Document Type: Editorial
Associate Professor of TESOL, Department of English Language and Literature, Azarbaijan Shahid Madani University, Tabriz, Iran
The decision by the Ministry of Higher Education in Iran to revise and update the subjects for the MA and PhD courses in TESOL should pave the way towards a more comprehensive understanding of teaching English to speakers of other languages. The Ministry’s revisions can be seen in line with the English language teacher’s awareness. Awareness of context in social sciences and humanities should have significant consequences for us in TESOL. One of the consequences, for instance, is our need for tracing the history of TESOL in Iran (or any area and country), and the building of an archive, without which TESOL in Iran maybe being trapped in the vicious circle of doing experiments that do not relate to our situation in a useful way. The Ministry’s new subjects should provide us with an invaluable opportunity to experience new horizons in researching TESOL. Scientific attitude we all have been brought up with has led to an epistemology that does not seem adequate in today’s world anymore. It is not adequate because it is reductionist in nature; it sees the social phenomena relating to one another solely on the basis of cause and effect relationship; it treats human beings as objects and it does not leave room for competing epistemologies. The new materials should be regarded as a platform to throw us into the unknown world of social world whose existence for us is a matter of interpretation rather than description. Science and critique in the sense we have learned and used them so far have turned into fixed standard curricula preventing us from experiencing an authentic life. All over the world, Englishes are learned by people wishing to communicate with one another for different reasons, and English teachers should see what they can do to help them in this regard.