Critical Thinking in Personal Narrative and Reflective Journal Writings by In-service EFL Teachers in Iran: Assessment of Reflective Writing

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of English Language, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

2 Islamic Azad University, North Tehran Branch, Tehran, Iran


Recently, there is a need for fostering the critical reflective side of L2 teacher education. This study investigated the implications of personal narrative (PN) and reflective journal (RJ) writing for Iranian EFL teachers’ reflective writing. Sixty (36 women and 24 men) in-service secondary school EFL teachers were selected based on the convenience sampling from Iran. L2 teachers equally divided into PN and RJ writing groups were provided with particular short stories. L2 teachers in the PN writing group engendered PN writings in response to themes of stories; however, L2 teachers in the RJ writing group had to write their reflections on stories in RJ writings. Hatton and Smith’s (1995) framework was used for the content analysis of data. The quantitative analysis indicated that PN writings were lengthier than RJ writings. Also, there was a statistically significant difference between mean ranks of descriptive and critical reflection writing types signified in PN and RJ writings. However, no statistically significant difference was observed between mean ranks of descriptive reflection and dialogic reflection writing types. Moreover, PN and RJ writings were more descriptive, less descriptive reflective, less and less dialogic reflective, and still less critical reflective. The qualitative analysis revealed that EFL teachers’ PN and RJ writings enjoyed dialogicity. Despite their unwillingness to express voice, findings indicated that Iranian English teachers adopted a more critical perspective through generating PN writings than via engendering RJ writings. In general, the English language teacher education domain in Iran needs a thinking renewal to foster critical L2 teaching. 


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