Dialogue within and among Transnational Communities of Refugee Learners and Teachers: Covid-19, Dialogic Pedagogy and Dialogue Across Research Teams
AbstractAs the threat of the Covid-19 pandemic intensified, displaced learners faced increasing challenges to accessing the learning online that they were attending offline before the start of the pandemic. It is these learners’ and their teachers’ dialogic relations which are at the core of the Covid-19, migration and multilingualism (CV19MM) project, run in partnership with stakeholders offering language lessons in Jordan. In our paper, we respond to the question ‘Did the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns result in new types of community connections as refugee learners and teachers came together online?’ We examine NGOs’ shift to working online and the shift in data collection procedures when recording refugees’ ability to navigate online spaces through the lens of New Literacy Studies which foregrounds the analysis of culture and identity in the literacy practices of migrants (Barton and Hamilton 2000). Darvin and Norton (2015) recognise that the spaces in which language socialisation takes place have become increasingly deterritorialised. We focus on the dialogic engagements which emerged from increased online interactions, the dialogic pedagogies which one NGO draws on in its work with displaced learners and teachers and the challenges faced when carrying out research with refugee communities during Covid-related restrictions. We end with discussion of how our findings shed light on working with stakeholders across borders and how this approach enhances research on language, dialogue and migration when carrying out impactful research which is of use to NGO stakeholders.