ELF in the iranian education system: Exploring teacher trainers' and pre-service/in-service english teachers' attitudes

Ahmad Asakereh, Nouroddin Yousofi, Hiwa Weisi, Xiaofei Lu
2019 Cogent Education  
The present study was aimed at exploring English teacher trainers' and preservice and in-service English teachers' attitudes toward English as a lingua franca (ELF) in the Iranian education system. To amass the data, 68 pre-service and 118 inservice English teachers and 21 teacher trainers filled out an adapted ELF questionnaire and sat semi-structured interviews. The results of the study revealed that the participants expressed diverse attitudes to different aspects of ELF. However, generally,
more » ... However, generally, they showed further inclination toward native speakerism although some traces of flexibility were observed in their attitudes toward the mainstream English language teaching (ELT). Further, the results of one-way ANOVA showed that overall there was no significant difference between the three groups' attitudes toward ELF. Moreover, the results of Kruskal-Wallis Test also demonstrated no significant difference between the three groups' attitudes to each aspect of ELF. The findings of the study imply that the practitioners' fixed mindsets cannot change unless a significant change occurs in the education system of the country in general and teacher training programs in particular. which shows their unobservable beliefs about the implementation of ELF principles in English classes, can provide insights into its partial feasibility in any educational system including the Iranian education system. The following research questions, therefore, guided the current study: (1) What are the Iranian pre-service and in-service English language teachers' and teacher trainers' attitudinal responses to ELF-related issues? (2) How do Iranian English teacher trainers and pre-service and in-service English language teachers rationalize their attitudes toward ELF-related issues? (3) Is there any significant difference between the Iranian pre-service and in-service English language teachers' and teacher trainers' attitudes toward ELF? Theoretical framework Conceptualization of ELF Sharifian (2016) , a household scholar in English as an international language (EIL) paradigm, defines lingua franca as a linguistic code which is used for communication largely by speakers with different first languages. Basically, lingua franca refers to a contact language used for communication between people who do not share the same language. While some lingua francas, referred to as pidgin or registers, have no native speakers, English is an international lingua franca with native speakers who are in the minority (Mauranen, 2018). Initially, ELF was used to refer to a contact language used merely by nonnative English speakers (e.g. House, 2003) . This definition excludes native speakers from the scenario; however, some ELF scholars (e.g. Jenkins, 2006) emphasized that ELF also includes English speakers from Inner Circle (e.g. England, America, Australia, etc.) and Expanding Circle (e.g. India, Singapore, etc.) albeit in the minority. The corpus of ELF does not encourage a specific and monolithic variety, rather, it exerts emphasis on the fact that English language speakers need to follow some linguistic features, which are intelligible to English speakers with diverse linguistic backgrounds (Jenkins, 2006) . Basically, ELF is neither a variety of English nor a fixed pedagogical model. In fact, it accentuates English users with diverse lingua-cultural backgrounds using English for different purposes and exerts emphasis on developing tolerance toward variations, communication strategies and pragmatic and intercultural competence (Blair, 2015; Cogo, 2015) .
doi:10.1080/2331186x.2019.1622625 fatcat:av4z6pulzrcgldyaqrde3nf4uy