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Issues in Educational Research, 2018, Vol 28(2), 367-384
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English teacher training courses in Iranian private language institutes: Issues and options

Mansoor Ganji, Saeed Ketabi and Mohammadtaghi Shahnazari
University of Isfahan, Iran

This study aims to paint a vivid picture of the English teacher training courses held in Iranian private language institutes, both to critically analyse their aims and content, and to find their strengths and weaknesses. In line with this, qualitative data were gathered through information available on 34 institutes' websites, narrative observations of 24 sessions, open-ended questionnaires filled out by supervisors in 37 institutes, and semi-structured interviews conducted with six English teachers and six teacher trainers. The data were analysed using a grounded theory approach (open, axial, and selective coding). The findings indicated that these courses offered a very convenient schedule, focused on practical teaching techniques, and were based on the institutes' needs. However, they suffered from problems such as the trainees' low knowledge of general English and teaching methodology, lack of a written syllabus, focusing on received rather than experiential knowledge, stifling the teachers' creativity, and lack of experienced and certified teacher trainers. A number of practical suggestions are given for the reconsideration of the course aims and content so that they can be made more suitable for the Iranian context and further involve the trainees.
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Authors: Mansoor Ganji is a lecturer in the English Department of Chabahar Maritime University in Chabahar, Iran. He is currently doing his PhD in TEFL at University of Isfahan. He has taught grammar, writing, methodology, and research courses since 2007. His research interests include written feedback, idioms, collocations and teacher training.
Email: ganjimansoor1980@gmail.com

Dr Saeed Ketabi (corresponding author) is an associate professor, teaching in the English department of University of Isfahan, Iran. He is teaching TEFL methodology, and materials development at MA and PhD levels. He has supervised many MA and PhD theses and published several articles in different international journals. His research areas include materials development, teaching language skills, and teacher education. Email: s.ketabi@yahoo.com

Dr Mohammadtaghi Shahnazari received his PhD in language teaching and learning from the University of Auckland. He is currently an Assistant Professor in the English Department, University of Isfahan, Iran. His research interests include teacher education, interactional corrective feedback, individual differences in working memory capacity, L2 reading processes and SLA issues.
Email: m_t_shah@yahoo.com

Please cite as: Ganji, M., Ketabi, S. & Shahnazari, M. (2018). English teacher training courses in Iranian private language institutes: Issues and options. Issues in Educational Research, 28(2), 367-384. http://www.iier.org.au/iier28/ganji.pdf

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