Education Research Programme


Digital empowerment in language teaching

DELTEA: Digital empowerment in language teaching

Project description

Project Lead: 

Dr Alison Porter 


1/12/2022 – 30/11/2025 (36 months)


 University of Southampton

Research theme:  

  • teaching and learning, with a focus on teachers and their recruitment, retention and professional development  
  • the uses of technology in teaching and learning, in UK compulsory education.

The four nation focus: 

  • Scotland and England

Project overview


The DELTEA project aims to enable a step-change in foreign language teaching and learning in the primary school by investigating whether digital professional development (DPD) can support teacher learning and affect teacher motivation to teach primary languages. 


DELTEA will explore whether and how a digital programme of professional development supports teacher learning (including linguistic outcomes) and the extent to which this positively affects teacher confidence, motivation, job satisfaction and commitment to foreign language teaching. Through app-based phonics and digital storytelling, DELTEA will track children’s foreign language learning and the development of creativity and empathy.  In the final phase of the project, researchers and teacher-partners will co-create to produce a professional development Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) and evaluate teacher motivational outcomes. 

Project partners
  • Association for Language Learning (ALL)
  • Research in Primary Languages (RiPL)
  • the Association for School and Colleges Leadership (ASCL)
  • and the National Governance Association (NGA).
Partnership plans

Respectful and trusting professional relationships are at the heart of DELTEA’s planned work with schools and teachers.  We plan to collaborate with schools and teachers across England and Scotland in the first two phases of the project and then to extend the network of DELTEA contributors across all four UK nations.  Alongside developing close, long-term partnerships with DELTEA schools, we aim to work closely with school leadership and other interested stakeholders to raise awareness of the importance of languages education and the potential for digital literacies pedagogies to cross-pollinate other subject areas in the primary curriculum.  Our work in the final phase of the DELTEA project will also involve collaboration with languages advocates such as the Association for Language Learning, L’Institut Français, and Instituto Cervantes

  • Professor Suzanne Graham, University of Reading
  • Dr Kate Borthwick, University of Southampton
  • Dr Pengchong Anthony Zhang, University of Reading
  • James Turner (PDRA), University of Southampton
  • Travis Ralph-Donaldson, Niter Ltd.