University of Sussex
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Improving English language teaching in large classes at university level in Pakistan

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posted on 2023-06-08, 15:05 authored by Faraz Ali Bughio
This thesis describes a collaborative Action Research project that works to improve the quality of English language teaching (ELT) and learning in a public sector university in Pakistan. It demonstrates how teachers and students can take responsibility for engaging in active learning and teaching by developing their roles beyond traditional models of teaching and learning. The findings of the study are validated through critical thinking, the active critique of colleagues and students who participated in the study, reflection on critical aspects of data collection and by contextualising findings within existing literature. The thesis comprises eight chapters. Chapter one provides an introduction. It presents the overall organization of the thesis. This includes the aims of the study, rationale of the research, brief overview of methodology and the structure of the thesis. In chapter two, the literature review focuses on the defining factors of large class teaching and learning. Much of the research on large classes is written in the context of the West and has limited application to the problems of developing countries. Existing literature suggests a need for further work on large class teaching and learning in the developing world. In chapter three I present the Context of the Study. I provide an historical overview of language policies in Pakistan which have influenced the educational structure and the development of the country. The status and importance of the English language in Pakistan is highlighted. I outline the classification of various English language teaching institutes in Pakistan. The chapter concludes with an account of teaching and learning and the sociopolitical conditions that affect the educational process at University of Sindh, Jamshoro Pakistan (UoSJP), the site of the project. Chapter four discusses the methodology of the study. It is divided into two sections. In section one I outline the rationale behind the choice of Action Research as a methodological framework for an intervention strategy. In the second section, I discuss the research design, and various data collection tools used for the study. In chapter five, I discuss the first reconnaissance phase of data collection. This has several foci: the teaching methods currently used in large classes at UoSJP; the students and teachers perceptions of ELT and the socio-political conditions that affect teaching and learning. Overall this chapter exposes the complexities involved in teaching at UoSJP and provides the basis for developing an intervention strategy. Chapter six presents the intervention phase of the action research strategy aimed at introducing cooperative practices. It contains the narrative of how a new teaching strategy was planned and collaboratively conducted in two different classes. Chapter seven focuses on the findings of the research and the analysis of data. I also reflect on the key emerging themes of both phases of the project. Evaluation criteria in action research are also discussed along with the monitoring strategy. The final chapter looks at the future implications of the study and offers practical guidelines on the management of large classes. There is a concluding reflection on critical issues that might affect future research. The thesis promotes ‘learner-focused’ teaching through critical reflection on professional practice. The study also suggests how students can be empowered to take control of their own learning, by giving them autonomy and, by creating a socially just and democratic atmosphere in class. It also shows how large classes, exceeding a hundred students, can be managed by changing teaching methods and by increasing students’ participation through group learning and the deployment of group leaders.


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  • Education Theses

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  • doctoral

Qualification name

  • phd


  • eng


University of Sussex

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