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The Social Origins of Language

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Presents a new theoretical framework for the origins of human language and sets key issues in language evolution in their wider context within biological and cultural evolution


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Dissertation Information


Title: Ideologies of English Language Teaching Research in Iran: An ethnomethodological and autoethnographic inquiry Add Dissertation
Author: Seyyed-Abdolhamid Mirhosseini Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Degree Awarded: Tarbiat Modares University , Teaching English as a Foreign Language
Completed in:
2013
Linguistic Subfield(s): Applied Linguistics Discourse Analysis Sociolinguistics Language Acquisition
Director(s):

Abstract: Mainstream trends of English Language Teaching (ELT) research are
predominantly constructed within the epistemological boundaries shaped by
the traditional conceptions of research methods as well as theoretical
constructs of linguistics, learning theories, and teaching methodology.
What tends to be normally ignored in the shadow of such notions is the
underlying belief structure that shapes the foundations of the ELT research
and practice. Such underlying foundational beliefs may be termed in various
ways, including under the rubric of ideology. Despite the forbidding
stigmas attached to the word ideology, rooted in the Marxist tradition,
this study adopts a more tangible conception of the term as the most
fundamental assumptions underlying any social practice to explore ELT
research ideologies in Iran. The research problem broadly guiding the study
addresses four major issues: the ideological assumptions detectable in
mainstream ELT research in Iran; the ideological assumptions of a thread of
alternative ELT research in a few Iranian universities; the theoretical
perceptions and educational practices that conceal and reproduce such
ideologies; and, the wider implications of dominant ELT ideologies and the
prospects of transformation. The broad research approaches of
ethnomethodology and autoethnography and the methodological research
procedures of thematic pattern generation based on grounded theory
perspective as well as critical discourse study are adopted to explore four
bodies of data: the abstracts of papers presented at the national
conferences of Issues in English Language Teaching in Iran and the
conferences of the Teaching English Language and Literature Society of Iran
held within the past decade; a group of alternative qualitative-critical MA
theses conducted outside the mainstream academic stream; written interviews
with two groups of researchers representing the mainstream research trend
and the alternative research attempts; and, autoethnographic documents
illustrating the researcher’s personal background of literacy and language
learning within the past three decades. The study uncovers a pentagonal
dominant ideology in the Iranian ELT research arena (comprising the five
major themes of Fragmentationism, Scientism, Psycho-cognitivism,
Technologism, and Intellectual consumerism). This ideological landscape is
problematized by a consideration of a contrasting alternative ideological
perspective and is further scrutinized based on a focus on the snapshots
from an autoethnographic glimpse of some aspects of ELT practice in Iran.