Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Language, Education, Humanities and Innovation 2015
ISBN 978-967-13879-0-0

Upskilling English Teachers in Malaysia: A Critical Pedagogy Perspective

Paramjit Kaur

Universiti Utara Malaysia


English language teachers play an integral role in shaping Malaysian citizens. Recently, the Ministry of Education introduced the upskilling of English teachers nationwide as it was found that of 70000 teachers, 70% were found to be unfit to teach the subject, based on the English Language Cambridge Placement Test. Selected English teachers are now required to attend courses to ‘upskill’ and hone their language proficiency and pedagogical skills. Selected English teachers attend a training programme run by the British Council to upgrade their linguistic and pedagogical competencies. Drawing on the concept of critical pedagogy and language teaching and learning, this paper examines how teachers involved in the Ministry of Education upskilling programme reposition and manage their identities as teachers and learners as well as how they view the programme in their lives as teachers. Fifteen teachers undergoing the upskilling training were interviewed using structured interviews. It was found that although most of the participants highly valued the programme, almost all felt that it was burdensome in terms of adding to their workload and some could not see how it would help them in their classrooms. It is important to analyse sociocultural perspectives of such programmes in order for us to understand the complexities that are involved in the development and training of teachers.


English Language Development, Critical Pedagogy, Language Teacher Education, Malaysia

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