عنوان مقاله [English]
In the name of God
My dear friends and valued readers,
A new year has dawned upon us and once more with the arrival of spring the streets and gardens of our country are more colorful than ever. It has also brought our journal into the second year of our yet novel, but growing presence in the vast realms of scientific and educational publications of our country. Spring is a note of beauty and insight, and a tale of the evolution of existence. The tier of our journal is also a similar tale for the demand of progression. What a wonderful time it would be for us all to perceive the greater details that we might overlook; let our inner self bring out more of life in us; and let our days be filled with all the positive transformations that we need. May this New Year bring us all such merriments.
As for our Journal of Teaching Persian to Non-Persian Speakers, we are pleased to have received numerous papers so far, however the referees and my colleagues have observed that most of these studies, unfortunately, have not followed precisely the standard framework of a research and did not contain certain elements vital to a scientific-educational research. Moreover, a few papers could not even be classified as a research in Persian Language didactics. Furthermore, It was perhaps due to lack of experience or unfamiliarity of the authors with principles and theories of teaching a second/foreign language, unawareness of the realities in a Persian language class for non-speakers, or could be due to their weaknesses in carrying out field researches that led to ‘unacceptable’ or ‘need to an overall review’.
With regard to the first case, as there is no place for it to be discussed, it must suffice to say that courses such as ‘research methods’ and ‘seminars’ must be addressed in a greater depth at the our universities of topics such as ‘statistical analysis’ and ‘qualitative and quantitative research’ should be given greater priorities. This seems to be a way to increase the quantity of scientific literature, especially research articles, whilst also enhancing the quality and consequently the efficacy of the results of these studies.
Regarding the latter case and considering the presence of numerous scientific publications relevant to various other disciplines, the Journal of Teaching Persian to Non-Persian Speakers aims to gather and publish articles and researches strictly in the field of Persian Language didactics. It must be noted that research fields of ‘applied linguistics’ and ‘Persian language didactics’ are not similar and hence the boundaries separating the two must be carefully and accurately identified. For instance, regarding the articles we received in the field of curriculum development and syllabus design, it may be said that the contribution of applied linguistics does lie purely before modifying and adapting the content with both instructional and learning goals within an educational context.
Many of the researches conducted and forwarded to the journal regarding the syllabus design, curriculum development, treatment and analysis of the implementation of these syllabi within a classroom did not successfully manage to follow the principles of Persian language didactics and seemingly lacked to demonstrate the experience of teaching Persian language to non-Persian speakers. For this very reason we were not able to use such research articles. It seems necessary to further dissect this issue and point out that the fields of applied linguistics and language didactics have been separated from each other from the 1970s and the ultimate goals and studies carried out in these two separate fields are quite different (Germain, 1993). A comprehensive scientific characterization of linguistics might lead to a source for language didactics, however the ability of providing reliable descriptions does not lead to an aptitude in this field. For an instructor to be able to use such language characteristics, these should first be analyzed keeping in mind the arguments and theories of language instruction. What this means is proportioning the content in line with the objectives of teaching as well as the aim of the learners. Hence from the perspective of applied linguistics, given that it relates only to the knowledge of a single discipline, i.e. linguistics, it is at odd with the independent and scientific development of language didactics; which in turn covers the findings of numerous disciplines. Furthermore, despite some common ground in didactics of mother tongue, second language and foreign language, the differences in learning conditions and environment distinguishes them from one another. The goal of language didactics is not merely introducing an ideal technique for learning a language, but also by analyzing its methods and process plays a crucial role of an applied science in this regard. Unfortunately, it is not timely to describe in detail the history and evolution of this science, but in short, as Cuq (2004: 71) believes, it is clear that didactics is on a path to strengthen its bases as an independent science.
With regard to the aforementioned points, it is suggested that research papers forwarded for publication in our journal revolve around the criteria of this publication and be limited to the three field categories of non-Persian speaking learners, learning process, and instructor (within a classroom and during the process of teaching). In the following, these areas will be discussed further:
With respect to the case of learners, forwarded papers may be in fields such as interests and motivations of non-speakers for learning Persian; the role of memory and learning rhythms in learning; reactions and resistance to the teaching materials; techniques, strategies and methods used for learning the language, relation to other non-Persian speaking learners as well as the language instructor, learners’ perception toward Iranian and Islamic culture and civilization, cognitive and productive activities for learners (both oral and written), etc.
In case of the process of learning, topics such as learning process and progression; and testing and assessment of learners, and so on could be considered.
Regarding the category of language instructor, studies concerning the topics as the role of instructor in conveying the concepts and sharing the knowledge related to the language, strategies for teaching of various skills and sub-skills of the language, as well as students’ learning management, adaptation to instructional methods and syllabi and the selection of materials based on solid theoretical grounds and so on are of top priorities.
Therefore, it could be said that perhaps a lack of quality and specialized papers has been one of the reasons for a delay in our publication and it is worthy of notice that useful, high-quality and scientifically conducted researches in the specialized field of Persian language didactics can definitely refrain unexpected delays in the publishing of journal. In this way, we may reach a point where for every issue of this publication a special subject matter in this field be determined and relevant researches be called for in advance.
To end with, once again in our second year of publication I would like to express my gratitude to Dr. Mohseniniya to thanks his initial efforts for starting this publication. Also, I thank the journal editorial board who are scholastic individuals in the field of Persian language didactics for their sincere efforts and cooperation. My deepest appreciation and gratitude is reserved for the team of my colleagues behind this publication and I wish them all health and success.
Amirreza Vakilifard, Editor-in-Chief
Cuq, J. P. (2004). Dictionnaire de didactique du français langue étrangère et seconde. Paris: CLE International.
Germain, C. (1993). Evolution de l'enseignement des langues: 5000 ans d'histoire. Paris: CLE International.