Teaching English Language at SSC Level in Private Non-Elite Schools in Pakistan: Practices and Problems

Dr. Muhammad Fareed, Saniya Jawed, Sidra Awan


English language is taught as a compulsory subject up to graduate level in Pakistani educational system. Despite studying English for over 14 years, majority of students coming from non-elite schools, lack required command in English language skills to pursue their higher education and professional careers. With this background in mind, the current research focused on teaching English reading and writing skills and the problems faced while teaching these skills at Secondary School Certificate (SSC) level in private non-elite schools in Karachi. The sample of the study comprised 20 SSC level students, 12 SSC level English language teachers of non-elite private schools and 5 student notebooks. Data were collected through open-ended questionnaires, group interviews and notebook analysis. Data were examined using thematic analysis. The findings revealed that teaching English language reading practices include reading the text aloud, translating the chapter, providing the central idea and meanings of difficult words to the students. The major problems faced by the teachers in teaching reading skills are learners’ lack of interest in reading, lack of concentration and low reading comprehension skills. The study also revealed practices of teaching writing skills such as provision of model texts and relevant vocabulary items. The major problems while teaching writing skills are lack of pre-writing activities, learners’ deficient command over vocabulary, grammar, spellings and punctuation, lengthy syllabus and limited time.


English language teaching, reading skills, SSC level, writing skills

Full Text:



Ahmed, S., & Rao, C. (2012). Inconsistencies in English language teaching in Pakistan: A comparison between public and private institutions. European Journal of Business and Management, 4(15), 95-105.

Almubark, A. A. (2016). Exploring the problems faced by the teachers in developing English writing skills for the students in Saudi Arabia. International Journal of English Language Teaching, 4(10), 10-23.

Anderson, R., Hiebert, E., Scott, J., & Wilkinson, I. (1985). Becoming a nation of readers: The report of the commission on reading. Washington, DC: National Institute of Education and the Center for the Study of Reading.

Aqeel, R. M., & Sajid, M. A. (2014). A study of organizational problems faced by Pakistani student writers. International Journal of Science and Research, 3(11), 258-261.

Bhatti, T. M. (2013). Teaching reading through computer assisted language learning. TESL-EJ 17(2).

Boumova, B. V. (2008). Traditional vs. modern teaching methods: Advantages and disadvantages of each. Masaryk University, America.

Channa, A. (2017). English in Pakistani public education. Language Problems and Language Planning, 41(1), 1-25.

Cutler, L., & Graham, S. (2008). Primary grade writing instruction: A national survey. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100(4), 907-919.

Dar, M. F., & Khan, I. (2015). Writing Anxiety among Public and Private Sectors Pakistani Undergraduate University Students. Pakistan Journal of Gender Studies, 10, 157- 172.

Fisher, R. (2012) Teaching writing: a situated dynamic .British Educational Research Journal, 38(2), 299-317.

Grabe, W., & Stoller, F. (2002). Teaching and researching reading. Harlow: Pearson Education.

Jarvis, H. & Szymczyk, M. (2010). Student views on learning grammar with web and book-based materials. English Language Teaching Journal, 61(1), 32-44.

Khan, H. I. (2011). Testing creative writing in Pakistan: Tensions and potential in classroom practice. International Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(15), 111-119.

Khan, H. I. (2013). .An investigation of two universities’ postgraduate students and their teachers’ perceptions of policy and practice of English medium of instruction (EMI) in Pakistani universities. College of Social Sciences, The University of Glasgow.

Khattak, S. G. (2014). A comparative analysis of the elite –English- medium schools, state Urdu-medium schools, and Dini-madaris in Pakistan. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Comparative Studies, 1(1), 92-107.

Kiuhara, S., Steve, G., & Leanne, S.H. (2009). Teaching Writing to high school students: a national survey. Journal of Educational Psychology, 101, 136-160.

Liu, G. Z. (2008). Innovating research topics in learning technology: Where are the new blue oceans? British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(4), 738-747.

Moreau, A. (2015). The connection between reading and writing in the writing center environment. Honors Projects. 470.

Muhammad, S. (2011). L2 reading instruction and reading beliefs of English teachers in public sector universities in Pakistan (Unpublished M.A. Thesis). Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, USA.

Nasir, L., Naqvi, S. M., & Bhamani, S. (2013). Enhancing students’ creative writing skills: An action research project. Acta Didactica Napocensia, 6(2), 27–32.

Pandey, M., & Pandey, P. (2014). Better English for better employment opportunities. International Journal of Multidisciplinary Approach and Studies, 1(4), 93-100.

Rasheed, S., Saleem, A., Bukhsh, Q., & Rasul, S. (2011). Identification of reading difficulties in the subject of English at secondary level: A case study of federal government schools. International Journal of Social Sciences and Education, 1(4).

Richards, J. C. (2008). Communicative language teaching today. United States of America: Paper Design Internationals.

Shah, K. S., Rani, R., Mehmood, R., & Irm, R. (2013). An investigation of critical thinking levels of examination questions for B.A. compulsory English at university of Punjab. International Journal of Linguistics, 5(2), 252-261.

Shamim, F. (2017). English as the language of development in Pakistan: Issues, challenges and possible solutions. In H. Coleman (Ed.). Dreams and realities: Developing countries in the English language (pp.1-21). UK: British Council.

Shoukat, B., & Ghani, M. (2015). English language teachers’ opinion on intermediate English textbooks taught in Punjab Pakistan. Dialogue, 10(3), 313.

Troia, G. (2014). Evidence-based practices for writing instruction (Document No. IC- 5). Retrieved from University of Florida, Collaboration for Effective Educator, Development, Accountability, and Reform Center website: http://ceedar.education. ufl.edu/tools/innovation-configuration/

Vazir, N., Ismail, S. (2009). Developing creative writing skills in early childhood: A case study from Pakistan. .Journal of Educational Research, 12(2).

Warsi, J. (2004). Conditions under which English is taught in Pakistan: An applied linguistic perspective. Sarid Journal. Retrieved from http:// www. sarid.net/sarid-journal

White, R. V. (1988). The ELT curriculum. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Yaqoob, T., & Zubair, S. (2012). Culture, class and power: A critique of Pakistan English language textbooks. Pakistan Journal of Social Sciences, 32(2), 529–540.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22555/joeed.v5i1.1756


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License