Document Type : Research article


1 Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Literature, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

2 The faculty of Modern Languages and Communications, University Putra, Malaysia


Language marginalization is one of the main concerns of many nations. Several driving forces may endanger indigenous languages including globalization, hegemonic ambitions such as colonialism, and the lack of proper language planning and policy at national and international levels. This research is an ethnographic study to explore the status of Persian compared to English among the members of an Indian community residing in Iran. The data of this qualitative study was collected through semi-structured interviews with 18 teachers and parents of the students in the School of the Embassy of India in Tehran, Iran, as well as one-year observations of this school, accompanied with detailed field notes, and general investigation of the Persian and English course materials taught at this school. Thematic analysis of the data revealed that English holds the highest status among the members of this Indian community. This is while, on the one hand, members of this community are in urgent need for Persian due to their communicative and educational demands during their residence in Iran, and on the other hand, the Iranian Act of Foreign Citizen’s Schools has required quality Persian instruction and supervision in Iranian Schools for International Citizens. This study illustrates how Persian is marginalized in its homeland because of the postcolonial remnants and neocolonial forces of English dominance which lead to over-appreciation of English among members of this community, along with the absence of Iranian language policies' implementation monitoring, and poor Persian instruction.


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