Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Methodology Choice among Efl Teachers in Junior High Schools in Iran

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Methodology Choice among Efl Teachers in Junior High Schools in Iran

Article excerpt

Introduction

There has been an increase in demand for English courses due to the global needs for communication and improvement in technological advancements and globalization. In general, the most popular language in the world is English. English is the language of social media networks and websites. English is the language used in every activity at the institutions of higher learning. Although, English is not the most widely spoken language in terms of native speakers, it is the most widely used language worldwide, including native and non-native speakers. The primacy of English in the world may be to the fact that it is the language through which international trade and diplomacy are conducted and news and information are disseminated, and as a communicative tool, English functions as a mediator between different socio-cultural and socio-economic paradigms (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

English plays a crucial role in the Iranian educational system. During the last decade a higher demands for learning English has been seen in Iranian society The higher importance of English language, leads to more attention to language classes.Among so many factors affecting the tidal and changing atmosphere of language classes is the role of the teacher.

In recent decades, teachers of foreign languages in many countries, including Iran, have been encouraged to use the approach known as CLT. This approach advocates the development of communicative competence as a primary goal via the extensive use of the foreign language as a means of communication during classroom lessons. CLT has been welcomed by English Language Teaching (ELT) curriculum and syllabus designers of Iran. Moreover, English teachers and instructors have shown eagerness and enthusiasm to incorporate it in their classes. However, we do not know whether CLT is practiced at all, and if practiced how and to what extent. Understandably, education authorities and teacher educators are keen to know how teachers assimilate CLT and how well they incorporate this approach into their foreign language teaching.

Since the concept of CLT originated in the West, it seems that this approach is not applicable to other contexts and because of misunderstanding surrounding the theory and practice of CLT (Savignon, 2002), this exploratory study seeks to investigate the practicality of CLT in two educational domains of Iran as an expanding circle (where English is practiced as a foreign language), namely, public and private institutes. Moreover, due to the fact that EFL instructors and teachers claim that they apply the CLT in their classes, this study, also, probes the extent to which the teachers in these two

In spite of four years of education in a raw, Iranian high school graduates do not acquire the necessary expertise to be able to communicate fluently. Problems such as the above, and the like fueled this study. Therefore this study intends to find out the principles which guide the EFL methodology in junior high schools in Iran.

Research question: What are the principles which guide the EFL methodology in junior high schools in Iran?

Literature Review

In trying to provide a framework for teacher knowledge, Shulman (1987, as cited in Cogill, 2008) defines seven categories as follows:

1. Content knowledge

2. General pedagogical knowledge eg. classroom control, using group work

3. Pedagogical content knowledge

4. Curriculum knowledge

5. Knowledge of learners and their characteristics

6. Knowledge of educational contexts eg schools and the wider community

7. Knowledge of educational ends, purposes and values

Brant (2006, as cited in Cogill, 2008) suggest that general pedagogic knowledge is often learned from practice.

Brown (2001), in describing the key principles of CLT, offers the following six characteristics:

1. Classroom goals are focused on all of the components (grammatical, discourse, functional, sociolinguistic, and strategic) of communicative competence. …

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