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English language teaching in Iran and communicative language teaching

By Mahdi Dahmardeh


This is a study to investigate English Language Teaching (ELT) in Iran as well as the extent of its compatibility with communicative pedagogy. \ud It has been accepted that language is more than a simple system of rules. Language is now generally seen as a dynamic resource for the creation of meaning. According to the advocates of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), it is generally accepted that there is a need to distinguish between learning that and knowing how. In other words, there must be a distinction between knowing various grammatical rules and being able to use the rules effectively and appropriately when communicating. \ud In 2007, the first Iranian national curriculum for teaching foreign languages was being developed by a team who was working under the supervision of the Ministry of Education based on CLT. Considering the extent of compatibility of the curriculum with CLT was felt to be important in evaluating the degree of success in achieving the goals of CLT. There were also efforts taken into consideration in order to consider the ELT in Iran from other perspectives. To do so, since the current programme and textbooks had been designed prior to introducing the new curriculum; therefore, it was felt necessary to consider them as well. \ud In order to investigate the situation, varieties of research instruments were applied in order to collect valid and reliable data. These instruments were mainly composed of a review of literature, a desk based analysis of the curriculum, administering questionnaires as well as conducting interview sessions. The questionnaires were mainly distributed among English language teachers and the interviews were conducted with some authors of the curriculum, textbooks and English language teachers. \ud The analysis and interpretation of the collected data suggested that while the newly designed curriculum document is to a great extent compatible with communicative pedagogy, the materials being used by teachers, as well as the current ELT programme, are mainly structurally based and cannot be considered as communicative. \ud The thesis goes on to discuss some of the implications of these findings both for ELT in Iran and for future research

Topics: LB1603, PE
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