Professional Development in Low Resource Environments: The Role of Africa TESOL, TESOL France, and IATEFL GISIG

  • Roy BicknellEmail author
  • Anta Hane Lo
Part of the Second Language Learning and Teaching book series (SLLT)


This chapter presents the development of a recent collaborative project between TESOL France and affiliates of Africa TESOL, with the later addition of IATEFL GISIG as collaborating IATEFL Special Interest Group. The principal aim of the collaboration is to generate good practices which will enable the development of English language teaching in sub-Saharan countries, whose teachers often experience difficult circumstances and lack effective teaching resources. The community of practice as defined by Lave and Wenger (1991) will be used as a model to analyze the different phases of the collaboration between the language teacher associations. We review recent literature on teacher associations and provide a broad definition of communities of practice and how this applies to the collaboration between the language teacher associations under review. We then discuss the different phases of collaboration from mid-2015 to end-2017, focusing on the first three stages of a community of practice: potential, coalescing, and maturing. The chapter concludes with a short review of what has been achieved and provides general recommendations for continuation of the collaboration.


  1. Barfield, A. (2016). Collaboration. ELT Journal, 70(2), 222–224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Borg, S. (2015). The benefits of attending ELT conferences. ELT Journal, 69(1), 35–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bowen, G. (2009). Document analysis as a qualitative research method. Qualitative Research Journal, 9(2), 27–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Herrero, C. (2016). The film in language teaching association (FILTA): A multilingual community of practice. ELT Journal, 70(2), 190–199.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Lave, J., & Wenger, E. (1991). Situated learning: Legitimate peripheral participation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. O’Leary, Z. (2014). The essential guide to doing your research project (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.Google Scholar
  7. Paran, A. (2016). Language teacher associations: Key themes and future directions. ELT Journal, 70(2), 127–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Smith, M. K. (2003). Communities of practice. The Encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved from
  9. Wenger, E., McDermott, R., & Snyder, W. (2002). Cultivating communities of practice. Boston, MA: Harvard University Business School Press.Google Scholar
  10. Wenger, E. & Trayner, B. (2015a). Introduction to communities of practice. Retrieved from
  11. Wenger, E. & Trayner, B. (2015b). On social learning [Video]. Retrieved from

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.InterlinguaAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Qatar UniversityDohaQatar

Personalised recommendations