Employing Participatory Learning through the Use of Photovoice in Iranian EFL Learning Settings: The Case of Reflective Narratives

Document Type: Research Paper


English Department, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch


Photovoice is a participatory action research method which aims to enable students to create compelling visual representations and identify the local social issues.  This paper attempted to investigate the impact of photovoice as an innovative method on the levels of reflection manifested in EFL learners' narratives. To this end, a convenience sample of 48 Iranian intermediate EFL learners including 17 males and 31 females, learning English in two institutes located in Isfahan, Iran, were chosen. Before research implementation, the participants were provided with comprehensive photovoice guidance and workshop. The learners had to present their photos and narratives during a semester which took about two months. The collected data include 237 photographs and 48 essays which were learners' critical reflection on the photos. Then, the levels of reflection in their narratives were measured by Kember (2008) and Ryan and Ryan's (2012) frameworks. According to the results, poverty and air pollution were the most prominent social concerns captured by the participants. Furthermore, photovoice incredibly fostered Iranian EFL learners' reflection, and they all had positive attitudes toward participatory learning. This study could have pedagogical implications for the learners and practitioners in the field of SLA. They can employ innovative methods such as photovoice as a participatory learning tool to improve critical reflection.


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