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Task-based Colourful Dialogues: An Authentic Glocalized Approach to Teaching English

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The present publication is one of the few written within the framework of English as a Glocalized Language in which local and global features of this language are brought to the forefront.  Featuring authentic dialogues set in everyday life of Malaysians who mostly converse in English, this book provides a fresh perspective to and familiarizes Iranian EFL (English as a Foreign Language) students with World Englishes.

In Iran, an overwhelming majority of English teaching academies prefer to use textbooks written by the authors hailing from the US and the UK as the so-called in-circle countries. Canada and Australia just stand at subsequent places with a large margin in the Iranian market of educational English textbooks. The number of such textbooks available in Iranian bookstores is quite high, while those written based on Iranian local culture and religion are few if not any.

The authors made an endeavor to write this book aimed at English language users who have basic knowledge of grammar and vocabulary with little or no experience in how English is used in everyday authentic settings. All the dialogues were models based on real-life-like situations written by the authors who spent most and/or all of their life in English speaking countries. The follow-up activities accompanying each dialogue is distillation of the authors’ extensive experience in tasked-based language teaching as one of the most beneficial approaches to teaching communication in English.

Embedding dialogues themed on Malaysian culture and social life in this book, caters for the needs of Iranian EFL learners who aspire to grasp how the language they are learning is used in a localized context, i.e. Malaysia.  Due to cultural and social affinity between Iran and Malaysia as two predominantly Muslim nations, the learners using this book can feel more relevance to the content as a foreign language with familiar themes used in each dialogue. Including culturally appropriate pictures accompanying each dialogue is another advantage for the readership who may find some images featured in textbooks inappropriate based on social and religious considerations.

Last but not least, while this publication has been written through the lens of World Englishes as an undeniable reality in the social sphere of many countries, the subject matter of each dialogue and the language per se promote globalized concepts. The user of this book, hence, would not lose the opportunity to communicate in English with other speakers of World Englishes. In the case of follow-up questions in each lesson, utmost care was paid to directing learners’ and teachers’ attention to the underlying mechanism of speech act theory emphasizing the role of language functions such as command, request and enquiry in either direct or indirect manner.

A note to English teachers using this book could be that they are kindly requested to explicate the nuances and subtle points depicted in this book to their students, especially at the college level where there is more room to discuss the role of imperialism in education and world Englishes.  The tasks suggested in each unit can be driven by the teachers to the needs and interests of students at various English proficiency levels.

The suggestion to write this book came initially from a native English speaker, Jaculine Savarimuthu, who inspired the other authors of this publication to write this with a spin towards English as glocalized language. We are greatly indebted to her for framing each dialogue with features from both Malaysian as well as international English.

We, the authors, sincerely hope that this book will be useful to Iranian EFL students as well as learners in other countries who wish for alternative educational textbooks featuring English aligned with their local cultures and social mores.  We shall be greatly delighted to receive your valuable constructive criticism for further improvement of edited versions in the near future.

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