E-learning in ELT: Potentials and challenges in the context of Pakistan

Document Type

Book Chapter




Azra Ahmed, Mehnaz Hanzala, Faiza Saleem, Greame Cane

Publication (Name of Journal)

ELT in a changing world: Innovative approaches to new challenges


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


Cambridge Scholars Publishing


Newcastle upon Tyne


E-learning is generally seen as offering solutions to several challenges currently being faced by higher education. The challenge for educators, however, is to make learning accessible, relevant, and of high quality. This requires innovation which involves a change that can occur at various levels. Therefore, a study was initiated to explore the impact of e-learning on the teaching and learning of English for Specific Academic Purposes with nursing students who had an intermediate level of language proficiency and were from a private university in Karachi, Pakistan. The two-year longitudinal study provided data to develop and design e-learning courses specifically for English and generally for other teaching/learning initiatives for institutions working in similar contexts. Data was collected in three phases: pre-intervention, intervention and post intervention. This paper shares the findings of this exploration up to the intervention stage. It focuses essentially on providing a reflexive critique of the study, in terms of its design, implementation, and lessons learned thus far. The objective of the paper is to share the insights gained, regarding both the design and implementation of such projects in a developing context such as Pakistan, with other practitioners facing similar challenges.