ESL Teachers’ Perceptions of Online Teacher Professional Development and Its Barriers in UAE Public Schools

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
This study aimed to investigate the perceptions of English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers towards Online Teacher Professional Development (OTPD) and its perceived barriers in public schools in the UAE. Specifically, the study sought to determine how much teacher characteristics, such as years of experience, gender, and pedagogical and technological background, influenced these perceptions. A quantitative survey methodology was employed to collect data from 300 ESL teachers in public schools. The collected data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics to answer the three research questions. The study found that ESL teachers in public schools in the UAE had positive perceptions of OTPD. The perception of OTPD was significantly influenced by their pedagogical background and years of experience, while gender and technological background had no significant influence. The study also identified the repetition of topics as the most important perceived barrier to OTPD, which was not previously reported in the literature. The findings highlight the importance of sustained, high-quality teacher professional development to enhance student learning outcomes in public schools in the UAE. The study recommends OTPD programs be designed and implemented with consideration for individual teacher characteristics and aligned with curricula to address the identified barriers. The study contributes to the literature by providing insights into ESL teachers' perceptions of OTPD in the UAE and its perceived barriers. It also recognizes the importance of individualizing OTPD programs to address specific teacher characteristics.
Online Teacher Professional Development (OTPD), English as a Second Language (ESL), United Arab Emirates (UAE), ESL teachers