Learner-Centered Education in the Iranian EFL Context: A Glance through the Impediments

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Payame Noor University

2 Urmia University

10.22099/jtls.2020.36716.2796

Abstract

Though learner-centered paradigm of education has long been introduced to pedagogy in general and language teaching in particular, it seems that scant heed has been given to its implementation as well as the restrictions and challenges on its way. In an attempt to shed more light on the status of learner-centered instruction in Iranian language schools, particularly as regards the impediments hindering its proper application, the current researchers selected a cohort of 240 teachers and 450 students for the questionnaire phase through convenience sampling, as well as 29 male and female language school learners and 30 EFL teachers for interview. Due to its mostly qualitative nature, the study made use of data gathered via questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. As the findings revealed, students referred to resource constraints and teachers’ tendency toward applying traditional practices as the two overriding barriers restricting proper LCE implementation. The other two prominent factors singled out by the findings obtained out of students’ attitudes were lack of clear definition of LCE and lack of familiarity resulting from improper training. As regards teachers’ perspectives of impediments, however, poor motivation on the part of teachers and parents’ lack of receptivity for LCE were identified as the most prominent barriers. Finally, in line with the interview findings, all three categories of teacher-induced, learner-induced, and context-relevant factors were reported to be responsible for limiting LCE implementation with variable degrees of influence. The study findings are thought to have practical implications for English language pedagogy in the Iranian context.

Keywords


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