The Effect of Context on Iranian EFL Students’ Amount of Speech Production of English Language and Their Ways of Using Hedging Devices

Saheb Mostofee, Samane Raeis Pour


Socioculturally and sociolinguisticlly, gender can have a profound effect on learning and teaching English language as a foreign language.   Also learning cooperatively in which both female and male students are involved seems to play a constructive role in creating and enhancing students’ performance, achievement and competence of a foreign language. This study intends to determine whether male or female students will be more productive and active when co-educationally discussing the same topic together in a mixed-sex context as a bi-gender speech community regarding English as a foreign language or when either male or female students participate in the discussion as a mono-gender speech community. This study also aims at determining whether students of different gender would use different hedging devices and strategies in different contexts or there is no difference regarding the types and amount of hedging uttered by male and female students in three different contexts. One topic familiar to both groups about which both have some background knowledge will be given to all eight participants consisting of 4 male and 4 female students. The whole utterances during the discussion will be taped and video-recorded, and then it will be analyzed. The findings may provide us with some significant implications both for gaining higher production performance ability and higher linguistic competence of English as a foreign language which can be of use in both English teaching and learning processes.

Keywords: Co-education, Gender, mixed-sex context, Sociolinguistics, Speech community

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