Nowadays to expand English language worldwide. According to

Nowadays
in this globalized world, learning a foreign language is a basic requirement. General
and special proficiencies for FLT, as cited in Saricoban (2012) are:

1.
The Planning and Regulation of English Teaching Process

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2.
Improvement of Language Skills

3.
Monitoring and Evaluation of Language Development

4.
Cooperation with School, Family and Society

5.
Providing Professional Development in the Field of English

 

 

2.2.6 English
language teaching (ELT) policy

 ELT is a relatively new
issue probing socio-cultural issues in various countries around the expanding
circle countries, including Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, Jamaica, Japan,
Korea, Oman, Singapore, Sweden, Tanzania, and Turkey (As cited in: Mirhosseini
& Khodakarami, 2016). Some scientists relate ELT to the concept of language
imperialism but others believe ELT is completely regardless of any intentional
attempt to expand English language worldwide. According to the second group,
English is to be considered as a neutral concept devoid of any political
perspective toward it. ELT policy programs in Iran started during Pahlavi
regime but the programs cancelled after the Islamic Revolution in Iran. After
the revolution, private sector has had an important role in the expansion of
English in Iran (Aghagolzadeh & Davari, 2014).

Foreign
language education policy ideals are presented as a model in Kiany, Mirhosseini
& Navidinia (2011):

1. Theoretical foundations are required
to be considered in macro policies.

2.
Cultural values are to be considered in macro-level policies.

3. National identity principles are
necessary to be taken into account. It is also important to create a balance
between these principles and the requirements of globalization.

4. Due to the controversy between mother
tongue and English and the use of one as the dominant language spoken at home,
it is necessary to define ‘language’ as the central concern in language
education practices ,including language policy.  

5. Policies are required to demonstrate
the mechanisms to implement goals and objectives so that they do not lead to
different interpretations from different teachers.

6. practical aspects, such as financial
mechanisms, evaluation mechanisms, monitoring, revision of the policies, goals,
and objectives, and restrictions imposed by the actual context are necessary to
be demonstrated.

English
is treated as a second language in most of the countries which have been
colonized by the Britain or America while it is considered as a foreign
language in other countries. As a result of English being as a second language,
those countries mostly adopt more serious strategies to improve English
competence in society. For instance, schools start teaching English to students
immediately at first grade in ten out of eleven Asian countries in a study . At
the present time, English language education is considered as a top priority
for success in career and countries’ development as an outcome of globalization
(Choi, 2007; Choi & Lee, 2008; Tsui, 2004).

Many
countries have a language policy designed to favor or discourage using one or
more languages, sometimes at the expense of others but regardless of political
aspects to it, including imperialism, the fact is that English as a lingua
franca is an undeniable necessity of the global village in that knowledge is
power and English is as a medium for that. Political perspectives of some
countries such as Iran and Vietnam has resulted in a kind of resistance toward
the dominance of English in these countries against imperialism as they state.
It may be the reason why the share of Iran in the number of hours, duration,
and the starting age of English language education is considerably small in
comparison to that of other countries  (Arzoz, 2007, Kiani, Mirhosseini &
Navidinia, 2011, p. 63; Richards & Schmidt,
2013).

According
to Atai (2002), English for specific Academic purposes (ESAP) curriculum
development in Iran is not systematic and coherent. Reading skills are
considered as the most important in ELT programs. The argument with the ELT
program in Iran is that it is based on grammar translation method (GTM)
primarily which is an obsolete one. ELT program in Iran is not based on a
systematic needs analysis (NA) of the students.  Another problem with policy documents in Iran
is that no professional standards are pre-defined for student teachers. The
only assessment guideline for students in Iran is called Barombandi which is
limited in many aspects. Considering teachers’ professional teaching skills is
missed and they are evaluated based on the number of students passing exams.  

Although
we have stated that a policy needs to change as a result of time factor, some
policies are unchangeable because of financial matters. Commitment to Islam is
the most important factor in education policy documents, including ELT
documents. The communication channel between ELT planners and teachers is very
important and it is done through official letters and weblog of OREP. Cognitive
and affective considerations are not conducted in current policy documents
about ELT. According to Atai & Mazlum (2013), teachers’ and students’
feedback is also an efficient source of information including micro-practice
level and to macro-practice level. However, Alright believes that it is
difficult for teachers to accept that their learners are able to possess positive
ideas to instructional process.

ELT
policy has been investigated in some Iranian important policy documents and it
has been concluded that the officially stated positions toward ELT in Iran are primarily
policy segments instead of coherently structured policies and it may become
problematic to know what is to be achieved by the policy. For instance, there
is a lot of emphasis on Islamic–Iranian identity in these documents while it is
still ambiguous what Islamic–Iranian identity means. Official policy documents
investigated by Khodakarami & Mirhosseini (2016) are: 1. The 20-year
National Vision of the Islamic Republic of Iran (National Vision 2005) 2. The
Comprehensive Science Roadmap (Comprehensive Roadmap 2009) 3. The National Curriculum Document (National Curriculum
2009)
4. The Fundamental Reform Document of Education (Reform Document 2011).