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Cultural awareness in an Iranian English language classroom: a teaching intervention in an interculturally “conservative” setting

Cultural awareness in an Iranian English language classroom: a teaching intervention in an interculturally “conservative” setting
Cultural awareness in an Iranian English language classroom: a teaching intervention in an interculturally “conservative” setting
Despite Iran’s increasing use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) and its
growing position as a more open country to international relationships, Iran’s
education policy is still culturally conservative and intercultural language education is absent from the national curriculum and hence classrooms. In response, this article presents the results of a ten-session course focused on implementing and developing cultural awareness (CA) in an Iranian English language classroom. The data revealed that this course had a positive effect in developing students’ levels of CA, moving from basic in the first half of the course towards advanced in the second half. This provides important empirical evidence illustrating the value of systematic instruction of CA in students’ cultural learning. Furthermore, this course was the first of its kind in the predominantly monolingual, culturally restricted context of this study, where intercultural education is missing from the curriculum, yet where students are likely to use ELF for intercultural communication while travelling abroad or inside the country for communication purposes with non-Iranians. This study, thus, demonstrates the feasibility and documents the processes of integrating intercultural teaching into English education, specifically in contexts where educators might be limited by language policy makers.
English language teaching, Iran, cultural awareness, intercultural communicative competence, intercultural language education
2191-9216
57-80
Baker, William
9f1b758c-e6e0-43ca-b7bf-a0d5e1387d10
Abdzadeh, Yasmina
44fa4ce5-b2ea-49e2-83fe-b18c8835dfd0
Baker, William
9f1b758c-e6e0-43ca-b7bf-a0d5e1387d10
Abdzadeh, Yasmina
44fa4ce5-b2ea-49e2-83fe-b18c8835dfd0

Baker, William and Abdzadeh, Yasmina (2020) Cultural awareness in an Iranian English language classroom: a teaching intervention in an interculturally “conservative” setting. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 9 (1), 57-80. (doi:10.1515/jelf-2020-2030).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Despite Iran’s increasing use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) and its
growing position as a more open country to international relationships, Iran’s
education policy is still culturally conservative and intercultural language education is absent from the national curriculum and hence classrooms. In response, this article presents the results of a ten-session course focused on implementing and developing cultural awareness (CA) in an Iranian English language classroom. The data revealed that this course had a positive effect in developing students’ levels of CA, moving from basic in the first half of the course towards advanced in the second half. This provides important empirical evidence illustrating the value of systematic instruction of CA in students’ cultural learning. Furthermore, this course was the first of its kind in the predominantly monolingual, culturally restricted context of this study, where intercultural education is missing from the curriculum, yet where students are likely to use ELF for intercultural communication while travelling abroad or inside the country for communication purposes with non-Iranians. This study, thus, demonstrates the feasibility and documents the processes of integrating intercultural teaching into English education, specifically in contexts where educators might be limited by language policy makers.

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e-pub ahead of print date: 1 March 2020
Keywords: English language teaching, Iran, cultural awareness, intercultural communicative competence, intercultural language education

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 446643
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/446643
ISSN: 2191-9216
PURE UUID: 02dc5bab-295f-4c60-9a44-223acb47515f

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Date deposited: 17 Feb 2021 17:30
Last modified: 25 Nov 2021 18:39

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Contributors

Author: William Baker
Author: Yasmina Abdzadeh

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