Cultural Barriers: Pros and Cons on ELT in Iran

Mahinnaz Mirdehghan, Niloufar HoseiniKargar, Somaye Navab, Tahere Mahmoodi


During the process of language learning some crucial cultural factors may be notified, seriously hindering the effective learning process, and commonly known as cultural barriers. Effective language learning among different cultures is especially challenging, due to the different ways of thinking, seeing, hearing, and interpreting the world provided by cultures. Cultural barriers are considered as those traditions which become hurdles in path of understanding or teaching/learning different languages, among which body language, religious beliefs, etiquette and social habits are noteworthy. The present study is mainly focused on the positive and negative impacts of cultural barriers on English language teaching/learning process in Iran. Accordingly, the effect of the usage of social factors, religious matters, taboo words as cultural dimensions are investigated, on the basis of the questionnaires prepared and distributed among 80 Shahid Beheshti University (Tehran/Iran) students. The questions are mainly to diagnose the cultural elements which might hinder or foster the learning process, and to propose solutions on its basis. The analysis describes the relationships between the items in the survey. For the purpose of the research percentages are used to express how the five main domains under consideration and the included matters are relative to one another. The statistical analysis of the questionnaires explores the effect of the usage of cultural dimensions on ELT in the community being studied. The partial effect of each domain is calculated, the results of which highlight the main criteria included under the broad term of cultural barriers and its implications on overcoming the desired outcomes in the teaching/learning process in Iran.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)   E-mail:

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