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Teaching metadiscourse features and IELTS writing performance of Iranian EFL learners: A learner corpus-based perspective

Mehrdad Vasheghani Farahani (Universitat Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany)
Vahid Pahlevansadegh (Department of Philology, University of Georgia, Tbilisi, Georgia)

Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education

ISSN: 2050-7003

Publication date: 1 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

In spite of the growing interest in using corpora in language teaching and learning, applying computers and software (especially corpora software) is still new in second language teaching and learning. In addition, employing a learner corpus-based perspective in teaching metadiscourse features in International English Language Testing System (IELTS) writing tasks is not reported to the best knowledge of the researchers. Understanding and spotting this gap, the purpose of this paper is to utilize a learner corpus-based approach in teaching metadiscourse features and investigate its possible impacts on IELTS writing performance of the Iranian second language learners. Therefore, this study addressed the following research questions and hypotheses.

Design/methodology/approach

The current research utilized a quasi-experimental research design. In addition, this research used a learner corpus-based methodology. The corpus-based methodology was exploited to enable the researchers to have access to a large body of authentic language materials. In other words, a corpus-based methodology was used due to the fact that it made it possible for the researchers to elicit the metadiscourse features from a large number of authentic writing materials and to employ them during the treatment process with authentic examples.

Findings

The findings showed that there was a positive correlation between teaching metadiscourse features and writing performance of IELTS learners; in that, teaching metadiscourse features could soar the writing performance of the subjects. In addition, interactional metadiscourse features had more impact than interactive metadiscourse features on writing performance.

Practical implications

The results of this research can have useful implications for second language teachers and learners as well as researchers in learner corpus as they can learn the creation and application of learner corpora in second language teaching and learning.

Originality/value

This paper is value in that it uses corpus software and methodology in teaching metadiscourse features in writing section of IELTS test.

Keywords

Citation

Vasheghani Farahani, M. and Pahlevansadegh, V. (2019), "Teaching metadiscourse features and IELTS writing performance of Iranian EFL learners: A learner corpus-based perspective", Journal of Applied Research in Higher Education, Vol. 11 No. 3, pp. 538-558. https://doi.org/10.1108/JARHE-10-2018-0222

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited