Persian-Speaking Teachers’ Perspectives on Methods and Materials for Teaching English as an International Language

Document Type: Research Article


1 Department of English Language Teaching, Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran Iran

2 Department of Educational Psychology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA; & Department of Foreign Languages, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


Despite the global spread of English, it seems that voices from Persian-speaking teachers concerning English as an international language (EIL) teaching methods and materials are underrepresented. The present study set out to explore how nonnative Persian-speaking English language teachers respond to the increasing global dominance of EIL and native- and non-native-speakers’ language norms within the general paradigm of ELT. Questionnaires and interviews were used to explore 210 teachers’ beliefs about language teaching materials and methods in the context of EIL. Findings showed that the teachers noticed the need to expose English language learners to both native and nonnative varieties of English. Furthermore, the teachers acknowledged the significance of using standard English for language instruction. They seemed to be open to nonnative varieties of English, as they expressed their concern for what is communicatively acceptable. Findings contribute to our understanding of requisite language pedagogy in the EIL context.


Alptekin, C. (2002). Toward intercultural communicative competence in ELT. ELT Journal, 56(1), 57-64.
Brown, J. D. (2012). EIL curriculum development. In L. Alsagoff, S. L. McKay, G. Hu, & W. A. Renandya (Eds.), Principles and practices for teaching English as an international language (pp. 147-167).New York: Routledge.
Creswell, J. W. (2012). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Eslami, Z., Moody, S., & Pashmforoosh, R. (2019). Educating preservice teachers about World Englishes: Instructional activities and teachers’ perceptions. TESL-EJ, 22(4), 1-17.
Groom, C. (2012). Nonnative attitudes towards teaching English as a lingua franca in Europe. English Today, 28(1), 50-57.
House, J. (2003). Teaching and learning pragmatic fluency in a foreign language: The case of English as a lingua franca. In A. Martinez Flor, E. Uso Juan, & A Fernandez Guerra (Eds.), Pragmatic competence and foreign language teaching (pp. 133-159). Castellao de la Plana: Publications de la Universitat Jaume I.
House, J. (2009). Introduction: The pragmatic of English as a lingua franca. Intercultural Pragmatics, 6(2), 141-145.
Jenkins, J. (2000). The phonology of English as an international language: New models, new norms, new goals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Jenkins, J. (2005). Implementing an international approach to English pronunciation: The role of teacher attitudes and identity. TESOL Quarterly, 39(3), 535-543.
Kachru, B. B., Kachru, Y., & Nelson, C. L. (Eds.). (2006). The handbook of World Englishes. Oxford: Blackwell.
Kilickaya, F. (2004). Guidelines to evaluate cultural content in textbooks. The Internet TESL Journal, 10(12), 38-48.
Kramsch, C., & Sullivan, P. (1996). Appropriate pedagogy. ELT Journal, 50(3), 199-212.
Kubota, R., & Ward, L. (2000). Exploring linguistic diversity through World Englishes. The English Journal, 89(6), 80-86.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2016). The decolonial option in English teaching: Can the subaltern act? TESOL Quarterly, 50(1), 66-85.
Llurda, E. (2007). The representation of EFL teachers’ views on the role of English as a Lingua Franca. Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4, 11-24.
Matsuda, A. (2012). Teaching materials in EIL. In L. Alsagoff, S. L. McKay, G. Hu, & W. A. Renandya (Eds.), Principles and practices for teaching English as an international language (pp. 168-185).New York: Routledge.
Matsuda, A. (2017). Preparing teachers to teach English as an international language. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Matsuda, A., & Friedrich, P. (2011). English as an international language: A curriculum blueprint. World Englishes, 30(3), 332-344.
McKay, S. L. (2002). The teaching of English as an international language: Rethinking goals and approaches. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
McKay, S. L. (2009). Pragmatics and EIL pedagogy. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), English as an international language: Perspectives and pedagogical issues (pp. 227-241). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
McKay, S. L., & Bokhorst-Heng, W. D. (2008). International English in its sociolinguistic contexts: Towards a socially sensitive EIL pedagogy. New York: Routledge.
Modiano, M. (2009). EIL, native-speakerism, and the failure of European ELT. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), English as an international language: Perspectives and pedagogical issues (pp. 58-77).Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Murray, H. (2003). Swiss teachers and Euro-English: Attitudes to a nonnative variety. Bulletin Vereinigung fur Angewandte Linguistik in der Schweiz, 77, 147-165.
Murray, N. (2012). English as a lingua franca and the development of pragmatic competence. ELT Journal, 66(3), 318-326.
Peat, J. (2001). Health science research: A handbook of quantitative methods. Sydney: Allen & Unwin.
Shin, J., Eslami Z. R., & Chen, W. C. (2011). Presentation of local and international culture in current international English language teaching textbooks. Language, Culture, and Curriculum, 24(3), 253-268.
Sifakis, N. C. (2004). Teaching EIL-teaching international or intercultural English? What teachers should know. System, 32(2), 237-250.
Sifakis, N. C., & Sugari, A. (2005). Pronunciation issues and EIL pedagogy in the periphery: A survey of Greek state school teachers’ beliefs. TESOL Quarterly, 39(3), 467-488.
Tajeddin, Z., Alemi, M., & Pashmforoosh, R. (2018). Idealized native-speaker linguistic and pragmatic norms in English as an international language: Exploring the perceptions of nonnative English teachers. Language and Intercultural Communication, 18(3), 300-314.
Tajeddin, Z., & Eslamdoost, S. (2019). Beliefs about nonnative teachers in English as an international language: A positioning analysis of Iranian language teachers’ voices. Applied Research on English Language, 8(2), 261-286.
Tsui, A. B. M., & Bunton, D. (2000). The discourse and attitudes of English language teachers in Hong Kong. World Englishes, 19(3), 287-303.
Yano, Y. (2001). World Englishes in 2000 and beyond. World Englishes, 20(2), 119-131.
Young, T., & Walsh, S. (2010). Which English? Whose English? An investigation of nonnative teachers’ beliefs about target varieties. Language, Culture, and Curriculum, 23(2), 123-137.
Yuen, K. M. (2011). The representation of foreign cultures in English textbooks. ELT Journal, 65(4), 458-466.