Research project

British Council ELTRA: Empowering English language teachers to adopt multilingual pedagogy: The case of Multilingual Nepal

Project overview

The project aims to develop a pedagogical translanguaging model against a multilingual context, and help cascade the new language policy acknowledging the important roles of ethnic languages. Language barriers pose a serious threat to equitable quality education in Nepal, in particular, developing English proficiency for disadvantaged students including ethnic minorities, girls and economically underprivileged students. As primary gatekeepers, teachers play a critical role in the realisation of equitable education. The project will address this linguistic inequity, by empowering teacher leaders (including female English language teachers) with contextualised translanguaging pedagogies, guided by the following research questions:

1. What is locally effective translanguaging pedagogy when an ethnic language is introduced against the hegemonic languages of the national language and English?
2. What pedagogical resources do local English language teachers need to teach English effectively in a multilingual class?
3. What developmental needs do English language teachers have to become change agents in disseminating inclusive pedagogy to other teachers including the content subject teachers?

The researchers and teacher leaders will critically synthesise current research on translanguaging as pedagogy and multilingualism/plurilingualism and develop a framework to guide the development of locally relevant multilingual pedagogies. Two English language teacher leaders from each of the three case schools will work together with other subject teachers and develop sample units and pedagogical packages to assist local teachers in effectively adopting multilingual pedagogy, which will be finalised through discussion and expert checks. In selecting leaders, female teachers will be given priority. Teacher leaders’ micro-teaching with the revised units will be collectively analysed to identify their needs in becoming change agents. This procedure will not only empower the teacher leaders but also establish collaborative learning as a strategy for teachers’ self-empowerment and leading innovative pedagogies. Thus, this project will empower the agency of English teachers through workshops and pedagogical activities and they can then influence the students as the role models. It will also embed gender-aware pedagogy in the intervention. All the discussions, teacher leaders' journal posts and interviews will inform the development of the teacher handbook. The insights gained through this participatory action research will advance the emerging debates on ‘pedagogic multilingualism’, and increase educational equity concerning English teaching in multilingual contexts.


Lead researcher

Dr Tae-Hee Choi

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Education policy and change
  • Teacher development
  • English for Speakers of Other Languages
Connect with Tae-Hee
Other researchers

Dr Shuling Wang

Teaching Fellow

Research interests

  • Sociology of Education:
  • Critical race and whiteness studies;
  • Feminism, gender and intersectionality;
Connect with Shuling

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs