The study reported here aimed to examine the classroom language proficiency (CLP) of secondary school (SS) English language (EL) teachers in Bangladesh. It is obvious that the EL teachers in a non-native English-speaking context like Bangladesh need to have a very good oral proficiency in the target language (TL) as part of their content knowledge so that learners can take them as models and classroom teaching-learning is effective. Following a multiple case study approach, data were collected from six SS EL teachers as primary informants and four head teachers (HTs), three teacher trainers (TTs), and one curriculum expert (CE) as secondary informants through classroom observations and face-to-face interviews. The collected data were analyzed with the qualitative data analysis software NVivo 11 Pro using thematic analysis as advocated by Braun and Clarke (2006). The key findings indicate EL teachers’ poor CLP as they demonstrated: (1) limited grammatical structures and lexical range of TL use; (2) TL inadequacy for interaction with learners; (3) nominal use of the TL for classroom instruction; and (4) overwhelming use of the L1 in the classrooms. Discussing the implications of the main findings, this paper proposes some recommendations for the stakeholders concerned.


secondary school, EL teachers, classroom language proficiency, case study, Bangladesh

Author Bio(s)

Dr. Md. Abdur Rouf is an associate professor in the department of English at Jagannath University in Dhaka, Bangladesh. His recent research interests include technology in EL classrooms, teacher education, and educational policies. Please direct correspondence to rouf777@gmail.com

Prof. Dr. Abdul Rashid Mohamed is working with Academy of Professors, Malaysia. He was a senior professor in the School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia. He was also a consultant to the Malaysian Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Maldives.


The authors would like to thank the English language teachers and the head teachers, teacher trainers, and curriculum expert who agreed to participate in the study.

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.







To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.