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Sociocultural Identity in EFL Textbooks of Iranian High schools
Regardless of different points of view, culture has taken an important place in foreign language teaching and learning studies. To communicate internationally inevitably involves communicating interculturally as well, which probably leads us to encounter factors of cultural differences. Such kind of differences exists in every language such as the place of silence, tone of voice, appropriate topic of conversation, and expressions as speech act functions (e.g. apologies, suggestions, complains, refusals, etc.). The main purpose of this study was to investigate sociocultural identity of EFL textbooks, which have been prescribed for use in the Iranian high schools by the ministry of Education. EFL textbooks were discussed in detail with reference to sociocultural theory of foreign language acquisition and the five features extracted from different materials evaluation checklists. The findings of the study indicated that the materials used in Iranian English textbooks do not take into account the creative aspect of language (culture) and sociocultural theory. It also showed that the language presented in Iranian English textbooks are still based on the old-fashioned syllabuses that assumed language learning was linear. This study favors use of more authentic and culturally loaded materials that best cover sociocultural theory of foreign language acquisition. It believes that there is a need to take "discourse" into account in designing our programs and textbooks, and teaching of EFL in our high schools as well. It offers in order to solve communication problems in the target language in the EFL classrooms, the learners need to learn the target culture within the syllabus.
Key terms: Sociocultural Theory, Culture, Foreign Language Acquisition, EFL Textbooks, Discourse.
FULL TEXT for AzerELTA Members only.

About the Author
Fatemeh Poorebrahim (Ms) has got an MA in TEFL. She is a memebr of Teacher Education University of Azerbaijan.

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