Dynamicity of Transformative L2 Materials Preparation Model in EFL Classroom: Place of Critical Language Pedagogy in Teacher Education

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of English language and Literature, Ayatollah Amoli branch, Islamic Azad University, Amol, Iran



Over the past decades, education took a critical-oriented shift. This perspective changed the role of teachers, students, and classrooms. A teacher's role changes from an instructor to a reflective practitioner, a student is considered an active agent of his/her learning, and a classroom is a place for identity endeavor. The assumption underlying such an approach conceptualizes education as a means for social control, not separated from social and cultural influences. This study sought to examine the impediments overshadowing the practicality of critical language pedagogy (CLP) and to explore English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers' attitudes toward the dynamicity of transformative L2 materials preparation (TLMP) model. To undertake the study, the model was used in an M.A. language teaching methodology course with 40 prospective teachers. They were asked to write reflective journals (RJs) on several topics, followed by two class-assessments and two self-assessments, all focusing on the course procedure as well as learners' progress in attaining the intended outcomes of the course. Notably, they were requested to report their personal beliefs towards the dynamicity and functional efficacy of the proposed model and the extent to which it contributed to promoting their critical thinking skills and intellectual development. Qualitative data analysis included an in-depth content analysis of written data derived from RJs. The results attested that the participants positively appraised the practicality of the model.


Abdollahzadeh, E., & Baniasad, S. (2010). Ideologies in the imported English textbooks: EFL learners’ and ‎teachers’‎awareness‎ and ‎attitude.‎ Journal of English Language Teaching and Research, 2 (217), 1-17.

Akbari, R. (2008). Transforming lives: Introducing critical pedagogy into ELT classrooms. ELT Journal, 62(3), 276-283. doi: 10.1093/elt/ccn025

Aliakbari, M., & Faraji, E. (2011, September). Basic principles of critical pedagogy. Paper presented at the international conference of economics development and research, Retrieved fromwww.ipedr.com.

Atai, M. R., & Moradi, H. (2016). Critical Pedagogy in the Context of Iran: Exploring English Teachers’ Perceptions. Applied Research on English Language, 5(2)121-144. doi: 10.22108/ARE.2016.20996.

Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The dialogic imagination: Four essays (C. Emerson& M. Holquist, Trans.). Austin, Tx: University of Texas Press.

Barjesteh, H. (2017). Navigating the Hindrances Arising at Macro and Micro-level from Practicality of Transformative Pedagogy. The Journal of English Language Pedagogy and Practice, 10(20) 29-49.

Barjesteh, H., & Birjandi, H. (2015).  Toward postulating a transformative L2 materials preparation (TLMP) model in Iranian universities. Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences, 5 (2),1016-1027.

Belli, S. A. (2018). A study on ELT students' cultural awareness and attitudes towards the incorporation of target culture into language instruction. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 14(1), 102-124.

Bruenig, M. (2005). Turning experiential education and critical pedagogy theory into practice. Journal of Experiential Education, 28(2), 106-122.doi: 10.1177/105382599902200206.

Canagarajah, A. S. (1999). Resisting linguistic imperialism in English teaching. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Cervetti, G., Pardales, M. J., & Damico, J. S. (2001). A Tale of Differences: Comparing the Traditions, Perspectives, and Educational Goals of Critical Reading and Critical Literary. Reading Online, 4(9). Retrieved http:// www.readingonline. org/articles /art index.asp? HREF= /

Clark, L. B. (2018). Critical pedagogy in the university: Can a lecture be critical pedagogy? Policy Futures in Education, 16(8) 985-999.

Couch, J. (2017). On the borders of Pedagogy: Implementing a critical pedagogy for students on the Thai Burma Border. Australian Journal of Adult Learning, 5(1) 126-146.

Crooks, G. (2009). The practicality and relevance of second language critical pedagogy. Language Teaching, 1(16), 1-16. doi:10.1017/S026144480 9990292.

Cunnigsworth, A. (1995). Choosing your coursebook. Oxford: Heinemann.

Donnelly, M. (2015). A new approach to researching school effects on higher education participation. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 36, 1073-1090.

Darder, A., Baltodano, M., & Torres, R. D. (2009). The critical pedagogy: An introduction (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge, Falmer

Davari, H. (2011). Linguistic Imperialism or Global Understanding: ELT in Globalization from an Iranian Perspective. Unpublished master’s thesis, TarbiatModares University, Tehran, Iran.

Flecha, R. (2000). Sharing words: Theory and practice of dialogic learning. Lanham, M. D: Rowman and Littlefield.

Freeman, D., & Johnson, K. E. (1998). Reconceptualizing the knowledge-base of language teacher education. TESOL Quarterly, 32, 397417. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/3588114.

Freestone, P. (2015). English in Global University Education: Issues of Hegemony and Global Elite Dominance in Chinese Contexts. International Proceedings of Economics Development and Research, 83, 16-20.

Freire, P. (1970). Pedagogy of the oppressed. New York, NY: Continuum.

Freire, P. (1998). Pedagogy of freedom. Ethics, democracy, and civic courage. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.

Freire, P. (2003). Pedagogy of the oppressed (30th Anniversary ed.) (Trans. M. B. Ramos). New York, NY: Continuum

Freire, P. (2005). Education for Critical Consciousness. New York, NY: Continuum International Publishing Group.

Ghaffar Samar, R., & Davari, H. (2011). Liberalist or alarmist:  Iranian ELT Community's Attitude to Mainstream ELT vs. Critical ELT. TESOL Journal, 63(5), 63-91.

Ghahramani-Ghajar, S., & Mirhosseini, A. A. (2005). English class or speaking about everything class? Dialogue journal writing as a critical EFL literacy practice in an Iranian high school. Language, Culture, and Curriculum, 18(3), 286-299. doi: 10.1080/07908310508668748

Giroux, H. A. (1997). Pedagogy and the politics of hope: Theory, culture, and schooling. A critical reader. UK, Oxford: West view Press.

Giroux, H. A. (1988). Teachers as intellectuals: Towards a critical pedagogy of learning. South Hadley, MA: Bergin & Garvey.

Gore, J. M. (2003). What we can do for! What can “We” do for “You”?  Struggling over empowerment in critical and feminist pedagogy. In A. Darder, M. Baltodano and R. D. Torres (Eds.), Critical pedagogy reader (54-74). New York, NY: Routledge, Falmer.

Heaney, T. (1995).  Issues in Freirean pedagogy. Thresholds in education. Retrieved on September 7, 2019from http://nlu.nl.edu/ace/ Resources/ Documents/Frierean Issues.

Heigham, J., & Croker, R. A. (2009). Qualitative research in applied linguistics. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Kanpol, B. (1999). Critical pedagogy: An introduction (2nd ed.). Westport, CT: Bergin & Garvey.

Kareepadath, V. P. (2018). Critical pedagogy in practice: A case study from Kerala, India. Journal of Pedagogy, 9 (2) 33 –54. DOI 10.2478/jped-2018-0010

Keesing-Styles, L. (2003). The relationship between critical pedagogy and assessment in teacher education. The Journal of Radical Pedagogy, 5(1), 1-20. doi: 10.1177/105382590502800205.

Keshavarz, M. H., & Akbarimalek, L. (2009). Critical discourse analysis of ELT textbooks. Iranian EFL Journal, 5, 6-19.

Kim, M. K., & Pollard, V. A. (2017). A modest critical pedagogy for English as a foreign Language Education, Education as Change, 21(1)50-72.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2003). Beyond methods: Macro strategies for language teaching. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). TESOL Methods, changing tracks, challenging trends. TESOL Quarterly, 40(1), 59-81.doi: 10.2307/40264511.

Larkin, M., Watts, S., & Clifton, L. (2006). Giving voice and making sense in the interpretative phenomenological analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3, 102-120. doi: 10.1191/1478088706qp062oa

 Lee, J. (2007). Preparing pre-service English teachers for reflective practice. ELT Journal, 61 (4), 321-329 doi: 10.1093/elt/ccm022.

Mambu, J. A. (2014). Countering hegemonic ELT materials in Asian EFL contexts. Asian EFL Journal, 76, 4-25.

McArthur, J. (2010). Achieving Social Justice within and through Higher   Education: Challenge for critical pedagogy. Teaching in Higher Education, 15(5), 493-504.

McLaren, P. (1989).  Life in School: An Introduction to CP in the foundation of education. New York, NY: Longman Publishers, USA.

McLaren, P., & Leonard, P. (1993). Paulo Freire: A Critical Encounter. New York, NY: Routledge, Chapman and Hall.

Mc Lean, S., & Dixit, J. (2018). The Power of Positive Thinking: A Hidden Curriculum for Precarious Times. Adult Education Quarterly, 68(4) 280-296.

Meshkot, M. (2002). The cultural impact of EFL books on Iranian language learners (Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation), Tehran University, Tehran, Iran.

Moreno-Lopez, I. (2005). Sharing power with students: The critical language classroom. Radical Pedagogy, 7 (2), 23-49.

Niknezhad, F., Khodarezad, M. R., MashadiHeidar, D. (2019). Appraising Discourse Content of EFL Classrooms through the lens of Bakhtin’s Dialogic Discourse Pattern. Journal of Modern Research in English Language Studies,6(1) 51-78. 

Pennycook, A. (2001). Critical applied linguistics: A critical introduction. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

Richards, J. C. (2010). Series editor’s preface. In N. Harwood (Ed.), English language teaching materials: Theory and practice (pp. ix-xi). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Richards, J. C. (2013). Curriculum Approaches in Language Teaching: Forward, Central, and Backward Design. RELC Journal, 44(1) 5–33. DOI: 10.1177/0033688212473293

SadeghiBeniss, A. R. (2008, June). The evidence of cultural aggression in ELT. Paper presented at the National Conference on Development and Change in Culture and Art, Iran, Tehran.

Shor, I. (1996). When students have power: Negotiating authority in critical pedagogy. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Tan. J. (2010). Grounded theory in practice: Issues and discussion for new qualitative researchers. Journal of Documentation 66(1), 93-112. doi: 10.1108/00220411011 016380

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in society. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

Woodfield, H., & Lazarus, D. (1998). Diaries: A Reflective tool on an INSET Language course. ELT Journal, 52(4), 315-322. doi: 10.1093/elt/52.4.315.