Despite frequent calls for increased teacher engagement in curriculum-making and development, there are still many English language teachers worldwide who are required to work with materials that are either culturally inappropriate or inadequate. A related concern is that such materials may deprive teachers of their creative and professional capabilities to address students’ needs and interests, so that, weighed down by contextual challenges, the teachers then simply deliver the materials, adhering to the textbook closely. Contextual challenges faced by teachers may be more acute in the developing world. However, it is unclear to what extent teachers in under-resourced contexts cope. In this qualitative case study, we explore approaches to the curriculum (curriculum-making, development or transmission) adopted by three English language teachers at a Pakistani university; we draw on observations, pre-observation interviews and stimulated recall discussions. Our study highlights considerable differences in the teachers’ approaches and explores reasons for these differences, including the beneficial effects of experience and professional development opportunities. Implications include the need for greater professional development opportunities in an under-resourced context such as this, as well as mentoring and curriculum renewal involving teachers.


qualitative case study, curriculum-making, curriculum-development, English language teaching, Pakistan, higher education

Author Bio(s)

Said Imran is a lecturer of English at Kohat University of Science and Technology, Pakistan. His research interests include language teacher cognition, teacher education, professional development and issues related to language and identity. A qualitative case study article drawn from his PhD research has appeared in Asian EFL Journal. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: saidimran@hotmail.com.

Mark Wyatt is an Associate Professor of English at Khalifa University in the UAE; he previously worked for the Universities of Leeds and Portsmouth. His research interests include language teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs, teacher cognition and motivation, and practitioner research, and he has published widely in these areas. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: dr.markwyatt@gmail.com.


We would like to thank the editor and anonymous peer reviewers for their helpful comments that have helped us to improve this work.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
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