This book unravels the story of English, the language of 'the enemies', in post-revolutionary Iran. Drawing on diverse qualitative and quantitative fieldwork data, it examines the nation's English at the two levels of policy and practice to determine the politics, causes, and agents of the two diverging trends of indigenization/localization and internationalization/Anglo-Americanization within Iran's English education. Situating English in the nation's broader social, political, economic, and historical contexts, the volume explores the intersection of the nation's English education with variables such as power, economy, policy, ideology, and information technology over the past three decades. The multidisciplinary insights of the book will be of value to scholars of global English, education policies and reforms and language policy as well as those who are specifically concerned with education in Iran.
English in Post-Revolutionary Iran is a very thoughtful, provocative and intelligent book on the inevitable tension between the globalization and the domestication of the English language in post-revolutionary Iran, and how the two forces, in fact, constitute two sides of the same hegemonic coin. Bold and compelling in argument and richly eloquent in style, it succeeds in raising profound questions about Iran in the 21st century: a discursive trope, a predicament whose social and political order continues to unfold in bewildering ways. Borjian helps us understand some of the complex interrelations between language and political-economy, and the transformative dialectics underlying the story of English in Iran since 1979.
- Alamin Mazrui, Rutgers University, USA
Maryam Borjian's pathbreaking study of English language teaching in the Islamic Republic of Iran carefully demonstrates the paradoxical growth of English, the language of Khomeini's Great Satan, alongside the increasing political and diplomatic isolation of the Islamic Republic of Iran and despite the revolution's initial impulse to indigenization. There can be no clearer indication of the desire of the Iranian people and civil society to belong to the global culture and community despite continued government ambivalence in educational policy and its outright hostility to the transfer of foreign ideas.
- Said Amir Arjomand, State University of New York, USA
Maryam Borjian is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures, and the Coordinator of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Language Programs at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her major research interest lies in the politics, economics and sociology of language in society and education in the contexts of colonialization, modernization, and globalization.