Resilience and language teacher development in challenging contexts: Supporting teachers through social media

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This collaborative research project between the University of Manchester and three English language teacher associations in sub-Saharan, francophone Africa aimed to explore the use of social media to support English language teacher development through establishing communities of practice based around WhatsApp groups in remote and challenging contexts. It looked at how such communities of practice, organised around the WhatsApp groups, might contribute to individual and collective resilience, strengthening the quality of teaching and learning in these challenging contexts. We describe our collaborative research methodology, which foregrounds the sharing of knowledge across the three language teacher associations, and explore how this learning shaped the design and delivery of a workshop to establish the communities of practice. We discuss findings from the different phases of the
project in relation to different aspects of teacher resilience, including the shaping influence of the wider and more local context, the importance of
building relationships and also a teacher’s commitment to their role. We conclude by looking at some of the implications and recommendations
from this project, which show that social media can have an important part to play in the professional development of teachers in more remote and challenging contexts, but that there is a need to consider workload for the moderators and establish realistic expectations for the groups, particularly
where internet connections are sporadic.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBritish Council
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-86355-966-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Publication series

NameELT Research Papers 19.09


  • online learning
  • distance Learning
  • social media
  • teacher development


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