Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 11 : 2 February 2011
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.
         S. M. Ravichandran, Ph.D.
         G. Baskaran, Ph.D.
         L. Ramamoorthy, Ph.D.



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Which One Speaks Better?
The Field-Dependent or the Field-Independent?

On the Effects of Field-Dependent/Field-Independent Cognitive Styles
and Gender on Iranian EFL Learners' Speaking Performance

Seyyed Mohammad Ali Soozandehfar, M.A. in TEFL
Elmira Noroozisiam, M.A. in TEFL


This study investigates the relationship between the field-dependence/independence (FD/I) cognitive styles and the speaking performance of Iranian EFL learners. It also examines the effects of gender and FD/I cognitive styles on the students' speaking performance.

Through Oxford Placement Test, 53 students (10 male and 43 female students) of English at Shiraz University were selected out of 72 initial participants. To measure the students' FD/I level the GEFT was administered. The means of the students' scores on the two courses of Oral Reproduction 1 & 2 taken in the second year were used to represent their speaking test performance. The results of Pearson Product-Moment Correlation revealed a negatively insignificant correlation between the FD/I cognitive styles and the speaking scores (r = -.083, p >.05). The two-way ANOVA analysis confirmed this insignificance; i.e. the FD/I cognitive style, the gender, and the interaction of them did not have a significant effect on the speaking performance.

This study suggests some pedagogical implications that there may be no need for EFL teachers, advisers, test developers, and test users to consider test takers' cognitive styles and gender as sources of systematic variance in their speaking performance, and therefore, as sources of test bias.

Keywords: cognitive styles, field-dependence/independence, gender, speaking.


The ability to speak a second/foreign language is widely assumed to be a distinct advantage for the speakers of that language. Particularly in an EFL context where there is no contact with native speakers, this skill has obtained higher prestige among the other skills. That is why there is a considerable amount of interest in the development of students' speaking proficiency. The oral skill has always been problematic for second language learners and this has been revealed in their speaking test performance. One of the potential sources of these problems in speaking test performance refers to differences in the cognitive characteristics of test takers.

Field dependence/independence

One of these cognitive characteristics is field dependence/independence. Brown (2000) defines field independence as the ability to perceive a particular relevant item in a field of distracting items. He defines field dependence as "the tendency to be 'dependent' on the total field so that the parts embedded within the field are not easily perceived, although that total field is perceived more clearly as a unified whole" (Brown, 2000, p. 115).

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Call for Papers for a Language in India Special Volume on
Autobiography and Biography in Indian Writing in English
| Call for Papers for a Special Volume on Indian Writing in English - Analysis of Select Novels of 2009-2010 | Hoping Against Hope: A Discourse on Perumal Murugan's Koolla Madari (Seasons of the Palm) | Ghanaian English: Spelling Pronunciation in Focus | The Relationship between Gaining Mastery on 'Content' (School Subject Matters) and 'Linguistic Competence Level in Second Language' through Immersion Program | Reader-centric and Text-centric Approaches to Novel - A Study of Intertextuality in Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress of Florence | Which One Speaks Better? The Field-Dependent or the Field-Independent? On the Effects of Field-Dependent/Field-Independent Cognitive Styles and Gender on Iranian EFL Learners' Speaking Performance | A Critical Look into Basic Assumptions of Teaching English as an International Language (EIL) | Digital Storytelling - A Case Study on the Teaching of Speaking to Indonesian EFL Students | The Reasons behind Writing Problems for Jordanian Secondary Students 2010-2011 | A Multidimensional Approach to Cross-Cultural Communication | A Study to Identify Problems Faced by the Heads of Secondary Schools in Kohat in North-Western Frontier Province, Pakistan | Go Beyond Education to Professionalism - Transition from Campus to Corporate | Impact of Students' Attitudes on their Achievement in English - A Study in the Yemeni Context - A Master's Degree Dissertation in TESL | Natural and Supernatural Elements in Arun Joshi's The City and the River | Pedagogical Values Obtained from a Language Class in an EFL Context - A Case Study from Indonesia | A New Tone in ELT - Positive Uses of Translation in Remedial Teaching and Learning | Training Dilemma: Analysis of Positive/Negative Feedback from the Workplace Setting in Pakistan | Learning Styles and Teaching Strategies: Creating a Balance | A Study on Evaluating the Discourse Skills of Engineering Students in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India | Syntax and Semantics Interface of Verbs | History Revisited in Oral History by Nadine Gordimer | Provision for Linguistic Diversity and Linguistic Minorities in India - A Masters Dissertation in Applied Linguistics and ELT | A Speech Act Analysis of Jane Eyre | Matriarchal and Mythical Healing in Gloria Naylor's Mama Day | Impact of Project Based Method on Performance of Students | Computer: A Device for Learning English Language - A Summary of Advantages and Disadvantages | Mobile Phone Culture and its Psychological Impacts on Students' Learning at the University Level | Review of English and Soft Skills by S. P. Dhanavel (Orient BlackSwan, Hyderabad, 2010) | A PRINT VERSION OF ALL THE PAPERS OF FEBRUARY, 2011 ISSUE IN BOOK FORMAT. This document is better viewed if you open it online and then save it in your computer. After saving it in your computer, you can easily read all the pages from the saved document. | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Seyyed Mohammad A. Soozandehfar, M.A. in TEFL
Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics
Shiraz University
Shiraz 7135678915
Fars, Iran

Elmira Noroozisiam, M.A. in TEFL
Department of Foreign Languages and Linguistics
Shiraz University
Shiraz 7135678915
Fars, Iran

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