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An Empirical Study of English Varieties in the Islamic Republic of Iran
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2007 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this research has been to investigate attitudes toward different English varieties: British English (BrE), American English (AmE), or any other variety among university students who major in English, as well as English teachers in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This research focuses on attitudes regarding preference, as well as what type of English is taught in the classrooms, and how students and teachers obtain their English language skills outside of the university since Iran is known for its isolationism. Although limited in Iranian society after the Islamic revolution, English is taught at universities, and in a few language schools. I expected to find that the two most widespread varieties, BrE and AmE, were used more frequently than any other variety. However, I anticipated finding a stronger influence of BrE since Britain has more of a presence in Iran with the British Council, and because Americanization is not so widespread in Iran because of alleged American hatred. The research was based on two separate attitudinal surveys – one for the students and one for the teachers. The results revealed that there is an overwhelming preference for AmE; thus, any anti-American feelings do not reflect linguistically. The preference is motivated by reasons such as easier to 'pronounce,' 'understand,' 'grammar,' as well as simply 'liking the accent,' and believing that it is 'more beautiful.' The results are remarkable since they clearly illustrate that outside of the university, most Iranian students actually get their English from satellite TV despite the fact that satellite dishes are strictly prohibited. Further, the teachers’ survey showed a similar inclination towards AmE in all categories.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-6852OAI: diva2:197199
Available from: 2007-05-08 Created: 2007-05-08Bibliographically approved

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