Ongoing research by members of the LANTER community.

The following text is a summary of an ongoing research project conducted by members of the LANTERN community (to mention some: Gary Motteram, Diane Slaouti, Susan Dawson, Felix Kwihangana)

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

This collaborative action research project aims to explore promising practices in making use of widely available mobile phones with readily accessible social media software, e.g. WhatsApp, to engage in a variety of development activities with teachers who work in difficult or remote circumstances, building capabilities and resilience. 

Teachers working in rural and remote areas, or those displaced by conflict and crisis, are often under-resourced and under-valued, and this project seeks to gather evidence of existing practices that support and resource such teachers as well as encourage the emergence of new ones. In doing so, it will examine how online teacher communities in challenging contexts can build resilience together.

The project focuses on three teacher associations: ATER (Rwanda), CAMELTA (Cameroon) and CI-ATEFL (Cote d’Ivoire), who are at different stages of developing online communities. Working collaboratively with the University of Manchester (UoM), we will explore ways that using digital tools like WhatsApp can both enhance the existing practices but also reach out to more remote teachers. Initially, we will establish needs and conduct training face-to-face and then provide ongoing support and services via/within the digital communities.

The research study will use a small number of methods: online surveys, focus groups and interviews to establish the base and end lines. It will also analyse the online communication itself to explore process through social network and discourse analysis. All of the data set will be explored thematically making use of both deductive and inductive analysis to build case studies and models of practice.

This is British Council ELTRA Award