Tensions and resistance during collaborative efforts for change: facilitating the implementation of task-based pedagogy in Iran

Elahe Shakhsi Dastgahian, Marianne Turner, Janet Scull

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    The adoption of communicative approaches to teaching English in Iranian high schools is required by the newly reformed education system in Iran. However, teachers’ prior experiences of implementing traditional language teaching approaches, among other factors, have led to such approaches being largely resisted by English language teachers (Safari & Sahragard, 2015; Taherifard, 2016). This chapter discusses the findings of a study designed to investigate teachers’ resistance, as well as work towards a change in teachers’ teaching practices. The participants were three junior high school teachers who attempted to improve their students’ English oral language proficiency while trialling aspects of task-based pedagogy. Data-collection tools included group meetings and classroom observations, as well as focus group and individual interviews both before and after the intervention. Engeström’s (1996, 2001) third-generation activity theory model was used to frame and analyse the data. Littlewood’s (2004, 2013) communicative continuum was also used to map the teachers’ practices against form-focused or communicative practices. Findings showed that although task-based teaching suggestions met with some resistance on the part of the teachers, small changes occurred, especially in relation to group work. The results from this small-scale study highlight the potential for teacher collaboration to address curriculum change and informs policies and practices to address reform efforts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTransformation and Empowerment through Education
    Subtitle of host publicationReconstructing our Relationship with Education
    EditorsRaqib Chowdhury
    Place of PublicationAbingdon UK
    Number of pages16
    ISBN (Electronic)9780429774829
    ISBN (Print)9781138364851, 9780429431050
    Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Cite this