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Teachers as agents in school language policy and planning


Research focus:

Language teachers are expected to be innovative in their teaching, but in many cases teachers find it difficult to make changes to their teaching practice in schools. This study aims to identify how the culture of the school in which they work, influences what language teachers can achieve.


The study is a case study of individual schools. It involved participation with teachers in school-based innovation projects over a period of three years and included observations, planning and debriefing meetings with teachers, and interviews with teachers, students and school leaders.

Key findings:

  • A society‚Äôs beliefs and values about language learning can have a significant impact on how teachers can innovate in their teaching and can either support or obstruct change in language teaching.
  • School culture has a significant impact on how teachers can innovate in their language teaching and some aspects of school culture may prevent teachers from achieving their goals.

To find out more:

Liddicoat, A. J. (2019) Constraints on agency in micro-language policy and planning in schools: A case study of curriculum change. In J. Bouchard and G. Glasgow (Eds.) Agency in language policy and planning: Critical inquiries (pp. 149-170). New York & London: Routledge.

Liddicoat, A. J., A. Scarino, M. & Kohler (2018) The impact of school structures and cultures on change in teaching and learning: The case of languages.Curriculum Perspectives, 38, 3: 3-13.