The Emergence of Various Contradictions in Iranian High School English Education under the New CLT-Based Curriculum

Document Type: Research Paper


1 University of Bojnord

2 Pprofessor in TEFL, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.


Recent research has indicated that the adoption of CLT in an EFL contexts will create certain challenges. Using Engeström’s (1999) human activity system model, the present study investigated the implementation of CLT-based curriculum which was initiated in 2013 in Iranian public schools. Four groups of participants including 23 language teachers, 17 teacher directors, 23 students, and 20 parents took part in the study. Semi-structured interviews, observation of participating teachers’ classes, and analysis of relevant documents were used as data collection tools. Grounded theory analysis of the data revealed three main categories explaining the difficulty of CLT implementation in an EFL context like Iran. From an activity theory perspective, these categories indicated that the four layers of contradictions emerged in Iranian English Education as the activity system. The results suggest that not only language teachers as the subjects of the current activity system, but also other components of the activity system, and even other activity systems like teachers’ colleges and in-service programs need to work in tandem in order to overcome the challenges of implementation.


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