Exploring English-language teachers’ professional development in developing countries: Cases from Syria and Pakistan

Document Type



Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


This paper attempts to present the findings of a study carried out in Pakistan that explored English-language teachers’ professional development in developing countries. The main guiding question for the study was: How do English-language teachers at secondary schools learn to teach and develop professionally in Syria and Pakistan? Two cases were taken for the study; one from Syria and one from Pakistan. A blend of self-study research and case-study method was used to explore the professional development of the two teachers. Four major findings were drawn by doing a cross-case analysis. The findings show that these teachers were self-directed learners, they learned from various in-service experiences, from an enabling environment and opportunities in school and by getting support from home. These findings have two thought-provoking implications for school and for teacher education in developing countries where professional development is not well structured. First, that schools should think carefully of developing sustained professional development programs within schools, and second, that English-language teachers need both pre-service and in-service teacher education. Thus, teacher educators, policy-makers and other decision-making bodies should consider long-term ongoing professional development for teachers of English.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Professional Development in Education