Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Theory and Practice in Language Studies

Volume

4

Issue

12

Publication Date

12-2014

First Page

2437

Last Page

2444

DOI

10.4304/tpls.4.12.2437-2444

Abstract

As a professional ideology, the Communicative Language Teaching approach (CLT) (Ellis, 1996, 2012; Lee & VanPatten, 2003) has been exported to non-Western contexts with varying degrees of success (e.g., Lewis & McCook, 2002; Li, 1998). The authors of this paper, both non-native speakers of English who have lived and taught in the USA for 20 years, discuss their experiences training teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) from China and Iraq/Kurdistan. Confirming previous research on the topic, they found teachers’ beliefs about teaching to be highly resistant to change, even in the face of evidence that negates them (Bax, 2003; Brown, 2009; Nespor, 1987; Pajares, 1992). This article analyzes the cultural parameters of EFL contexts that seem to be at the root of teachers’ reluctance toward CLT. The authors argue that this hesitation is related to a mismatch between teachers’ and trainers’ belief systems. This phenomenon is explored in light of cultural and ideological factors. The authors draw on Kachru’s (1992, 2006) work on the power dynamics between Inner Circle, Outer Circle, and Expanding Circle countries (see also Burns, 2013; Canagarajah, 2013).

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