Editorial

Author


I  am  pleased  to  announce  the  publication
of  a  new  issue  of  Applied  Research  on
English  Language  which  completes  three
years  of  publication.  The  articles
comprising  the  present  issue  have  been
written  by  a  host  of  contributors  from
different  countries.  These  include  USA,
New  Zealand,  Australia,  and,  of  course,
our host country, Iran.
 
The  first  paper,  “Redefining  conceptions
of  grammar  in  English  education  in  Asia:
SFL  in  practice”,  by  Meg  Gebhard,
Wawan Gunawan and I-An Chen, analyzes
how  a  Taiwanese  EFL  teacher
participating  in  a  U.S.  based  MATESOL
program  made  sense  of  systemic
functional  linguistics  and  genre  based
pedagogy  in  designing  and  reflecting  on
literacy  instruction.  The  findings  of  the
study  indicate  that  this  teacher’s
conceptualization of grammar shifted from
a  traditional  sentence-level,  form-focused
perspective  to  a  more  functional
understanding  operating  in  interconnected
ways  across  genre  and  register  features  of
texts.  
 
In  their  study,  “The  relationship  between
working  memory  and  L2  reading
comprehension”,  Rebecca  Adams  and
Mohammadtaghi  Shahnazari-Dorcheh
focus  on  the  role  of  working  memory
capacity  in  the  development  of  second
language  reading  ability.  The  participants
are  L1  Persian  EFL  learners  at  three
proficiency  levels.  Using  multiple
regression  analysis,  the  authors  determine
whether  there  are  any  significant
relationships  between  working  memory
capacity  and  reading  measures.  Results  of
this  study  indicate  a  significant
relationship  between  working  memory
capacity and reading ability at lower levels
of proficiency.
 
Hiba  Qusay  Abdul  Sattar  and  Maryam
Farnia’s study, “A  cross-cultural  study  of
request  speech  act:  Iraqi  and  Malay
students”,  is  an  attempt  to  investigate  the
cross-cultural  differences  and  similarities
with  regards  to  the  realization  of  request
external  modifications.  Both  Iraqi  and
Malay  university  students  participated  in
this  study.  Abdul  Sattar  and  Farnia’s
corpus consists of responses to a Discourse
Completion  Test  consisting  of  eight
situations.  The  findings  indicate  that
grounders  are  the  most  common  external
modifier  used  by  the  participants.  Abdul
Sattar  and  Farnia  find  more  similarities
than  differences  between  the  subjects  in
terms of the use of mitigation devices such
as  apologies,  compliments  and  gratitude.
However, both  Iraqis and Malays differ in
their perception of the situational factors.
 
The fourth study, “A confirmatory study of
Differential  Item  Functioning  on  EFL
reading  comprehension”,  by  Alireza
Ahmadi and Touraj Jalili, investigates DIF
sources on an EFL reading comprehension
test.  Two  DIF  detection  methods,  logistic
regression  (LR)  and  item  response  theory
(IRT),  were  used  by  the  authors  to  flag
emergent  DIF  of  203  Iranian  EFL
examinees’  performance  on  a  reading
comprehension  test.  Seven  hypothetical
DIF  sources  were  examined:  text
familiarity,  gender,  topic/text  interest,
guessing,  and  the  social  variables  of
location,  income,  and  educational  status.
As  the  study  shows,  only  three  sources  of
DIF  (gender,  income  and  interest)  were
transferred to the test level.  
 
In  “The  relationship  between  writing
strategies and personality types of graduate
Iranian  EFL  learners”,  Mohammad  Reza
Anani  Sarab  and  Mohammad  Amini
Farsani  focus  on  personality  type,  one  of
the  most  influential  internal  factors  in
second  language  acquisition.  More
precisely,  the  study  is  concerned  with
English  language  learners’  writing
strategies  with  reference  to  their
personality. To this end, a writing strategy
questionnaire was employed by the authors
to  tap  into  the  memory,  cognitive,

compensation,  metacognitive,  social,  and
affective  strategies  of  210  participants.
The  analysis  of  the  participants’
perceptions  demonstrated  a  significant
relationship between writing strategies and
personality types.  
 
In  the  next  study,  “Investigating  the
relationship among complexity, range, and
strength of grammatical knowledge of EFL
students”,  Hamed  Zandi  incorporates
recent  proposals  about  the  nature  of
grammatical  development  to  create  a
framework  consisting  of  dimensions  of
complexity,  range,  and  strength.  The
purpose  is  to  see  which  dimension(s)  can
best  predict  the  state  of  grammatical
knowledge  of  EFL  students.  To  this  end,
the  specifications  of  a  test  of  grammatical
knowledge were drafted and reviewed by a
group  of  trained  specifications  reviewers.
Zandi’s study indicates that the model that
best  predicts  grammatical  knowledge  of
lower  ability  leaners  includes  range  and
strength. 
 
Finally,  Hassan  Soodmand  Afshar  and
Raouf  Hamazavi  focus  on  “Listening
strategy  use,  test  anxiety  and  test
performance of intermediate and advanced
Iranian  EFL  learners”.  Eighty  (40
intermediate  and  40  advanced)  Iranian
EFL  learners  took  part  in  this  study.  The
results  of  Pearson  product  moment
correlation  analyses  revealed  a  significant
negative  correlation  between  test  anxiety
and  listening  test  performance,  and  a
significant  positive  association  between
listening  strategy  use  and  listening  test
performance.  Furthermore,  the  results  of
multiple regression analyses indicated  that
listening  strategy  use  was  a  stronger
predictor of listening test performance.  
 
Many  thanks,  once  again,  to  the  current
issue’s  contributors  for  submitting  their
studies  and  to  the  reviewers  for  their
feedback. The Holy Ramadan  has dawned
upon  us.  May  this  Ramadan  be  one  we
benefit fully from!