Iranian Non-English Majors' Language Learning
Preferences: The Role of Language Institutes
by Azam Noora
English Language Institutes in Iran
One can probably refer to English language institutes as the largest systematic non-academic centers. In general, there are three types of English institutes in Iran according to the issuing authority: Ministry of Education, Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, and Ministry of Science, Research and Technology. From the total number of 4678 educational institutes in Iran which are licensed by the Ministry of Education, 1971 institutes are language institutes whose first language taught is certainly English. This accounts for 42% of the total number of the institutes .The rest 58% belongs to centers teaching all branches of science, art and technology, from remedial school subjects to sewing and computer sciences at all levels. As for the private institutes issued by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, from the total of 186 institutes 127 are English teaching centers which make up 68% of the total ( Talebinezhad & Sadeghi, 2005).
A total of 192 students in different majors (Social Sciences, Business Management, Banking Management, Industrial Engineering, Chemistry, Physics, and Politics) at Azad Universities of Dehaghan and Shahreza, participated in the study. All the subjects were first-year students from the Science and Humanities Departments taking the “General English” course. They had studied English formally for six years in junior and senior high school. . By 28.3% of the subjects had the experience of attending language institutes . The subjects ranged in age from 17 to 27.
The data for this study were collected through a 13-item questionnaire, adapted from Lin& Warden (1998). Based on the experiences of working with English learners, the instrument was amended (some items omitted and some added with a different format). To make sure that students understand the items in the questionnaire, students’ native language (Persian) was used.
The data collected were analyzed using SPSS statistical package. A Chi-square frequency analysis was carried out in order to define significance of dispersion of choices (p<0.05).
Results concerning each research hypothesis, will be presented in a tabular form in percentage, beginning with H1.
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