The Lighting of a Fire: The Value of Dialogic in the Teaching and Learning of Literature for EF/SL Learners at the University- level in UAE
Chandella, Nayyer Iqbal Ali
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Reason for embargo
To allow publication of the research
Dialogic pedagogy involves students as critical inquirers, who can analyze their perspectives and attitudes. Dialogic creates liminal space (Buber, 1965) where conversation generates knowledge and personal relations. I intend to explore these ‘dialogic spaces’ where a group of 20 students and their teacher engage in dialogue around literary texts in an advanced English composition and literature major class of female students of one university in United Arab Emirates (UAE). My study takes further, growing interest in the value of dialogical process in second language learning. It describes the ways in which learners engaged in dialogical process begin to challenge perspectives and power relations. Because of the positive response that followed the sessions (conducted for the pilot study), I wanted to explore the process in relation to gender and culture. My dissertation research takes further the questions raised in the assignment study. I want to consider the conditions that will allow perspectives to remain in dialogue. My research explores how dialogic literacy practices function in relation to particular cultural and ideological discourses (Fairclough, 1992; Gee, 1996; Luke, 1991). The data include: class observations, field notes, semi-structured interviews (of students and the teacher) and writing assignments. The study employs an exploratory research design to discover and understand perspectives of the people involved (Merriam, 1998). I therefore emphasize that the analyses of the data are offered as partial and unfinished interpretations based on a specific theoretical framework. Although the research findings cannot be generalized across all female students in the UAE, they provide some insight into the learning experiences and preferences of Emirati women. Knowledge is finding light in darkness and staying warm in the cold. This is the knowledge our students must acquire. Not facts and theories, but a deep knowing (O’Reilley, 1998). Thus it seems appropriate to me to call this study, ‘the lighting of a fire’ (W.B.Yeats).
EdD in TESOL