English language teaching in Iranian mainstream schools: Pedagogical, societal and government policy environments
Razieh Gholaminejad and Amin Raeisi-Vanani
Shahid Beheshti University, Iran
The present paper draws together the existing, but largely scattered, research findings on the policy of English language teaching (ELT) in post-Revolutionary Iran. It begins with a brief history of ELT in Iran, then it deals with the major policies adopted and their consequences. It is followed by how ELT policies came under reform in 2013, inspired by the communicative language teaching (CLT) approach. The rest of the paper examines the underlying reasons why the reform failed to work as expected. To this end, a critical analysis of the missing infrastructures prerequisite to the reform is presented. These include the low budget allotted at the planning and implementation levels; teachers' unpreparedness to teach and assess based on the new approach, due to lack of educational, and economic empowerment; inefficiency of the newly-designed textbooks; the regime of school accountability; heterogeneous classes; inadequate time; extreme class sizes; and students' demotivation to use English, due to the paucity of opportunities to use it. These all stem from the top-down approach taken to implement the reform, wherein the characteristics of the educational context are disregarded. Some recommendations are given at the end, which can be used by ELT policy makers, materials developers and other stakeholders.
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|Authors: Razieh Gholaminejad holds a PhD in English Language Teaching from Shahid Beheshti University. Among her research interests are corpus linguistics, English for specific purposes, and academic discourse. In addition to publications in national journals, she has works published by Routledge and John Benjamins Publishing Company.|
Amin Raeisi-Vanani holds an MA in English Language Teaching from Shahid Beheshti University. His research interests include second language reading comprehension, pragmatics, research methodology and vocabulary. His publications have appeared in journals such as TEFL Reporter, Journal of Medical Education and Development and Critical Language & Literary Studies.
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Please cite as: Gholaminejad, R. & Raeisi-Vanani, A. (2021). English language teaching in Iranian mainstream schools: Pedagogical, societal and government policy environments. Issues in Educational Research, 31(1), 111-129. http://www.iier.org.au/iier31/gholaminejad.pdf