Critical pedagogy in EFL teacher education in the United Arab Emirates: Possibilities and challenges

Rana Raddawi*, Salah Troudi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study examines the possibilities and obstacles present in adopting a critical approach to English language education in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Three main elements of critical pedagogy in language teaching were suggested: cultural representation in the curriculum, perceptions of global English(es), and local and global issues. Within a research design informed by an adapted action research methodology, six secondary public schools from three emirates were selected for inclusion in the study. The pre-action stage included questionnaires, interviews, and class observations. An action plan and intervention followed this frst phase of data collection. The intervention was informed by Freire's (1996) "Conscientization" approach, Shor's (1992) generative themes, and Heaney's (1995) codifcation and problem-posing methods of teaching. The action phase consisted of a hands-on workshop for 20 volunteers from the 42 pre-phase participants. The results indicate that while teachers showed interest and even enthusiasm about critical pedagogy, they were aware of a number of obstacles and challenges in applying it in their classrooms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-99
Number of pages21
JournalTESOL International Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Critical pedagogy
  • English teacher education
  • Secondary schools
  • United Arab Emirates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Education
  • Linguistics and Language


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