Reflection through Peer Collaboration
“A Study from Omani ELT Classrooms”
Ali S.M. Al Issa (Ph.D.)
College of Law – Sultan Qaboos University
Muscat – Sultanate of Oman
Ali Al-Issa, Ph.D. in Education (Applied Linguistics) is an ELT Assistant Professor and the Assistant Dean for Postgraduate Studies and Research at the College of Law, Sultan Qaboos University, Sultanate of Oman. He has presented and published widely about ELT in Oman. His areas of interest are language-in-education policy and planning and second language teacher education.
The literature on ELT has highlighted the important role of peer collaboration as a means to promoting critical reflective practice amongst colleagues. This paper thus reports on a study into reflection through peer collaboration among a group of 37 multinational and multicultural teachers of English in four different schools in Muscat, the capital of Sultanate of Oman. The teachers were invited to observe a lesson taught by one of their volunteer colleagues from the mandated syllabus, complete some forms while watching the lesson and conduct a post-lesson discussion. This was intended to achieve two interrelated aims: a) help the teachers concerned develop a sense of critical reflection; and b) encourage them to learn to work and develop collaboratively. A self-reported questionnaire was completed by the 37 teachers at the end of the study. The results showed that the experience was very effective in helping the teachers concerned to deepen their skills of critical reflection and acquire a better understanding of, and develop skills in peer collaboration so as to become efficient and informed agents of positive change.
Key Terms: ELT, Oman, peer collaboration, reflection, teachers, teacher education.