Attrition In Writing Ability Among Adult EFL Persian Learners * Dr. A. AsgariPresentation Transcript
Background of the Study The study of language attrition has recently emerged as a new field of study. The conception of loss in language skills occurred in a conference at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in 1980. In literature, the term 'language loss' and 'language attrition' have been used interchangeably, where Language attrition is supposedly applicable to language loss. This is because language loss suggests that linguistic information is totally removed from the memory of an individual, whereas in language attrition, linguistic information becomes inaccessible to the individual. Inaccessibility is a matter of degree and the degree hinges on various reasons such as proficiency levels, social, effective and other personality factors. For language maintenance, forgetting or losing language skills is defined as a problem in recent decades.
Background of the Study
This taxonomical framework is proposed by Van Els (1986) within which this language attrition research will be conducted. The study on language attrition has been classified into the following categories:
L1 loss in L1 environment: Dialect loss
L1 loss in L2 environment: Immigrant
L2 loss in L1 environment: Foreign language attrition
L2 loss in L2 environment: Language reversion in elderly people
Hansen (2001a) remarked that "language attrition has been studied for two reasons; First of all, researchers have taken interest in knowing attrition processes and then, it has got considerable pedagogical implications".
As remarked by Schmid (2005), "there are many forms of attrition, and one type takes place when foreign language learners are in contact with the language". Tomiyama pointed out that acquisition and attrition might occur at the same time.
Statement of the Problem
A huge amount of budget is remarked annually for the development of English proficiency.
English language is a foreign language for Iranian people.
Teachers simply ignored students’ cultures.
The university syllabus for TEFL
The macro and micro skills of writing
Method of teaching language (i.e., the Grammar-Translation Method)
Lack of mastery of their grammatical competence
General Objective :
The purpose and general objective of this study is to provide baseline data for future research on Writing Ability Attrition among Adult EFL Persian Learners, in I.R.Iran.
To identify the differences between L2 attrition rate of grammatical morphemes on continuing and non-continuing students at the intermediate level.
To identify the differences between L2 attrition rate of grammatical morphemes on continuing and non-continuing students at the advanced level.
There are no differences between L2 attrition rate of grammatical morphemes s on continuing students at the intermediate level.
There are no differences between L2 attrition rate of grammatical morphemes on non-continuing students at the intermediate level.
There are no differences between L2 attrition rate of grammatical morphemes on continuing students at the advanced level.
There are no differences between L2 attrition rate of grammatical morphemes on non-continuing students at the advanced level.
Limitation of the Study
The aspects of writing ability which be examined in this research is limited.
Learners had no choice and had to write on a pre-assigned topic;
The attrition of learning strategies and teaching methodology are not controlled.
The amount of out-of-class exposure to l2 in stage one and the age of initial exposure to l2, the degree of motivate, attitude and affective are not controlled in this study.
The number of respondents involved in this study is only four hundred students.
For non-continuing students, it was not possible to control for extraneous variables such as references to dictionaries or other forms of assistance.
In addition, this study investigates attrition in adult learners only.
The aspects of types and numbers of vocabulary which be examined in this research is limited.
Review of the Literature
Stages in Language Attrition
Cognitive Processes and Cause of Attrition
Important Variables in Attrition Studies
Rate and Pattern of Attrition
Learning and Relearning Vocabulary
Attrition in Grammar
L1 Attrition vs. L2 Attrition
This research compares two groups of the subjects of study on the same variables that have been done in past researches. As there is no treatment in this study, the researcher determined the relationships between the various variables. Hence, the design selected for this study is the quantitative research (ex-post facto).
The designation of ex-post facto , from Latin for "after the fact", is used to determine the natural course of events. Its purpose to investigate the cause-and-effect relationships between the IV and DV, where the researcher cannot randomly assign subjects to different conditions or manipulate the independent variable directly.
Location, Population & Sampling
This study is conducted in the Islamic Republic of Iran . The research location is in the capital of Iran, Tehran at the KISH English Language Institute.
An accidental sampling of the main major of non-probability sampling employed in this research. The subjects in this study consist of two hundred male and female adult Iranian language learners who have registered in intermediate and advanced (IPL3 & APL) levels at the KISH Institute English Language in mixed classes during the spring and summer season in 2009.
Yukawa (2001) suggested that a number of field procedures are to be used to collect information for language learning researches, such as questionnaires, interviews, tests, observations and think-aloud. A composition test was employed in the present study for data elicitation.
ESL/EFL COMPOSITION PROFILE (Jacob, 1981)
Research Instrument effective complex constructions ; few errors of agreement, tense, number, word order/function, articles ; few errors of pronouns, prepositions Grammatical Morpheme Criteria sophisticated range ; effective word/idiom choice & usage; word form mastery; appropriate register Lexical Density Criteria knowledgeable ; substantive; thorough development of thesis; relevant to assigned topic Syntactic Complexity Criteria demonstrates mastery of conventions; few errors of spelling; few errors of spelling punctuation; few errors of spelling capitalization and paragraphing Mechanics Criteria fluent expression ; ideas clearly stated/ supported; succinct ; well-organized; logical sequencing; cohesive Organization Criteria
The data of this study were collected in two separate stages with an interval period of six months. The composition test was administrated during class time in one session.
In the first stage which was towards the end of the summer term (the end of September 2009), all of the participants sat for the test.
After the period of six months, which was the second stage, the continuing group (those who would be attending classes in the next term, the end of May 2010) took the same test in the class.
The researcher also sent an electronic version or hard copies of the test to the non-continuing students after making sure that these students had no contact with the English language during the period of interval.
Demographics Characteristics of the Respondents
In the present study, there are the Intermediate and Advanced levels with the same percentage from the total of population. All participated are Iranians people with Persian as their mother language.
Attrition's Level of the Grammatical Morphemes
The results of the one-way ANOVA tables indicate that the continuing students do not undergo significant attrition of the using grammatical morpheme across different proficiency levels whereas for the non-continuing students, they have undergone a significant level with the grammatical morpheme at the intermediate and advanced proficiency levels in stages.
Thus, in this study, a trend of attrition in writing ability on non-continuing students with different proficiency levels at stages is observed.
The results of this research revealed that the continuing students do not experience attrition with the grammatical morpheme across different proficiency levels. In spite of the short period of non-use, non-continuing students have shown a trend of attrition across different proficiency levels. In contrast to previous studies, grammatical morphemes turned out to be more resistant to attrition.
Consequently, according to this result, the first and third null hypothesis is accepted for the continuing learners (sig-F>α, Accept Ho); while, the second and fourth ones were rejected for the non-continuing learners across different proficiency levels (sig-F<α, Reject Ho).
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