Discovering identities of teachers of English in Pakistan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M. Ed.)


Institute for Educational Development, Karachi


In Pakistan, the perception among teachers of English is that teaching of English is an easy task, requiring no specific academic/professional background in English subject. In this backdrop, this research attempts to investigate the identity of teachers of English in Pakistan, using primarily narrative inquiry methods. The term identity' is elusive because of multiplicity of meanings. The literature reveals that identity is affected by many psychological, social, and cultural factors and identity of teachers of English can be best studied where they exhibit their identities in practice, i.e. school and classrooms. In this way, data were collected at two stages; through conducting workshops of 20 teachers by using a qualitative questionnaire to understand their professional identities and reasons for joining teaching as profession and through narrative inequiry conducted with two research participants, each from government and private school, for understanding their professional, social, and pedagogical identities. The data analysis reveals that most of the teachers of English in both public and private schools are not professionally trained as teachers of English. However, the teachers of private schools are comparatively better trained from professional, social and pedagogical perspectives: some of them have appropriate academic/professional background; they possess better collegiality, collaboration and social interactions among themselves; and they are free to use innovative teaching methods in classrooms. All teachers of government schools have BEd degrees but not in their relevant subject. Similarly, their pedagogical practices are limited because of lack of resources and inappropriate as well as intrusive inspection procedures. The findings of the study reveal that appropriate professional qualification, interpersonal relations including collegiality and collaboration and student-centered pedagogy are major factors contributing to professional, social, and pedagogical identities of teachers of English in Pakistan, respectively. This research recommends a similar research at broader level taking into consideration additional categorizations of schools and variables that determine identity of teachers of English in Pakistan.

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