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We have been living with this pain: enquiry-based language learning in Iranian higher education

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We have been living with this pain: enquiry-based language learning in Iranian higher education

Authors: 
Sue-san Ghahremani-Ghajar, Hossein Mohammadi Doostdar, Seyyed-Abdolhamid Mirhosseini
Journal: 
Teaching in Higher Education
Number: 
17
Publish Date: 
2012

This article explores an understanding of learning as authentic enquiry and language as a social practice of meaning construction as the theoretical perspectives underlying an educational initiation beyond mainstream tertiary language education. With a general ethnographic approach and relying on multiple data sources, we investigate critical practices of teaching medical English in an Iranian university and illustrate a contextualized instance of enquiry-based language learning that embodies enquiry and discovery in two senses: students’ research and learning about the content for oneself, and moving away from spoon-feeding views of academic language education to experience language in real social contexts. On this basis, we argue for stepping beyond predetermined content-based approaches to university language teaching and call for living the language that is being learned, which involves enquiring, experiencing, discovering, challenging, and owning it.

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National Research Institute for Science Policy (NRISP) affiliated to the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology, I.R. Iran is a think tank in the fields of science and technology policy-making and research in the country.

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