Roles of Languages and Technology in Teaching in Marginalised Communities: Perspectives and Practices

Kukulska-Hulme, Agnes; Dawadi, Saraswati; Giri, Ram Ashish; Devkota, Kamal Raj; Khan, Rubina and Gaved, Mark (2023). Roles of Languages and Technology in Teaching in Marginalised Communities: Perspectives and Practices. Prima Educatione, 7 pp. 103–121.



Teachers in marginalised communities are known to face numerous challenges that may impact on their classroom practices. However, very little is known about their classroom practices in terms of their use of language and technology. Drawing on data collected in an international research project involving teachers and schoolchildren in several marginalised communities in Bangladesh, Nepal, Senegal and Sudan, the paper reports and reflects on the roles of languages and technology in education from the perspectives of teachers. The research data pertaining to teachers was collected through interviews and classroom observations and analysed through the lens of activity theory. Contradictions emerged between official languages used in class and the need to use local languages to support understanding, communication and discussion. Digital tools for teaching and learning were highly valued but scarce, consequently some teachers filled the gap by using their own digital and financial resources. Despite some challenges using English with students, teachers’ attitudes towards English were positive due to the perceived value of English for employment, access to information and social status. The research contributes to renewed awareness of marginalization and inequity and to promoting inclusivity. It contributes insights directly from communities that have not been studied from the combined perspective of languages and technology use in education. We discuss the implications of the findings for the improvement of pedagogical practices in marginalised communities.

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