A Qualitative Exploration of Teachers’ Perceptions about the Theory and Practice of English Language Curriculum at Higher Secondary Level
It has long been debated that the English language programs (ELP) have not been able to achieve its objectives in Pakistani context. Students are still unable to learn and acquire English as a language. They memorize it as a subject. Researchers have blamed the policy, the practice, the curriculum and the overall implementation of the curriculum in this context. However, none have inquired about teachers’ perceptions about the theory and practice of ELP at higher secondary school (HSSC) level in the context of Pakistan’s public sector institutes which are affiliated with Board of Intermediate and secondary Education Lahore (BISEL). The aim of this research is to explore teachers’ perception about: (i) the theory (National Curriculum for English Language, 2006) and practice (textbooks, instructional methodologies, criteria of assessment) of English language program at higher secondary level, (ii) the discrepancies between the two, and, (iii) the reasons and solutions of identified discrepancies. To fulfill the aim, 20 English language teachers, teaching at higher secondary level are interviewed, using a semi-structured interview protocol. The findings of the research explicate that: ELP at HSSC level, in the context of BISEL public sector institutes, has not been able to achieve its objectives and there are enormous discrepancies between the theory and practice. The main reasons identified by the teachers are: poor background knowledge of students regarding EL, assessment based teaching and learning practices and the content based assessment. According to the teachers, for acquisition of EL in real terms, the entire system needs major modifications, not only at HSSC level, but also atgrass root level. They were of the view that students lack basic skills of EL, which ought to be acquired at primary and middle level. Higher secondary level is not to learn the basics of the language but to master the skills as a lifelong learning.