Skills 5 Listening 6 Speaking 6 Reading 6 Writing 6
1.2 Statement of Problem 7
1.3 Purpose and Significant of the Study 8
1.4 Research Questions 9
1.5 Research Hypotheses 10
1.6 Definition of Key Terms 10
1.6.1Autonomy 10
1.6.2 Creativity 11
1.6.3 Cue card 11
1.6.4 Speaking ability 11
1.6.5 Task 11
1.6.6 TBLT 12
1.7 Limitations and Delimitations of the Study 12
1.7.1 Limitations 12
1.7.2 Delimitations 13
Chapter II- Review of Related Literature
2.1 Introduction 14
2.2 Language Teaching Methods 14
2.2.1 A Historical Perspective 14
2.3 Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT) 18
2.3.1 What is a task? 22
2.3.2 Task Types 28
2.4 Research in Task-Based Teaching 30
2.5 Task- based Teaching and Language Skills 32
2.5.1 What are Language Skills 32 The Nature of Listening Comprehension 32 Tasks for Listening Comprehension 33 The Nature of Reading Skill 34 Tasks for Reading Comprehension 35 The Nature of Reading Skill 36 Tasks for Writing Skill 36 The Nature of Speaking Skill 37 Aspects of Speaking 39 Speaking Genres 40 Speaking Instructions 41 Tasks for Speaking Skill 41
2.6 Research in Speaking Skill 42
2.7 Learning Characteristics 43
2.7.1 Personality 43
2.7.2 Aptitude 44
2.7.3 Motivation 45
2.7.4 Language Styles and Learning Strategies 45 Learning Styles 45 Kolb’s and Riding’s Model of Learning Styles 46 Cognitive Styles 47
2.7.5 Learning Strategies 48 Cognitive Strategies 48 Metacognitive Strategies 48 Social Strategies 48 Affective Strategies 48
2.8 Language Learning 48
2.8.1 The Nature of Input 48
2.8.2 The Process of Intake 49
2.8.3 The Role of Interaction in the Classroom 49
2.8.4 The Role of Error 49
2.9 Research in Language Learners Characteristics 50
2.10 Learner Autonomy 50
2.10.1 What is Autonomy? 50
2.10.2 An Autonomous Learner Model 52
2.10.3 Characteristics of Autonomous Learners 52
2.11 Research in Learner Autonomy 53
2.12 Learner Creativity 53
2.12.1 What is Creativity? 53
2.12.2 Categories of Creativity 54
2.12.3 Academic Achievement 55
2.12.4 The Components of Creative Performance 56
2.13 Research in Learner Creativity 57
2.14 Conclusion 57
Chapter III- Method
3.1 Introduction 59
3.2 Participants 59
3.3 Instrumentation and Validation 59
3.3.1 Questionnaires 59 Reliability 60 Construct Validity 60
3.3.2 Materials 62
3.4 Procedure 62
3.5 Design 63
3.6 Data Analysis 63
Chapter IV- Results and Discussion
4.1 Introduction 64
4.2 Results 65
4.2.1 Testing Assumptions 65
4.2.2 PET Score General Language Proficiency 66
4.2.3 Oral Proficiency Test(Pretest) 67
4.2.4 Pretest of Autonomy 69
4.2.5 Pretest of Creativity 70
4.2.6 Investigation of the Major Research Question 72
4.2.7 Investigation of the Major Research Question one 75
4.2.8 Investigation of the Major Research Question two 77
4.2.9 Investigation of the Major Research Question Three 78
4.2.10 Investigation of the Major Research Question Four 79
4.2.11 Investigation of the Major Research Question Five 81
4.2.12 Investigation of the Major Research Question Six 82
4.2.13 Investigation of the Major Research Question Seven 83
4.3. Discussion 85
Chapter V Conclusions, Implications and suggestions
5.1 Introduction 90
5.2 Summary of the Findings 90
5.3 Conclusions 92
5.4 Pedagogical Implications 93
5.5 Suggestions for Further studies 94
References 95
Appendices 103
Appendix A: Arjmand Creativity Questionnaire
Appendix B: Learner Autonomy Questionnaire ( Sara Cotterall, 2005)
Appendix C: Cue Cards
Appendix D: The Level Short Story
Appendix E: PET Sample
List of Tables
Table 2.1 Definition of Task………………………………………… 25
Table 2.2 Definition of Task as an Educational Activity…………… 26
Table 2.3 List of the major cognitive styles…………………………. 47
Table 3.1 Inter-Rater Reliability…………………………………….. 60
Table 3.2 Total Variance Explained…………………………………. 61
Table 3.3 Rotated Component Matrix……………………………….. 61
Table 4.1 Testing Normality Assumption……………………………. 65
Table 4.2 Descriptive Statistics, PET by Groups…………………….. 66
Table 4.3

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