A Master of Arts Thesis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Submitted to the College of Arts and Sciences by Jehan Ahmed Al Neaimi Entitled, "Professional Development for Teachers of English in the UAE," January 2007. Available are both Soft and Hard Copies of the Thesis.
Because of the importance of professional development in the improvement of teaching and education, and the importance of English as a language and subject of study in the UAE, this study focused on English teachers' attitudes towards, awareness of, and perceptions of professional development. It addressed teachers' opinions about their need for professional development and whether they find it useful or not. The study also addressed other issues related to professional development of teachers of English in the UAE such as rewards and challenges of participation in professional development programs, selection and initiation of professional development, areas where professional development is needed, and the benefits of professional development based on the views of the teachers. A total of 78 English teachers and five English supervisors participated in a survey to collect the data needed for this study. The study was based on two hypotheses: first, there are different perceptions between novice and experienced teachers regarding professional development and, second, there are not many professional development opportunities and resources available which may negatively affect student learning. Findings of the study did not support the first hypothesis as teachers' experiences and qualifications did not affect their perceptions of professional development and there were no differences between new and experienced teachers. The findings also revealed that most of the surveyed teachers are aware of the importance and need for inservice training and professional development programs. The second hypothesis was supported by the findings as the data collected from teachers' and supervisors' surveys confirmed that they believe there is a lack of resources and adequate professional development programs.