ELT Educational Context, Teacher Intuition and Learner Hidden Agenda

Document Type : Original Article



This study, first, attempted to explore the conflict between EFL teacher intuition or concepts and learner's accounts of the distinctive features of Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), and second to investigate the latter's " hidden agenda" (Nunan, 1989) of favorable ELT in relation to educational context. The study was carried out in the Iranian educational context conventionally categorized into three settings including; authoritarian, semi-democratic and democratic. Two groups of participants including 150 EFL learners and 45 teachers answered three triangulating and already validated questionnaires (Brindly, 1984 and BALLI of Horwitz, 1987a) addressing both the nature of language learning activities and their beliefs on language learning and teaching. Findings revealed that the learners hold variety of self-efficacy beliefs different from those of their teachers about learning language, many of which supported to be attributed to the educational context type and language planning and policy. While both sides generally agree on the virtues of CLT to language teaching, there are many areas of mismatch in their perceptions as to ELT agenda including lesson purposes, classroom activities, and learning outcomes. The findings are persuasive in that: reflective teaching-learning rests on teacher's awareness of learner's ‘maxims’ (Richard,1996), participatory syllabus design is a necessity, the gap between their opposing maxims should be narrowed, and the teachers are required to be aware of imposition of negative psychological impacts on the learner's side; resulting from any cognitive and intuitive mismatch.