Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Postmodernism vs. Modernism in Iranian Non-Governmental English Language Institutes

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Postmodernism vs. Modernism in Iranian Non-Governmental English Language Institutes

Article excerpt


English language teaching has stepped in an unexplored territory of post-method during which teaching methods are regarded as inherently problematic. As entangling webs, teaching methods are assumed to have deprived teachers of their creativities and learners of using their different learning strategies. Conceiving the importance of this vital shift from method to postmethod in the field of ELT, the present paper aims at illuminating any meaningful relationships between teachers' method or post method-approach to teaching and variables such as teachers' gender, teaching experience, and their educational background. To this end, a three- section questionnaire reflecting the principles of postmethod was designed and administered to language teachers teaching at different levels in nongovernmental language schools in 6 major cities in North-West part of Iran. Based on the data analysis of 162 returned questionnaire, it was found that using modern or postmodern approach to teaching English had no relationships with teachers' gender and teachers' field of study, but there was a slightly positive meaningful correlation between postmodern approach to teaching and teachers' experience. Based on the findings of the study, the paper has also offered some pedagogical implications.

Key words: Teacher beliefs, post-method, method, ELT, Nongovernmental language schools

1. Introduction

Considering changing demands and aspirations of the new generations and the undeniable reality of global village, English language is becoming more and more versatile and unpredictably affecting the nations all over the world. As Pandy (as cited in Ramanujam, 2011) realistically construed that English language today is almost a compulsory second language and the non-native nations and the governments have to adapt their understandings and opinions about this language.

In order to ascertain the role of English language in our time and juxtapose the diversity of perspectives and discussions about the spread of English language, Pennycook (2000) describes six frameworks of comparisons:

The first framework is colonial celebratory in which the flourishing spread of English language is regarded highly good and necessary for all people. Laissez-faireliberalism is the other framework in which the language is not idolized and people have the freedom to choose to learn it or not. The third is linguistic imperialism by which English language is constituted as colonizing and homogenizing the minorities, depriving them from their identity and culture and languages. The forth framework is language ecology and language rights as stated by Van lier (2004), the language should be adopted and modified with respect to realities of the adopting context at the same time emphasizing the idea that human rights should be prioritized and the spread of English language should abide with them. In the fifth framework Linguistic hybridity is concerned about this reality that there are many English languages which can co-exist under the umbrella of world Englishes. The last one and the backbone of the current research is postcolonial perf ormativity insisting that, in the postmodern era in coordination between local and global forces the resistance and appropriation of English language are integrated as the accepted norm useful for periphery communities without encumbering their entrance into global community.

2. Postmodernism and post-method

In addition to the contrary view points about English language itself, the notion of language teaching methods also has gone through laudable and turbulent changes. Once regarded as highly trustworthy and efficient and their proponents were in the search for the best method with a universal claim, cookie-cutter approach, based on scientific disciplines and teacher's proof (Fahim & Pishghadam, 2009) but nowadays methods are thought to be highly controversial which not only deprive teachers of their creativity but the language learners of their learning strategies and the context of its local features and characteristics (Hall, 2011). …

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