English teaching in Bangladesh
: the lived experiences of secondary teachers in the process of change and innovation

  • Saidur Rahman

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This study explores the impact of change and innovation in English teaching through the lived experiences of a small group of Bangladeshi non-government rural secondary teachers. The research occurred in Bangladesh, a post-colonial context, where teachers are implementing Communicative Language Teaching (CLT), switching from colonial originated Grammar Translation Method (GTM) as an outcome of policy decision-making. The research context is a traditional society dealing with issues of poverty and globalisation, while simultaneously attempting to create an education system that is responsive to changes in the economy and the needs and rights of its citizens. With the increasing importance of EFL teaching and learning in Bangladesh, the study focuses on the impact of the shift from GTM to CLT through the lived experiences of teachers. Through the lens of their beliefs, perceptions and teaching practices, this study explores their responses to change and innovation and considers how these have impacted upon their awareness of their own identity and perceptions of their own agency. The research has identified policy implications for managing change within the specific context, both locally and nationally. The methodological approach adopted in this study is life history and includes personal interviews and case studies of 11 English teachers in Meherpur, a small district of Bangladesh. This research has four major findings: firstly, that many teachers find English teaching using the CLT approach difficult and have continued to rely upon GTM; secondly, that the teaching of English is carried out in an under-resourced context, which impacts upon the implementation of innovations such as CLT; thirdly, students as well as common people in the society have lost trust in education and in political systems due to frequent policy changes and political interference in the education system at macro and micro level; and, fourthly, that in this remote rural area teachers generally, and female teachers particularly, had limited agency in implementing the innovation and change and had identified the technology transfer as unsuitable for the context. The findings also revealed that political interference in the education system has hindered teachers’ professional development and the successful implementation of innovations in the context of Bangladeshi socio-cultural realities. The study offers recommendations for policy makers and implementers to develop a continuous professional development structure for teachers and a balanced education system for the nation.
    Date of AwardApr 2019
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Brighton
    SupervisorDavid Stephens (Supervisor) & Angela Pickering (Supervisor)

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