Examining L2 Teachers’ Perceptions of EIL Paradigm: Creating Awareness and Change

Document Type : Original Article


Shahrekord University



English as an International Language (EIL) refers to a paradigm shift in second language (L2) education as a response to complexities arising from the rapid spread of the English language around the globe in recent decades; therefore, EIL is, now, regarded as a paradigm for thinking, research and practice in L2 teaching. Due to the importance of the teacher’s perceptions and attitudes and the influence they can have on their practicing English Language Teaching (ELT), the present study sought to explore what Iranian L2 teachers’ perceptions were about EIL and to see if awareness and change could be created in this respect through educational workshops. To this end, an explanatory sequential mixed-methods study was designed and 139 Iranian L2 teachers’ perceptions of the EIL paradigm were measured before and after an educational workshop. Also, 22 participants were interviewed to explore their perceptions of the EIL. Results indicated that the participants, by and large, did not possess appropriate perceptions of the EIL paradigm in varying degrees but that the workshop proved to be effective for developing appropriate perceptions in teachers. The interviews bore corroborating evidence for the quantitative data of the study. Awareness and change of attitude of the EIL can help L2 teachers make more informed decisions when practicing ELT.  


Abdzadeh, Y., & Baker, W. (2020). Cultural awareness in an Iranian English language classroom: A teaching intervention in an interculturally “conservative” setting. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca,9(1), 57-80.
Ahn, H. (2014). Teachers’ attitudes towards Korean English in South Korea. World Englishes, 33(2), 195-222.
Bernaisch, T., & Koch, C. (2016). Attitudes towards Englishes in India. World Englishes, 35(1), 118-132.
Cameron, A., & Galloway, N. (2019). Local thoughts on global ideas: Pre and inservice TESOL practitioners’ attitudes to the pedagogical implications of the globalization of English. RELC Journal, 50(1) 149-163.
Canagarajah, S. (Ed.). (2005). Reclaiming the local in language policy and practice. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Candan, K., & Inal, D. (2020). EFL learners’ perceptions on different accents of English and (non)native English-speaking teachers in pronunciation teaching: A case study through the lens of English as an international language. Journal of English as an International Language, 15(2), 119-144.
Chuang, K. L. (2002). The politics of locality: Globalization, postcolonial English, and the cultural reconsideration of English teaching and learning. English Teaching and Learning, 27(2), 1-16.
Clyne, M., & Sharifian, F. (2008). English as an international language: Challenges and possibilities. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 31(3), 1-19.
Cook, V. (1999). Going beyond the native speaker in language teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 33(2), 185-209.
Cook, V. (2008). Multicompetence: Black hole or wormhole for second language acquisition research? In Z. Han & E. S. Park (Eds.), Understanding second language process (pp. 16-26). Multilingual Matters.
Cook, V. (2016). Where is the native speaker now? TESOL Quarterly, 50(1), 186-189.
Coskun, A. (2011). Future English teachers’ attitudes towards EIL pronunciation. Journal of English as an International Language, 6(2), 46-68.
Crystal, D. (2003). English as a global language. Cambridge University Press.
Davies, A. (2000). What second language learners can tell us about the native speaker: Identifying and describing exceptions. In R. L. Cooper, E. Shohamy, & J. Walters (Eds.), New perspectives and issues in educational language policy: A festschrift for Bernard Spolsky (pp. 91-112). John Benjamins.
Davies, A. (2002). The native speaker: Myth and reality. Multilingual Matters.
Estaji, M., & Savarabadi, M. F. (2020). English as an International Language: Reconstructing EFL teachers’ cultural awareness and perception of teaching culture. Journal of English as an International Language, 15(1), 82-99.
Friedrich, P., & Matsuda, A. (2010). When five words are not enough: A conceptual and terminological discussion of English as a lingua franca. International Multilingual Research Journal, 4(1), 20-30.
Garrett, P. (2009). Attitudes in Japan and China towards Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, U.K., and U.S. Englishes. In T. Kristiansen, M. Maegaard, F. Gregersen, P. Quist, & N.  Jørgensen (Eds.), Language attitudes, standardization, and language change (pp. 273-295). Oslo: Novus.
Gholamshahi, A., Alemi, M., & Tajeddin, Z. (2021). Language Teachers' Identity Configurations and Their Resolution Strategies for Imposed Identity. Teaching English Language, 15(2), 1-26. doi: 10.22132/tel.2021.136508
Graddol, D. (1997). The future of English? A guide to forecasting the popularity of the English language in the 21st century. British Council.
Grazzi, E., & Lopriore, L. (2019). ELF Awareness for teacher education in Italy: Attitudes and actions. Estudos Linguísticos e Literários, 65, 69-89.
Holliday, A. (2005). The struggle to teach English as an international language. Oxford University Press.
Holliday, A. (2009). The role of culture in English language education: Key challenges. Language and Intercultural Communication, 9(3), 144-155.
Jenkins, J. (2005). Implementing an international approach to English pronunciation: The role of teacher attitudes and identity. TESOL Quarterly, 39(3), 535-543.
Jenkins, J. (2006). Current perspectives on teaching world Englishes and English as a lingua franca. TESOL Quarterly, 40, 157-181.
Jenkins, J. (2007). English as a lingua franca: Attitude and identity. Oxford University Press.
Kachru, B. B. (1992). Teaching World Englishes. In B. B. Kachru (Ed.), The other tongue. English across cultures (pp. 355-365). University of Illinois Press.
Kirkpatrick, A. (2007). World Englishes: Implications for international communication and English language teaching. Cambridge University Press.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2004). Understanding language teaching: From method to postmethod. London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associate Publishers.
Lee, J. S. (2019). Teacher as change agent: Attitude change towards varieties of English through teaching EIL (TEIL). Asian Englishes, 21(1), 87-102.
Lee, J. S., Lee, K., & Drajati, N. A. (2019). Preservice English teachers’ perceptions of English as an international language in Indonesia and Korea. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 40(3), 230-243.
Li, D. (2009). Researching NNSs’ views towards intelligibility and identity: Bridging the gap between moral high grounds and down-to-earth concerns. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), English as an international language: Perspectives and pedagogical issues (pp. 81-118). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Llurda, E. (2007). The representation of EFL teachers’ views on the role of English as a lingua franca. VIAL: Vigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 4, 11-23.
Lopriore, L. (2016). ELF in teacher education: A way and ways. In L. Lopriore and E. Grazzi (Eds.), Intercultural communication: New perspectives from ELF (pp. 167-188). Rome: Roma TrE-Press. 
Lopriore, L. (2018). ELF in ELT education: New paradigms in language awareness. In: ELF-awareness in ELT: Bringing together theory and practice. Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, 7(1), 160-166.
Lopriore, L. (Ed.). (2019). New Englishes and ELF: Investigating teachers’ attitudes and ELT in the Italian context, RILA, 1, 21-74.
Low, E. L. (2021). EIL Pronunciation Research and Practice: Issues, Challenges, and Future Directions. RELC Journal, 52(1), 22-34.
Matsuda, A. (Ed.). (2002). Symposium on World Englishes and teaching English as a foreign language. World Englishes, 21(3), 421-456.
Matsuda, A. (2003). The ownership of English in Japanese secondary schools. World Englishes, 22(4). 483-496.
Matsuda, A. (2006). Negotiating ELT assumptions in EIL classrooms. In J. Edge (Ed.), (Re)locating TESOL in an age of empire (pp. 158-170). Palgrave MacMillan.
Matsuda, A. (2019). World Englishes and pedagogy. In C. L. Nelson, Z. G. Proshina, and D. R. Davis (Eds.), The handbook of world Englishes (pp. 686-702). U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell.
Matsuda, A., & Friedrich, P. (2011). English as an international language: A curriculum blueprint. World Englishes, 30(3), 332-344.
McKay, S. L. (2018). English as an international language: What it is and what it means for pedagogy. RELC Journal, 49(1), 9-23.
McKay, S. L., & Bokhorst-Heng, W. D. (2008). International English in its sociolinguistic contexts. Routledge.
Monfared, A. (2019). Ownership of English in the outer and expanding circles: Teachers’ attitudes towards pronunciation in ESL/EFL teaching contexts. Asian Englishes, 21(2), 207-222.
Monfared, A., and Khatib, M. (2018). English or Englishes? Outer and expanding circle teachers’ awareness of and attitudes towards their own variants of English in ESL/EFL teaching contexts. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 43(2), 56-75.
Moradkhani, S., & Asakereh, A. (2018). EFL teachers’ attitudes towards accent and culture in light of EIL: The case of Iranian public schools and private institutes. Cogent Education, 5(1), 1-18.
Pallant, J. (2010). SPSS survival manual (4th ed.). Berkshire: Open University Press.
Petric, B. (2009). “I thought I was an easterner; it turns out I am a westerner!”: EIL migrant teacher identities. In F. Sharifian (Ed.), English as an international language: Perspectives and pedagogical issues (pp. 135-152). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.
Phillipson, R. (1992). Linguistic imperialism. Oxford University Press.
Pishghadam, R., & Sabouri F. (2011). A quantitative survey on Iranian English learners’ attitudes towards varieties of English: World English or world Englishes?. English Language and Literature Studies, 1(1), 86-95.
Rampton, M. B. H. (1990). Displacing the native speaker: Expertise, affiliation, and inheritance. ELT Journal, 44(2), 97-101.
Ren, W. (2014). Can the expanding circle own English? Comments on Yoo’s ‘nonnative teachers in the expanding circle and the ownership of English’. Applied Linguistics, 35(2), 208-212.
Ren, W., Chen, Y. S., & Lin, C. Y. (2016). University students’ perceptions of ELF in mainland China and Taiwan. System, 56, 13-27.
Renandya, W. A. (2012). Teacher roles in EIL. The European Journal of Applied Linguistics and TEFL, 1(2), 65-80.
Sadeghpour, M., & D’Angelo, J. (2022). World Englishes and ‘Global Englishes’: competing or complementary paradigms? Asian Englishes, 24(2), 211-221.
Seidlhofer, B. (2005). Standard future or half-baked quackery? In C. Gnutzmann and F. Intemann (Eds.), The globalization of English and the English language classroom (pp. 159-173). Narr.
Selvi, A. F. (2013). Towards EIL teacher education: Exploring challenges and potentials of MATESOL programs in the United States. In N. T. Zacharias & C. Manara (Eds.), Contextualizing the pedagogy of English as an international language: Issues and tensions (pp. 43-58). Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Sharifian, F. (Ed.). (2009). English as an international language: Perspectives and pedagogical issues. Bristol, U.K.: Multilingual Matters.
Sharifian, F. (2017). Cultural linguistics. Amsterdam/PA: John Benjamins.
Simanjuntak, S. A., & Lien, H. N. (2020). Teaching and learning EIL approach: A case study in Indonasia. Journal of World Englishes and Educational Practices, 2(3), 1-21.
Soodmand Afshar, H., Fazelimanie, A., & Doosti, M. (2017). Developing an Inventory to Investigate Current Professional Development Needs of Iranian EFL Teachers. Teaching English Language, 11(2), 161-194.
Sung, C. C. M. (2014). Accent and identity: Exploring the perceptions among bilingual speakers of English as a lingua franca in Hong Kong. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 17(5), 544-557.
Tajeddin, Z., Alemi, M., and Pashmforoosh, R. (2018). Idealized native speaker linguistic and pragmatic norms in English as an international language: Exploring the perceptions of nonnative English teachers. Language and Intercultural Communication, 18(3), 300-314.
Tajeddin, Z., Atai, M., and Pashmforoosh, R. (2019). Beliefs about English as an international language (EIL): Voices from Persian-speaking English teachers. Pedagogies: An International Journal, 15(2), 127-145.
Tupas, R., & Renandya, W. A. (2020). Unequal Englishes: Reenvisioning the teaching of English in linguistically diverse classrooms. In B. Spolsky & H. Lee (Eds.), Localizing global English: Asian Perspectives and Practices. New York: Routledge.
Vodopija-Krstanović, I. and Marinac, M. (2019). English as an international language and English         language teaching: The theory vs. practice divide. Iranian Journal of Language Teaching Research, 7(2), 19-38.
Widdowson, H. G. (1994). The ownership of English. TESOL Quarterly, 28(2), 377-389.
Widdowson, H. (2003). Defining issues in English language teaching. Oxford University Press.
Young, J., & Walsh, S. (2010). Which English? Whose English? An investigation of ‘nonnative’ teachers’ belief about target varieties. Language, Culture, and Curriculum, 23(2), 123-137.
Yuan, R. (2019). A critical review on nonnative English teacher identity research: from 2008 to 2017. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 40 (6), 518-537.
Zacharias, N. T. (2014). Integrating EIL pedagogy in a preservice teacher program. TEFLIN Journal, 25(2), 217-231.