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Introduction Banks et al. (1989) say that the intangible aspects as well as symbols of a society make up their culture. Banks et al. add that the most important element of culture is how people interpret and attach meaning to the components of culture (1989). According to Damen (1987), culture is the share of human models that enable people to carry out day-to-day activities through socialization. Lederach (1995), on the other hand, describes culture as the material and non-material practices that differentiate a particular group of people. Culture is specific to groups of people based on race and language. Hofstede (1984) says that culture is the programming of the mind that helps differentiate different groups of people. From the definitions above, culture can be defined as the patterns of behavior that are shared among peoples, and the cognitive constructs that determine the behavior of people in everyday life. English is taught as a foreign language in Iran. According to Dollerup et al. (1992), there is a cultural influence perspective in teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in Iran. Dollerup et al. add that teaching English in the country is always accompanied by the teaching interpretation skills from English to the local language that leaders believe is important for Iranian politics as well as international development (Dollerup et al. 1992). The leaders also believe that it is an effective way to preserve the indigenous Iranian language. This is because, while learners undertake English lessons, it ensures that they are knowledgeable about the indigenous language. High school learners in Iran aged between 15-18 use the textbook New Headway-Intermediate (Soars and Soars 1996). The research will center on the question of whether the book is suitable for teaching the English language. Additionally, the research will seek to find out whether elements of Iranian culture need to be incorporated into the system when teaching these students when using books such as New Headway. It is important to note that culture here means all the material and non material features that characterize the way of life of Iranians. Jenkins (2007) says that generally, the cultural aspect among learners especially high school learners is clearly embedded in the learning process. According to Jenkins, the learning process involves both formal and informal processes that aim at preserving the Iranian culture. Similarly, the system emphasizes the importance of the cultural aspect even in the teaching of foreign languages. Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Jenkins (2009) also adds that there is concern among course drafters in Iran that any foreign language teaching in Iran is tantamount to adopting the culture that the language represents and, therefore, recommends the incorporation of the local cultural aspect so that learners can learn the foreign language while appreciating their own culture. It is not to say that western culture is inappropriate for Iranians; rather, Iranians may consider some elements of western culture such as the modes of dress that may be considered offensive and, therefore, not desirable. For instance, a woman wearing trousers and exposing her hair will be considered offensive in the Iranian culture, as will words that describe the undergarments worn by both men and women that have been developed by the dynamic nature of commerce these words include ‘pants’, ‘Lingerie’. However, it would be wrong to assume that any incorporation of British cultural aspects into teaching English in Iran using the new textbook is not appropriate. The research will, therefore, explore both sides of the argument to determine what merits and demerits accompany whatever approach high school learning takes in Iran. Aims and objectives of the research The main aim of the research will be to evaluate the cultural content of New Headway with a view to evaluating the degree to which it is appropriate for Iranian high school learners. Cultural content here refers to all the elements in the book that refer to culture as defined at the beginning of this paper. It is important to note that high school learners are students aged between 15-18. The system in Iran separates women from men, even in learning institutions. Students are introduced to English as a second language from grade 7. The students are expected to follow academic/general or technical/vocational training. The research will also aim to determine the learner attitudes towards increasing or decreasing the observance of cultural aspects in English teaching. Concisely, therefore, the research will seek to determine whether the new textbook is suitable for teachers and students in the culturally sensitive environment of Iran. Other objectives of the research will include: An investigation of learner attitudes on the suitability of the book among Iranian high school students through the use of qualitative studies of 15-18 year olds and evaluating this within the context of New Headway Intermediate (Soars and Soars, 1996). An evaluation of the content of New Headway Intermediate (Soars and Soars 1996) as a learning medium for Iranian EFL students between the ages of 15-18 in the culturally sensitive environment of Iran. Research questions According to Slavin (1995), research questions will provide a platform for answers to be arrived at. We will write a custom Essay on
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