ELT teachers' stories of resilience

Gwyneth James, Ana Carolina de Laurentiis Brandao

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report

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This study analyses ELT teachers’ stories of resilience in Brazil and the United Kingdom. Resilience is a fundamental element in ELT teachers’ lives. In Brazil,
for example, teachers face major challenges such as the low status of English in the school curriculum, poor wages and lack of opportunities to practise their English. Also, in both Brazil and the UK, teachers have to cope with heavy workloads, excessive focus on exams and the undervalued status of the
profession. These challenges, which may apply to other ELT contexts, demand the daily resilience of teachers to sustain them in the profession throughout their careers. The study takes the form of a narrative inquiry, a research methodology that considers narrative as both method and methodology. The field texts include recorded conversations and visual narratives gathered over
the course of a year. The participants are six ELT teachers, three in Brazil and three in the UK. How the six teachers exercised their resilience in ELT contexts
evidences both commonalities and differences. Coping with the feeling of isolation and the lack of teaching resources were some of the challenges
faced by the ELT teachers. Self-reflection and a sense of vocation were among the key elements of their resilience. Investigating how teachers experience resilience in the Brazilian and British educational landscapes not only facilitates teachers’ development in teacher training programmes, but also informs other teacher educators and researchers about the fundamental role of resilience
in language teacher education curricula.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherBritish Council
Commissioning bodyBritish Council
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)978-0-86355-946-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • ELT teachers
  • stories
  • resilience
  • Narrative inquiry


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