The Effect of Tablet Use on EFL Reading Achievement

Nurcan Kose
American University of the Middle East, Kuwait
Ulas Kayapinar
American University of the Middle East, Kuwait
Sarp Erkirc
American University of the Middle East, Kuwait
Keywords: Effect, EFL, reading, success, tablet


There is little information to prove the effectiveness of tablet use concerning the acquisition of language skills, especially reading skills. This article answers some research questions with a specific focus on the mastery of reading comprehension. A control group design with the help of an experimental pretest-posttest design was used at a private university. The data were collected from the test, an attitude scale, and interview results. Pre- and post-test scores of the groups were analyzed to find out a possible significant difference. Also, the instructors responded to an attitude scale. Moreover, the experimental group instructor answered interview questions. The experimental group students responded to a Likert-type questionnaire and put their views on tablet use. The results showed no significant difference between the scores of the students in both groups. These results were cross-checked. The experimental group instructor had a negative attitude toward tablet use in teaching at the end of the process when the total score was compared to the one before the process. In the interview, the instructor emphasized some advantages and disadvantages of tablet use in teaching EFL reading. The students' responses indicate a noticeable increase in independent study, motivation, and participation in the classroom; however, the total scores still seem limited at the end of the process. The results indicate that tablets can be used as an educational tool when there is a need in distance learning.

Representative Symbols of the American Society: Revisiting F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Selected Novels

Fatmir Ramadani
AAB College, Prishtina, Kosovo
Keywords: Hollywood, wealth, relationships, American society, American dream


The themes of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s works are highly influenced and inspired by his own life and ideas of the American society. The writer has never been very fond of Hollywood and the American society in his personal life which is clearly evident in the description of events in his books as well as his foundation of the characters. The works of the writer are greatly popular owing to the realistic and raw depiction of people’s obsession with social status, wealth, materialism, in a highly artistic manner. However, with time, Fitzgerald’s works started to gather less praise and appreciation, some say owing to the influence of Europe and the respective culture on his works. This review paper aimed at exploring various aspects of Fitzgerald’s life represented as symbols, themes, characters in his major works including The Great Gatsby, ‘The Rich Boy’, and The Love of the Last Tycoon. These works, which comprise both novels and short stores, had become a vehicle for Fitzgerald to express his opinions about the American society and his own feelings about it. For this reason, many of his works present the autobiographical element. ‘American Dream’ was one of the most important and recurring themes in his works. In addition, themes of ‘money’ and ‘wealth,’ in Fitzgerald’s works were used as representative symbols to describe the true nature of the American society. The current study also discussed Fitzgerald’s views on Hollywood which are greatly evident in the majority of his texts. This study has reviewed the existing literature to explore the said themes.

Visualizing Pandemic Issues: A Semiotic Study of Contemporary Arab Media Cartoons on COVID-19

Ansa Hameed
Department of English, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, College of Science and Humanities, Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia
Naeem Afzal
Department of English, Prince Sattam bin Abdulaziz University, College of Science and Humanities, Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia
Keywords: COVID-19; cartoons; newspapers; semiotics; pandemic issues


COVID-19 is one of the vilest plagues that has altered the course of human history despondently. The world has confronted many issues that needed to be scrutinized in order to deliver an enhanced resolution. The present study focuses on the ways Arab media (newspapers) has presented the pandemic issues in the form of cartoons. These issues provide a gist to what the world needs to focus on during such gloomy times. The study uses a semiotic theory lens to analyze the selected cartoons from the two popular Middle Eastern newspapers. An insight into the newspaper's cartoons reveals that the corona pandemic has gravely affected the world from many perspectives. The major issues exposed are the regular interruption of normal human-life activities, the nippy collapse of the world economies, the glum miseries of the working class, the duple downfall of the terror-struck countries, the unfair hold of the COVID-19 vaccine, the capitalistic issues with vaccine supply, and the deplorable botch of the world advancement. The findings reveal how caricatures become a social discourse when a cartoonist focuses on social and political realities around him.


Testing Responses to Sarcasm Reviewed from Gender and Social Relationship Aspects Using Discourse Completion Task

Rusdiana Junaid
Universitas Cokroaminoto Palopo, Palopo, South Sulawesi 91911 Indonesia
Rustan Santaria
Institut Agama Islam Negeri Palopo, South Sulawesi 91914 Indonesia
Aziz Thaba
Researcher at Lembaga Swadaya Penelitian dan Pengembangan Pendidikan (LSP3) Matutu
Keywords: Language, gender, social relationship, sarcasm, Indonesia


In Indonesia, use of language for sarcasm has recently increased. It exists in both men and women, and in all social interaction or relationships. This study conducted a survey with 270 respondents using a Discourse Completion Task or DCT. The purpose of this study was to investigate their responses to sarcasm reviewed from the aspect of gender and social relationship. The SPSS 24 was used to analyze the data through parametric test using one sample t-test. The results proved that responses to sarcasm varied significantly both from the aspect of gender and social relationship. From the aspect of gender, women who received sarcasm from the opposite sex or the same sex reacted more strongly (angrier or more opposing) than men. From the aspect of social relationship, someone who received sarcasm from a stranger reacted more strongly (angrier or more opposing) than other forms of social relationship. The implication of the study is that sarcasm is unhealthy and a threat to social communication. It is recommended to avoid sarcasm in interaction as much as possible with any reasons and situations because it can cause a gap or even a social conflict.

Common Errors in Writing of EFL Sophomores in a Context of the Mekong Delta

Khang Duy Nguyen
School of Foreign Languages. Can Tho University, Vietnam
Uyen Hong Thi Nguyen
College of Rural Development, Can Tho University, Vietnam
Van Thi Tuyet Phan
School of Foreign Languages. Can Tho University, Vietnam
Keywords: Error analysis, error assessment, EFL, writing, Mekong Delta


Committing errors and feedback in writing are important in the process of language acquisition (Corder, 1975; Foster et al., 1988; Krashen, 1981; Marina et al., 2005; Salehi et al., 2018; Valizadeh et al., 2020). In Vietnam, however, error-analysis in writing in the contexts of EFL students has not been investigated fully. This research study explores and examines common mistakes of second-year English language students in writing English. The research was conducted with different tools including error assessment of some writing assignments, a survey to measure the ability to recognize errors in English writing, and interviews with some participants from an insider’s perspective. The results found that the level for each of the written errors in the results varied widely. Certain types of errors were correctly identified by research participants and their ability to correct the issues was demonstrated properly at some points. However, most of them were unable to recognize errors, suggesting inconsistency in the ability to recognize and correct errors. Specifically, the research found a list of types of errors which occur while writing English from the phrase level to the sentence level, among other groups of errors while writing. This study could foster a trend to develop strategies to help students learn English better from both teachers’ and students’ point of view in today's English training programs.


Teaching Literary Texts through Cultural Model to EFL Students

Mohammed Ilyas
Department of English, College of Science and Humanities, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Al Kharj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Naeem Afzal
Department of English, College of Science and Humanities, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University, Al Kharj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Keywords: Learners’ Autonomy, Motivation, Literature Teaching, Language Learning, Cultural Model


This paper examines how the Cultural Model of teaching literature in the Applied linguistics scenario can adopts a trans-disciplinary approach to teaching of language and skills courses. The premise stated is that it does not focus merely on language learning but also makes an impact on other variables like learners’ autonomy and motivation to learn. In the context of EFL, this study also premises that the Cultural Model assists in enhancing the learners’ autonomy and learners’ motivation as literary texts are directly related to their cultural consciousness. The Cultural Model allows both the teachers and the students to go beyond the lexis and consider the literary aspects of a text as it is culturally closer to their consciousness. A questionnaire (for students) and semi structured interview (for teachers) were designed to study the perception of teachers and students and find the relationship between such variables as Learners’ Autonomy and Learners’ Motivation with Cultural Model of teaching literature. The study carried out multiple linear regression tests on a sample of 120 EFL respondents. The data was analyzed with SPSS 25.0 to ascertain the influence of predictors and dependent variables. Results showed the evidence of significant relationship between Learners’ Autonomy and Learners’ Motivation with Cultural Model of teaching literature. This shows that the Cultural Model of teaching literature acted as a predictor to enhance Learners’ Autonomy and Learners’ Motivation. The study recommends that students should not be passive receivers of the teaching content with undeveloped skills but should build in them autonomy and motivation to read, interpret, evaluate and criticize a literary text. Besides, teachers should also make efforts to make students read literary texts in cultural contexts.

Role of Learner Autonomy and Students’ Perception in Legitimizing China English as A Variety of English

Xin Xiu
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Johor Bahru, Malaysia & School of Foreign Languages for International Business, Hebei Finance University, Baoding, China
Noor Mala Binti Ibrahim
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Keywords: Complex Predicate; Indo-Aryan Language; Serial verbs, Syntax


Background/Objectives: China English, distinct from Chinese English or Chinglish, is struggling to get legitimized as a variety of the English language, despite many its users globally.  The current study investigated the moderating effect of learner autonomy on the relationship between learner’s attitude and learner’s perception and China English (CE) as a variety of the English language. Methods/Statistical analysis: A questionnaire-based research design and utilized Pearson correlation analysis to test the hypotheses and SPSS-20 to analyze the data. The sample size was 120 Chinese EFL students who had studied at least one English course. Findings: The findings revealed that learner autonomy is enhanced due to the use of CE in classroom. This positive phenomenon was also noticed in the correlation between learner’s attitude and learner’s perception resulting in a high acceptance of CE as a variety of the English language. Improvements/Applications: This finding will give a positive thrust to the legitimizing issue of China English as a member of World Englishers. It may also contribute to the critical debate that is ongoing to change CE’s status from a foreign language to China’s own language and its users as Native speakers.  Future studies can explore teachers’ attitude towards CE and its influence on L2 teaching in China.


Serial Verb Construction vs Complex Predicates in Punjabi: An Integrated Analysis of Event Structure

Bisma Butt
Department of English Language and Literature, University of Lahore, Gujrat Campus
Muhammad Ajmal Khan
Department of English, GIFT University, Pakistan
Saqib Mahmood
Department of English, GIFT University, Pakistan
Abdul Hamid
Department of English & Foreign Languages, University of Swat, Pakistan
Aadila Hussain
Department of English, Punjab University Gujranwala Campus, Pakistan
Keywords: Complex Predicate; Indo-Aryan Language; Serial verbs, Syntax


This study aims to analyze the syntax of serial verbs in the Punjabi language. The serial verb construction (SVC) is a widespread phenomenon across the world languages and in Punjabi as well. The SVC in Punjabi specifically is used as a full event described by two sub-events, with each event described by a separate verb coming together in a sequence. It shows that two different events have their own individuality during overall event. This study is descriptive in nature and a naturalistic methodology is adopted for detailed categorization of SVC in Punjabi. The study shows how the two types of SVCs in Punjabi are completely different from Complex Predicates (CPs) because each SVC contains two VPs but only one V whereas the complex predicate constructions have only one VP but two Vs. The study also shows that the relationship between two verbs/VPs is that of adjunction but not complementation (or coordination). Since this study explores the Indo-Aryan languages which are facing the dearth of linguistic research, it is going to be a useful contribution to the domain of serial verb constructions cross-linguistically. It will also be helpful to draw a line between SVCs and CP formations in the Punjabi language.

Using Markedness Principle for Abstraction of Dependency Relations of Natural Languages

Ju-Ri Kim
College of Convergence & Liberal Arts, WonKwang University, City Iksan, JeonBuk, 54538, Korea
Keywords: Markedness, dependency relations, natural language processing (NLP), syntactic analysis, subcategorization, syntax graph


Background/Objectives: There is no attempt to investigate the relationships between dependency and markedness even though the syntactic roles in language are decided by dependency relations and markers. The main objective of this study was to understand markedness beyond syntactical tables and propose a syntax graph with various syntax structures to verify the relationship between dependence of proposed markers. Methods/Statistical analysis: The methodology involved enquiry into the origin and development of dependency relations, starting from their definition, abstraction, and usage in syntactic structures through graphical presentations. Findings: This study revealed that dependency relations denoted by the markers can be classified into two types of dependencies according to their syntactic functions: implicit and explicit. Eventually, this markedness can be presented through syntax graphs of various syntactic structures to validate the functions of the markers and dependency relations. Improvements/Applications: This paper presents a reasonable method to define dependency relations based on the markedness and the valence theory of the predicate. This approach provides a systematic view to define dependency relations for natural language processing.  The implementation of syntax graphs is a future research project.