ELT teachers' stories of resilience

Project: Research

Project Details


Stories engage, inspire, instruct and challenge us, and we make sense of our experiences through telling them. Within the field of ELT there is a growing interest in using stories to both deepen our understanding and inform our teaching (e.g. Puchta 2017).

Resilience of language learners is a burgeoning field of research (e.g. Nguyen et al 2015) but there are few studies investigating the experiences of language teachers’ resilience, including but not limited to the impact on their professional identity (re)construction. To research the latter, narrative inquiry provides the ideal framework. It is a relational methodology, which enables research into people’s lived experiences through their stories to make sense of those experiences (Clandinin 2013; Clandinin & Connelly 2000). It emphasizes the reflexivity of the researchers and is interventionist in its character.

Although narrative approaches have captured the imagination of growing numbers of researchers in applied linguistics (see Benson 2014), there is still room for innovation in data collection and analysis (ibid.). We therefore aim to add to this innovation by collecting and analysing the stories of language teachers in both Brazil and the UK to gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between resilience and professional identity. We do this by living alongside our participants as emic researchers. Additional innovation comes from the incorporation of visual narratives as a method of exploring language teacher identity (e.g. Kalaja 2016).
Short titleBritish Council ELTRA 2017
Effective start/end date18/09/1731/12/18


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