Continuous Professional Development and Self-Determination Theory

An Exploratory Study of Pakistani TEFLers’ Learning Motivation


  • Muhammad Kamal Khan Associate Professor, Department of English and Applied Linguistics, AIOU, Islamabad
  • Shahid Siddiqui Professor and Dean, Lahore School of Economics, Lahore


Continuous professional development, motivation, MA TEFL, Pakistani TEFLers, self-determination theory


Continuous Professional Development (CPD) for teachers is an active process effectively influencing their external behavior as well as their internal state of mind. Teachers participate in CPD programs either officially (with extrinsic motivation) or voluntarily (with intrinsic motivation) and their enthusiasm directly impacts the success of their activities. The more motivated the teachers are about their CPD activities, the higher are the chances to achieve their goals of personal and professional growth (Yang, 2021). On this background, the present paper explores Pakistani TEFLers’ motivation to CPD program using the theoretical framework of self-determination theory (SDT). For this purpose, data from 320 Master of Arts (MA) in Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) program participants were collected through a purposively created survey questionnaire. These participants were otherwise English language teachers in their respective schools, colleges and universities and were pursuing their MA TEFL as an additional CPD program. The findings of the study showed that intrinsic motivation is a main factor for Pakistani TEFLers to participate in MA TEFL as a CPD program. The exploratory factor analysis (EFA) specifically showed that inner-directed academic improvement is the major motivation for Pakistani TEFLers to complete this program. The study has implications for CPD planning for English language teachers at provincial and federal levels in addition to highlighting need for further studies on teachers’ basic psychological support and qualitative aspects on CPD in the Pakistani context.