standards suggested by Barker, Pistrang, and Elliott (1994).
The determined value of Cronbach alpha for the idiom test equaled .795, which was acceptable based on the reliability standards suggested by Barker, Pistrang, and Elliott (1994). (See table 2. under the list of tables)
Before giving any instruction a pre-test was administered to the two target groups (control and experimental groups) and the students answered the questions with their own knowledge (See table 3. under the list of tables)
After analyzing the results through SPSS application the findings showed no significant difference between two groups, that is to say the two groups belong to the same population.
To compare the performances of the both control and experimental groups in their pretest an independent sample t-test was run. (See table 4. under the list of tables)
* sig =0.077 0.05 =?
After calculating pre-test results, the researcher instructed two different treatment to the participants. The control group received conventional method (definition of opaque idioms with several examples) and the experimental group received etymological elaboration (etymological information of opaque idioms with several examples).
(Please See Appendices 2, 3 and 4 for a sample of opaque idiom questions, definition of opaque idioms and etymological information of opaque idioms)
In this chapter, the relationship between the final findings to the research question and hypothesis was considered and the data analysis were conducted and measured.
The goal of this study is to find the answer to following question.
RQ: Does etymological knowledge of English idioms produce any promising effect on the learning of opaque idioms by Iranian EFL learners?
To answer this research question, descriptive and inferential statistics were used. This chapter deals with the general outcome of the two idiom tests which were administered on the two groups of participants out of which the experimental group received 7 sessions of treatment, learning those 60 opaque English idioms. They have been taught etymological information of the target idioms with several examples in sentences and then they answered the questions of the opaque idioms test.
As it was discussed in chapter 3, the participants in the control group have received opaque idioms definition with several examples in sentences and then they were asked to answer the opaque idioms test. They have been taught based on the conventional teaching method. The results of Pre-test have been discussed in chapter three and the table of the results are shown under the list of tables.
4.1. Descriptive statistics for experimental and control groups’ posttest
In this section the comparison is made based on the information gathered by the descriptive statistics.
The experimental group obtained a mean score of 46.02 which has a significant difference from the pretest which was 12.84. The results showed the mean score of experimental group on their post-test was much higher than on pretest as it was an indication of positive impact of the etymological information of opaque idioms on Iranian EFL learners. (See table 5. Under the list of tables).
The inferential statistics for the performance of the experimental and control groups on their posttests were examined. In this section it was tried to investigate the hypothesis of the study.
The Levene’s test significance equaled .635 which rejects the equality of the variances. The mean difference between the groups’ scores was computes as 10.933 which is much higher than that of pretest performances. Accordingly, the significance level came to .000 which rejects the assumption of groups’ equal performance on the posttest performance. The data is summarized as follows:
sig =0.000 0.05 =?
(See table 6. Under the list of tables).
4.3 Results of Hypothesis Testing
The hypothesis proposed in this study was:
H0: the etymological knowledge of English idioms does not produce any promising effect on the learning of opaque idioms by Iranian EFL learners.
According to the data gathered from both descriptive and inferential data analysis the hypothesis of the study was rejected which hold that the etymological knowledge of English idioms has no effect on learning of opaque idioms by Iranian EFL learners since the mean scores of the experimental groups were higher than those of the control groups. The participants in the experimental group showed significant improvement after the treatment in their posttest. The level of significance for the posttests was computed as .000 which is smaller than 0.05 and rejected the null hypothesis of the study.
Descriptive statistics of the data gathered also revealed that the mean score of the experimental group in their pre-test was calculated as 12.48 and the mean score in their posttest of idioms equaled 46.02 that showed a significant improvement from the pretest of the same group of participants. As it is clear from the data gathered both descriptively and inferentially, there was a significant difference between the two groups in terms of their idiom learning in their posttest. Therefore, the hypothesis of the study is rejected that, teaching with the help of etymological information of opaque idioms has no effect on theknowledge of opaque idioms.
In this chapter of the thesis the research question and the hypothesis were investigated thoroughly. Two sets of statistical procedures were adopted to find out the result of the hypothesis. At first descriptive data analysis was conducted for the both control and experimental groups’ performance on the two tests of idiom. The results showed that there is a difference in the learners’ performance in terms of their mean scores on the two pretests. Further, the posttests were descriptively compared with each other. The results showed differences in the groups’ performance. Second, inferential data analysis was conducted to obtain sound information on the comparison of the two test results. Two T-tests were run to compare the test results of pretests and posttests inferentially. The same results were achieved as the participants in the experimental groups showed a significant improvement after the treatment comparing the control group posttest who received the conventional instruction. Finally, the results were provided on the hypothesis, and the research question was answered according to the data gathered by the researcher. The results showed that the hypothesis is rejected the hypothesis that etymological information has no significant effect on the knowledge of opaque idioms.
Discussion and conclusion
This chapter presents the main findings obtained from the study, and then pedagogical implications, limitations and delimitations of the study, and finally suggestions for further research will be provided.
The result of this study suggests that strategy training on the whole contributes to improving the students’ language skill, in this case learning high frequency opaque idioms. When the students are trained how to learn, they will become affective learners and know how to cope with learning new opaque idioms.
The results of this study reveal that etymological information has a positive effect
on the knowledge of the opaque idioms of Iranian EFL learners.
5.1. Summary of the findings
The present study is an attempt to answer the question of whether there is significant difference between the effects of etymological elaboration and definition of idioms on Iranian learners’ knowledge of opaque idioms.
The research question sought to investigate which technique of teaching idioms yields better results in improving learners’ opaque idioms knowledge. The results of the opaque idioms posttest indicated that the group instructed through etymological elaboration had the best performance, the group receiving explicit instruction of opaque idioms’ definitions had the lowest performance. However, the T-Test procedure revealed that the difference between the performances of the two groups were statistically significant. In other words, etymological information of the opaque idioms had significantly different effect on the learners’ knowledge of opaque idioms.Based on the results, it can be concluded that etymological information of idioms has differential effects on the knowledge of opaque idioms of Iranian EFL learners. In addition, etymological information is conducive to Iranian intermediate learners’ knowledge of opaque idioms. Therefore, as Zhang (2009) declares, etymological information has a positive effect on the productive knowledge of target idioms.
5.2. Pedagogical implications
The results of this study may have some pedagogical implications. As it was discussed in the previous chapters, teaching and learning idioms play a crucial role in acquiring a second or foreign language. So, it has received special attention recently.
The findings of the present study can have significant implications for many teachers: first, rather than applying a single method in teaching idioms, they can use multiple techniques in their idiom classes in order to enhance their students’ knowledge of opaque idioms.As an example associating contextualized idioms with their etymology can be more effective than decontextualized idioms. Secondly, by knowing the advantages of etymological elaboration in productive knowledge of idioms, teachers can use this strategy to improve students’ idiom knowledge. The present study can also have implications for students in that instead of the traditional rote learning of idioms, they can try a mixture of different techniques in their own learning experiences.
The finding of the present research study can also have implications for syllabus and textbook designers. They can provide idioms books which are more comprehensible for students through accompanying idioms by their etymology, short sentences as a context as well as definitions of constituent parts of each idioms. Hence, syllabus designers can design syllabuses for idiom courses based on each of these techniques according to students’ interests, level, gender, and culture.
5.3. Limitations and delimitations of the study
The present study suffered from several limitations and delimitations. One of the limitations of this study was that the participants were just randomly selected only from an English institute. So, the generalizability of findings must be treated more cautiously as a small sample of participants was included in the study. Another limitation of the study was the sex of the participants who were limited to female learners. As gender is an important variable in language learning, it can of course affect idiom comprehension and production; hence, the results of the present study may be different with male learners.
Similarly, the cultural limitations and the participants’ level of proficiency, which was limited to intermediate, may be regarded as other limitations of the study. Finally, due to learners’ linguistic background as well as time limitations, the results of the study must be cautiously interpreted.
5.4. Suggestions for the further research
The present study did not aim to investigate the age of the participants. As learners in different age groups tend to be more eager to specific strategies in learning idioms (for example in Cain and Knight (2009), very young learners were more successful in inferring from context than adults), age can be an important independent variable that has not been taken in to account in this study. Therefore, this study can be replicated with