Factors Preventing in-service University English Language Teachers from Becoming Action Researchers in Pakistan

Keywords: Teacher research, English language teaching, higher education, teacher education, education policy

Abstract

Research suggests that TR enables classroom teachers to address their classroom-specific problems without having to rely too heavily on published research. However, despite the fact that TR narratives of language teachers have increased lately, there is still need for studies investigating the perceptions of university English language (EL) teachers about TR, and exploring the factors affecting their engagement with TR in culturally diverse contexts. The current study was designed to explore the perceptions of university EL practitioners about the factors that inhibit or encourage them to engage in TR in a university context in Pakistan. Data were obtained from fifteen EL teachers from four public sector universities through semi-structured interviews. Results show that teachers appeared to possess only simplistic knowledge of research as an activity aimed at finding something new. While a majority admitted to have done no research, even the engagement of others who claimed to have done some research seemed sporadic and less than systematic. The main factors responsible for teachers’ dis-engagement from TR included academic culture, management’s attitude, power relations between senior and junior faculty, workload, lack of monetary benefits, and large classes. A number of implications have also been discussed.

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Published
2020-03-31
How to Cite
Syed, H. (2020). Factors Preventing in-service University English Language Teachers from Becoming Action Researchers in Pakistan. Journal of Language and Education, 6(1), 120-133. https://doi.org/10.17323/jle.2020.9697