Even a casual observer of the linguistic landscape in Iran will have to conclude that Iranians have a collective fetish for English. Almost all public signage is bilingual in English and Persian, even in cases where it is hard to imagine an English-speaking audience for a sign (e.g., ATMs that only accept Iranian cards; it’s impossible to use international bank and credit cards in Iran). Participants at the Language-on-the-Move workshop at the University of Tehran told me that English has two broad meanings in Iran: on the one hand, it is seen as a passport to higher education (passing an English test is a prerequisite to many university courses and English is part of the general education component of all university courses) and it is seen as a passport to the wider world outside Iran and strongly associated with going abroad.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)