Document Type: Original Article


Department of English, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran


The present study made attempts to evaluate the Iranian ELT PhD curriculum as compared to that of five high-ranking foreign universities from the United States, Turkey and Ireland. For this purpose, the corresponding curricula were collected, analyzed and categorized. Results indicated that in all three aspects i.e. the goals, admission criteria and required courses of Iranian ELT PhD were in need of revisions. More goals with more specific and operational goal descriptions were suggested to replace the current ones. In terms of admission criteria several requirements such as an academic CV, a statement of purpose and a research proposal were suggested to be added to the current Iranian ELT PhD admission criteria. Results on the number of coursework credits indicated that the major problem with Iran’s curricula was the low number of campus courses. Besides, one hundred seventy Iranian PhD graduates were asked to answer a Likert scale questionnaire and 5 experienced ELT PhD instructors were interviewed to find their viewpoints on the curriculum. The findings in this section revealed that both students and instructors believed the curriculum was in need of major revisions in all above aspects. Finally, suggestions were provided to improve the curriculum in the studied areas.


Abednia, A. (2012). Teachers’ professional identity: Contributions of a critical EFL teacher      education course in Iran. Teaching and Teacher Education, 28(5), 706-717. Retrieved from

Atai, M.R. (2006). EAP Teacher Education: Searching for an effective model integrating Content & language teachers’ schemes. Proceedings of  PAAL Conference, pp.23-41. Kangwong National University, Chuncheon, Korea.

Brandt, C., (2006). Allowing for practice: A critical issue in TESOL teacher preparation. TESOL Journal, 60(4), 355-364. Retrieved from

Council of Europe. (2001). Common European framework of reference for languages: Learning, teaching, assessment. Retrieved from

Crandall, J., J., (2000). Language teacher education. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 20, 34-55. Retrieved from

Dahmardeh M. (2007). Theoretical principles and practical procedures in evaluation of teaching materials (A case study based on the professional practice sessions), Lancaster

Divsar, H. & Jafari Gohar, M. (2014). Evaluation of the Curricula for TEFL in BA and MA levels based on Bloom’s Revised Categorization. Payam-e-Noor University Publications

Dooley, C. M., Dangel, J. R., & Farran, L. K. (2011). Current issues in teacher education: 2006Ð2009. Action in Teacher Education, 33(3), 298-313. doi: 10.1080/01626620.2011.592125

Estiri, D. (1996). Curriculum Planning, Tehran City Education Department Publications

Faez, F. (2011). Points of departure: Developing the knowledge base of ESL and FSL teachers for K-12 programs in Canada. The Canadian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 14(1), 48-82.

Faez, F., & Valeo, A. (2012). TESOL teacher education: Novice teachers' perceptions of their preparedness and efficacy in the classroom. TESOL Quarterly, 46(3), 450- 471.

Fathi Vajergah, K., (2008). A Comprehensive model for curriculum needs analysis. Quarterly Journal of Education 57(2). 204-221

Freeman, D., (1996). The "unstudied problem": Research on teacher learning. In D. Freeman, & J. C. Richards (Eds.), Teacher learning in language teaching (pp. 351- 378). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Freeman, D., & Johnson, K. E. (2005). Response to Tarone and Allwright. In D. J. Tedick (Ed.), Second language teacher education: International perspectives (pp. 25-32). London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.

Graves, K., (2009). The curriculum of second language teacher education. In A. Burns & J. C. Richards (Eds.), The Cambridge guide to second language teacher education (pp. 115-124). New York: Cambridge University Press. PMid:19214764

Hadavand, M., A., (2016). Investigating the factors affecting the improvement of educational quality in the faculty of educational sciences, MA thesis

Bachelor of Science in Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Allameh Tabatabaei University, Ph.D., Master of Science (MSc), Curriculum Curriculum

Kargar Fard Esfahani, F., (2014). The Role of teacher education in curriculum planning. The first international conference on quality in higher education. Islamic Azad University, Khorasgan Branch

Kashef, M.,(1999). Evaluation of curriculum for teacher training centers regarding satisfaction of students’ professional needs in views of teachers, students and managers. MA dissertation, Tarbiat Modarres University

Kiely, R., & Askham, J. (2012). Furnished imagination: The impact of preservice teacher training on early career work in ELT. ELT Quarterly, 46(3), 496-518. doi: 10.1002/tesq.39

Mall Amiri, B. (2008). A program evaluation of ESP education at MS/A and Ph.D. levels at Science and Research Campus, Islamic Azad University, PhD dissertation, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Campus

Mehrmohammadi, M., et. al, (2012). Curriculum: viewpoints, approaches and visions, Astane- Qods-Razavi Publications 

Mousapour, N., (1991). Dos and don’ts in Iran’s curriculum planning system, the first seminar in educational management, Allameh Tabatabiee Univeristy, Tehran

Mousapour, N., (2011). The Evolution of curriculum evaluations in Iran, Astane- Qods-Razavi Publications 

Nasr Esfahani, A., R., (2010). Curriculum planning and course design at universities and institutes of higher education. Iranian academic center for education, culture and research, Isfahan University

Nasr Esfahani, A., R., (2007). Curriculum planning and course design at universities and institutes of higher education. Iranian academic center for education, culture and research, Isfahan University

Nguyen, M., H., (2013). The curriculum for English language teacher education in Australian and Vietnamese universities. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 38, 33-53.

Peacock, M., (2009). The evaluation of foreign-language-teacher education programs.            Language Teaching Research, 13(3), 259–278.

Rahmani, N., (2007). On the efficiency of B.A translation program in Iran (An Evaluative Study), PhD Dissertation, Science and Research Campus, Islamic Azad University

Razi, N., & Kargar A., A., (2014).  Evaluation of in-service foreign language teacher education programs in Iran, InternationalJournal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World, 5(1), 221- 236 Razmjoo, S. & Riazi, A.M. (2006) .Do high schools or private institutes practice communicative language teaching? A case study of Shiraz teachers in high schools and institutes. The reading matrix, 6(3), 113-126.

Sarmad, Q., (2011). Lifelong education for Adults. The Organization for Researching and Compiling University Textbooks in Humanities.

Shirvani, K., (2013). A comparative evaluation of high school English books from teachers’ perspective. The journal of Research and Learning 5(3), 94-112.