Critical Issues in Teaching English Participatory Feedback: Critical action research on dialogic writing classrooms in the Middle East.

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Tizreena Ismail


In an effort to create socially just classrooms, this critical action research was aimed at implementing dialogic and participatory feedback practices on the written drafts of writing students in the Gulf region. The study undertaken in a multicultural and multilingual Middle Eastern writing class in the UAE, examines how oral, collaborative feedback practices on the written work of students can promote equitable pedagogy and motivate learners towards more agency in the classroom. First an action research plan based on preliminary investigations on the feedback preferences of students, an action plan, an intervention and finally an examination of the intervention based on student responses were conducted. The student’s socio-cultural experience and knowledge that indicated a preference for oral, collaborative feedback on their written work was the basis of the action plan and intervention that led to greater student agency and social justice in the classroom. The research redefined the traditional approaches of teacher centered written feedback and assumed the methodology of leaner centered collaborative feedback, that not only allowed greater empowerment and motivation of students, but also led to more effective feedback practices. Thus the study demonstrates that despite the previous experiences and expectations of learners for a more traditional, teacher centered pedagogy, the adoption of transformative teaching methodologies encourage student voice, social inclusion and dialogic practices and lead to effective learning environments.

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