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  • Students Preparation for IELTS: Development of Written and Oral Argumentative


    Sharif Moghaddam

    B.A. (Honours) Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran

    M.A. in TEFL Azad University (Central Branch), Tehran

    Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

    Discipline of Linguistics

    Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

    University of Adelaide

    February 2010

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    Appendix A

    Letter of Introduction and Coding System

    a. Letter of Introduction

    Project Participation Information Centre for European Studies and General Linguistics Faculty of Humanities and Social Science

    Sharif Moghaddam, PhD Candidate Napier 915

    The University of Adelaide SA 5005 Phone: +61 8 8303 8227


    Dear Student, My name is Sharif Moghaddam. I am undertaking a research project as part of my PhD degree in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Centre for European Studies and General Linguistics (CESGL), The University of Adelaide. My project title is: IELTS Preparation Practices: An Investigation into Academic Literacy Development This information sheet is to help you make a decision about participating in this project. You may discuss it with other people before making a decision to sign the form. IT IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP THIS SHEET TO REMIND YOURSELF ABOUT WHAT WE ARE DOING. Also, a copy of the signed consent form will be given to you. Purpose of the Study In this project I will study IELTS academic preparation practices. I am interested in language development in the program as part of university study. If you do not want to participate, or want to withdraw later, it will not have any consequence for you or your study. What is involved I would like to observe your classroom activities on one day per week for approximately 4 to 5 months. I will be watching what happens in your classroom and will video and audio record two or three of these classroom observations. I would also like to interview you about your language development and your study and this will take about 20 to 30 minutes of your time.

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    If you agree I will audio and video record the interview. I will collect your written activities and your activities on the handouts from the instructor to analyse your activities with them. The study will commence in February 2007 and will take approximately 4 to 5 months. Possible benefits from the Study This study will contribute to knowledge of IELTS preparation practices. You as participants may also benefit from this study by getting prepared for your forthcoming IELTS examination. However, please be advised that these may be of no instant benefit. Confidentiality I would like to audio and video record our conversations. You do not have to answer any question or to discuss any issues that may make you feel uncomfortable. When recording activities, written or spoken, your real names will never be used. All real names on written activities will be removed. In interviews a pseudonym (unreal name) will be used. Information will be kept in a locked drawer in the university and digital information will be password protected on the university computer in a private storage drive. The researcher will transcribe all audio and videotapes. If you wish to check a copy of my notes before I use them in my study, please tell me. Discomfort and Inconveniences It is probable that in some sessions an outsider will attend to video record the classroom activities. We will do our best not to interrupt your learning. We will negotiate the arrangements about the settings for the interviews. The interviews will be more like a conversation. You are free to withdraw your interview or recorded materials up until the time that I have finished all data collection. You do not have to give any reason if you do decide to withdraw from the study. The recorded materials will be erased as soon as I have finished using them to make notes. Complaints Please refer to the complaints procedure sheet if you experience any problems with this study. Contacts If you need any more information, or if there are any problems regarding this research, please contact the following people. Peter Mickan, PhD, the University of Adelaide, Australia Phone: 08 8303 3405

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    Sharif Moghaddam, PhD candidate, the University of Adelaide, Australia Phone: 08 8303 8227 / 08 8359 3182 I look forward to your participation and the chance to hear your comments. Yours truly, Sharif Moghaddam

    b. Coding System

    i. The candidates names and their codes N.B.: The candidates were coded based on their sitting place in the classroom in a U shape

    from left to right. They sat in the same seat in the duration of the research project, except for

    some occasions when they were engaged in group discussion.

    P1 Ms Khalili

    P2 Mr Tabesh

    P3 Ms Samarghandi, N.

    P4 Ms Kalanaki

    P5 Mr Orooji

    P6 Mr Jamali

    P7 Mr Omidi

    P8 Mr Ale-Mohammadi

    P9 Mr Ameli

    P10 Ms Bahrami

    P11 Mr Abasszadeh

    P12 Mr Hemmati

    P13 Mr Vaissi

    P14 Mr Vasseghi

    P15 Ms Samarghandi, P.

    P16 Mr Mamdoohi

    ii. Codes in transcription P Participant (if followed by a number it refers to a particular participant, e.g. P1)

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    Ps Some of the participants

    PS All the participants

    R/L Researcher/Lecturer (The Researcher was also the Lecturer/Instructor.)

    Bold notes/narratives

    Bold and italics Commentaries

    iii. Note-takers names and their codes NT 1 Mr Iman Rasti

    NT 2 Ms Zahra Ashegh

    NT 3 Ms Sara Najmabadi

    c. Classroom arrangement

    The map of the classroom


    P7 P8 P9















    Book case Large window

    R/Ls Desk Taperecorder

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    d. Transcription Symbols (based on Atkinson & Heritage, 1984) (.) micropause, (.2 second)

    (.5) Pause of .5 second

    : lengthened sound or syllable; more colons prolong the stretch

    - cut-off, usually a glottal stop

    .hhh inbreath

    .hhh! strong inhalation

    hhh exhalation

    hhh! strong exhalation

    hah, huh, heh, hnh laughter; followed by (!) stronger laughter

    (hhh) breathiness within a word

    . falling intonation

    ? rising intonation

    , continuing intonation

    ?, rising intonation, weaker than (?)

    ! animated intonation

    = latched utterance

    [X] overlapping talk

    % X % quiet talk

    * * creaky voice

    ^ marked rising shift in pitch

    talk slows down

    tch tongue click

    underlining emphasis

    feature of interest

    (X) transcription doubt, uncertainty

    ((X)) nonvocal action, details of scene

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    Appendix B Table 6.1. The list of the learning resources mainly utilized in the IELTS academic preparation class as

    part of the opportunities for experiencing literacy

    No Learning resources Remarks



















    IELTS How to Teach and Prepare for the Exam

    400 IELTS-based Listening Tests

    What to Say

    English Pronunciation in Use (Intermediate)

    Speaking Clearly

    Pair Work 1 (Pre-Intermediate to Intermediate)

    Pair Work 2 (Intermediate to Upper Intermediate)

    For and Against

    Developing Reading Skills (Intermediate)

    Developing Reading Skills (Advanced)

    504 Absolutely Essential Words

    English Grammar in Use (Intermediate)

    Academic Writing Course

    Practical Writer with Readings

    Cambridge IELTS 1

    Cambridge IELTS 2

    Cambridge IELTS 3

    Insight into IELTS Extra

    A single Reference book

    A single Listening test book

    One book with two cassettes/CDs

    One book with two cassettes/CDs

    One book with two cassettes/CDs

    A single book

    A single book

    A single book

    A single book

    A single book

    A single book

    A single book

    A single book

    A single book

    One book with two cassettes/CDs

    One book with two cassettes/CDs

    One book with two cassettes/CDs

    One book with one cassette/CD

    Table 6.2. The learning resources specified to the main language skills and sub skills and their aims and

    objectives as part of learning opportunities in the process of experiencing literacy in the IELTS

    preparation class






    used in the



    400 IELTS-based Listening tests (Moghaddam, 2004) and its supplementary namely

    What to Say (Lambert, 1980) + commercially produced IELTS Listening sample tests + mock tests + recommended use of extra tools for promoting Listening skills out of side

    the classroom (e.g.; the Radio, TV, the Internet and some suggested CDs and DVDs, etc.)

    Aims Promotion of Listening skills in general and elevation of IELTS Listening test band

    score in specific



    To provide the candidates with an opportunity to get familiar and learn about the IELTS

    Listening test design and features and also some hints and techniques as required to

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    elevate their IELTS Listening band score. Also to provide them with opportunities to

    practice and learn continuous lengthy naturalistic conversations, (e.g.; conversations that

    native speakers of English normally use in their daily routines and issues).

    Remarks These materials consisted of two books and two cassettes or CDs, but no DVDs. Also,

    commercially published Cambridge IELTS 1, 2 and 3 and Insight into IELTS Extra were

    utilized. These materials included one book and two cassettes or CDs each, except for the

    last one which consisted of one book and one cassette.





    Materials used

    in the



    Pair Work 1 and 2 and For and Against + commercially produced IELTS Speaking

    sample tests + mock tests + recommended materials or opportunities to use outside of the

    classroom (e.g.; native speakers or native like speakers or people with good knowledge of

    English among friends or colleagues), also by chatting with English native speakers by

    utilizing the Internet

    Aims To improve the participants problematic areas in terms of their general Speaking skills

    and to promote their preparedness for the IELTS Speaking test





    Informing and directing the candidates to carry out guided pair and group interactions. And

    also, to provide the candidates with an opportunity to get familiar and learn Phatic

    conversations and Planned & Unplanned conversations. Also to familiarize the candidates

    with the design and nature and features of the IELTS Speaking test.

    Remarks Pair Work 1 and 2 comprised two books only. The content level ranged from Lower

    Intermediate to Upper Intermediate. They consisted a range of Role plays Jig saws,

    Monologues and Dialogues, etc. For and Against was used for Group discussions. The

    purpose of using this material was to provide the candidates with an opportunity to get

    familiar with the idea of argumentations, their styles and designs, and to learn how to

    conduct an argument for and against an issue. Also, the candidates had an opportunity to

    upgrade their vocabulary power.





    Materials used

    in the



    Developing Reading Skills (Intermediate) (Markstein & Hirasawa, 1981). and Developing Reading Skills (Advanced) (Markstein & Hirasawa, 1983). + commercially published IELTS Reading sample tests + recommended extra materials to promote

    Reading skills outside of the classroom (e.g.; different origin English newspapers and/or

    magazines and/or journals such as; Newsweek, Time, Daily Telegraph, Guardian,

    etc. + extra commercially produced IELTS Academic Reading sample test

    Aims Promotion of the participants Reading skills in general and the elevation of the

    participants IELTS Reading test band score

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    To familiarize the candidates with lengthy texts and the IELTS Reading test types. They

    were also used to promote the participants reading speed and to provide them with an

    opportunity to learn Skimming and Scanning techniques in Reading to enable the

    candidates to be skilful in doing Reading tests and to enhance their preparedness for the

    IELTS Reading test to get their required band score. And also, to enrich the participants

    knowledge of semantics and syntax and then to scaffold them on learning the basic skills

    they need to know in order to reach their ZPD to answer the questions in the IELTS

    Reading test.

    Remarks These materials are two books only. They encompass a range of Reading texts at

    Intermediate and Advanced levels along side with different kinds of Missing, Matching,

    True/False, Sentence Completion, Sentence Order, Topics for discussion and

    Composition, and Parts of Speech. These materials are usually used as part of the

    syllabus and classroom practices for the first and second year of under graduate English

    learning students at university level in Iran.





    Materials used

    in the



    Practical Writer with Readings, and Academic Writing Course (Jordan, 1990) +

    commercially produced IELTS Writing sample tests + some recommended commercially

    and academically published sources for promoting Writing skills for the IELTS (e.g.

    Academic Writing Practice for IELTS (McCarter, 2002)

    Aims Promotion of the participants Writing skills in general and elevation of their IELTS-

    based Academic Writing band score in specific





    To provide the participants with an opportunity to learn Academic terms and genres with

    regard to Academic Writing such as; Essay, Report, Exposition, Proposition,

    Argumentation, etc.

    Remarks These materials were two books only. They are normally used as part of the curriculum and

    syllabus for Advanced English Writing courses at university level in the country where

    the study was conducted.

    Sub skill




    Materials used

    in the



    English Pronunciation in Use (Hancock, 2003) + Speaking Clearly (Rogerson & Gilbert, 1990). + recommended extra s...


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