The place of culture in the Iranian ELT textbooks in high school level

ABSTRACT The present study is an attempt to investigate the way culture is addressed in ELT in Iran in general and the place of culture in ELT at the high school level of education in particular. Throughout the study, this issue was examined with reference to the relevant theoretical background, and the content analysis of prescribed English textbooks. The research findings make it clear that the current materials or textbooks are shallow and superficial with respect to their treatment of culture. They are therefore inadequate to the task of teaching culture specifics in the deeper sense (values, norms, beliefs, etc.) or culture-general skills such as intercultural communication and understanding.

  • Language Learning Journal 10/2014; DOI:10.1080/09571736.2013.869942
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    ABSTRACT: The present study, through a quasi-experimental design, investigated the possible effects of three important factors on successful incidental vocabulary acquisition of 20 English target words (TWs). The first factor to explore was repetition or repeated exposure to TWs through reading passages (one, three or seven encounters). The second factor to investigate was the possible effect(s) of L1 (i.e. Persian) lexicalization. As the third factor, the study explored and contrasted the acquisition of culturally-loaded words to see how they differed from culturally-neutral TWs. Furthermore, retention (within a three-week span) was taken into account by a delayed posttest. Seven aspects of vocabulary knowledge were measured, including receptive and productive knowledge of orthography, parts of speech, association and meaning. Results showed that, in general, increasing the number of exposure to TWs (from one to three or seven) had a positive effect on incidental acquisition. However, there were significant differences in the gains observed for different aspects of vocabulary knowledge both immediately and after three weeks. Despite some differences, both non-lexicalized (NL) and culturally-loaded (CL) words appeared to cause learning difficulty mainly in semantic aspects of vocabulary knowledge. The findings of this study were discussed and pedagogical implications were highlighted for language teachers and learners.
    05/2014, Degree: Ph.D, Supervisor: Dr. Ahmad Moinzadeh
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    ABSTRACT: The place of culture in teaching English as an international language (EIL) is a complex issue, given the diversity of contexts in which English is currently being used globally. Building on a sociocultural perspective that language use is open to negotiation and is context-dependent, this paper argues that the design and content of English-language teaching (ELT) textbooks should reflect the multiple perspectives inherent in EIL. Findings from an analysis of the cultural content of seven series of internationally distributed ELT textbooks are reported. Our study showed that even though cultural aspects were proportionally diverse in each textbook series, inner circle cultural content still dominates most of the textbooks. Furthermore, cultural presentation still largely remains at the traditional knowledge-oriented level and does not engage learners in deep levels of reflection. The findings are discussed in light of existing studies, and some recommendations for future textbook writers and classroom practice are suggested.
    Language Culture and Curriculum 11/2011; 24(3):253-268. DOI:10.1080/07908318.2011.614694 · 0.17 Impact Factor

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Jun 10, 2014