This study investigates and critiques the impact of professional development programmes for teachers and the factors affecting it. This is done through a specific case study, the Professional Up-skilling of English Language Teachers (ProELT) programme in Malaysia. The ProELT is a one-year programme sponsored by the Malaysia Ministry of Education and conducted by the British Council. The programme was participated by selected groups of primary and secondary school English teachers. The research adopts a mixed-methods study including the collection of 350 questionnaire data, but this paper will focus only on the qualitative findings. Data from interviews, a focus group and the programme coursebook are analysed and described. The findings reveal some major limitations of the programme: in the coursebook materials; selection of participants; and the amount of follow-up support. These were found to have had a negative emotional impact on the teachers and compromised the potential benefits of the programme. Broader implications of the findings are explored and recommendations for future programme design are made.
Wendy Hiew, Universiti Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia