Magnificent Iranian Product
Although Iran has made fast academic and scientific progress in recent years, social sciences are still dependent on European and American references. One of the examples of being dependent is the presence of non-Iranian products in our educational settings. These references have been designed with the intention of changing Islamic lifestyles. Today, this western prescription has entered our country’s educational system and is changing the thoughts and perceptions of all groups from youngsters to adults.
With this in mind, “Designing the first comprehensive Iranian English Teaching reference” started as a project in 2013. This project is interdisciplinary and consists of 15 professional groups. We hope it will rightly take the place of other references in Iran and other Islamic countries.
Doing the initial studies, analyzing Iranian learners' needs, designing the innovative ways of teaching and graphic design, and adapting the appropriate cultural policies took 2 years in this project.
Today, the Eight collection has witnessed its first presence in the market. It is noteworthy that this collection consists of eight books each with 2 levels and is named Eight because of the 8th Imam of Muslims (Imam Reza) .
Culture, which directs personal and collective thought and attitudes, is comprised of beliefs, values, morality and behavior. Teaching a language has close relationship with culture in such a way that the present educational resources depict western lifestyles to influence people’s lives and culture. Therefore, the cultural content of a book is able to influence learners to the same extent as its educational content.
Our target community is the Muslim learners of Iran and neighboring countries with more emphasis on Iranian learners. Culture and its influence on learners have been taken into full consideration in this collection. The goals and procedures of the current collection cover all learners' cultural aspects and meet their cultural and educational needs .
Some cultural policies are presented as follows.
- Avoiding all the damages of western references
- Directing towards fairness, moral and virtuous virtues, and hope and believing in oneself
- Considering the common values of nations, and avoiding cultural conflicts
- Stating reality about western lifestyles and avoiding glorification or vice versa
- Reinforcing learners' self-assurance and leaning on their own culture
Scientific and Educational Approaches
The Eight collection prepares students for international exams based on World English views as well as teaching the five main skills of a language .
These books, following the standards of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), are designed based on a comprehensive corpus and cover basic to advanced levels.
ELT coursebooks available in Iran and presently used to teach English in Iranian language institutes are suitable for an ESL audience. Consequently, the majority of Iranian learners of English leave these institutes believing their communication needs have not been met. As such, they encounter serious communication problems. Given the gravity of these problems , the Eight collection has been prepared with the needs of EFL learners, especially those living in Iran.
At the beginning of each unit, there is a warm-up section which prepares learners for learning. Moreover, at the end of every two units, there is a section called Checkpoint which allows learners to review the taught parts.
One of the Eight's merits is a section called Practice Time which allows learners to learn English in real-life situations and gives them more opportunities to use language functionally out of class.
In order to enhance learners' writing skills, writing drills have been particularly taken into consideration to prepare learners for official correspondence and international exams from basic to advanced levels.
Pictures, texts, and colors are always used to convey meaning in graphics. In educational books, pictures and texts are so crucial. Using pictures to convey meaning is so important in teaching English since learners are not familiar with English texts. As Eight intends to enter international markets, all the artistic items have been produced or protected by copyright .
These artistic points have been considered in this project:
- Using bright and energetic colors
- Modular grid
- Designing the characters based on the context and cultural policies
- Using a specific method for designing the characters and lessons
- Using Sen Serif type faces in the texts and titles for legibility
- Purchasing some of the pictures from official and international sources
- Eight' LMS: This system gives learners the opportunity to use Eight anywhere in the world
- Eight's e-version compatible with Android and IOS operating systems: As smart phones, tablets, and laptops are widely being used nowadays, Eight's e-version gives learners the opportunity to use the audio, texts, and pictures simultaneously. This e-version, compatible with the latest software technology, greatly helps learners.
- Eight's audio files: The audio files have been recorded by American and European announcers in a recording studio