The EFL curriculum in an Iranian high school : a qualitative evaluation research approach
This research is a qualitative case study of the EFL curriculum in an Iranian high school.
My aim has been to understand and interpret that curriculum, and in this way, to explore
some of the likely reasons for the pupils' underachievement in their communicative
ability. This target is approached through the implementation of ethnographic techniques
of class observation, interview, and document analysis. To delineate the areas of the
research and to take account of the research context of situation, I have devised and
applied an EFL curriculum evaluation frame appropriate for the study of EFL curriculum
in the Iranian high school.
Through this study, I have made certain 'analytical inductions' about the EFL
curriculum in that high school. I have argued that we seem to need a lens, different from
that of the quantitative experimental approach, so as to enable us to explore and look at
the issues concerning EFL curriculum and underachievement more widely and clearly. I
have also discussed that merely borrowing the concept of communicative competence is
not enough to improve the pupils' ability to communicate. Certain principles and
prerequisites need to be met to enhance this ability. For instance, social construction of
knowledge, collaboration of the pupils on the teaching and learning processes, and their
involvement in language activities can contribute to the enhancement of the pupils'
communicative competence. I have also hypothesised that loosening institutional
constraints and making teachers conscious of the distinction between broader and
narrower concepts of communicative competence might help to operationalise broader
concepts of communicative competence in the high school EFL classes.
The above arguments are made through evaluation research of the EFL
curriculum in a high school by demonstrating that there is rather loose congruence
between the curriculum components and that relatively recent approaches to learning
and teaching are not reflected appropriately in that curriculum.