The Reality of Language Teacher Needs in Rural Education

Document Type : Research Article


Department of Computer Languages and Systems, School of Computer Engineering, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, Spain


Rural depopulation and the state of education in rural areas are characterized to provide a contextualization for the role of second language teachers there. Subsequently, results are presented from a needs analysis of the Spanish provinces that have suffered the greatest demographic decline and associated problems over the last half-century. Based on these results, a series of training macrostrategies are proposed as part of the AGORA (Technological and methodological innovation for lAnguage teaching and GeneratiOn of synergies in Rural Areas) research project. Such an approach will provide tailored training that meets the needs of rural teachers and, at the same time, enable them to support the students they have. Results of these strategies will facilitate the transfer of knowledge to society and are envisaged to inspire other researchers and educational authorities, given the transversality and scalability that can be expected from the outputs of the project. 


Chinapah, V., & Odero, J. O. (2017). Towards inclusive, quality ICT-based learning for rural transformation. Journal of Education and Research, 5(2/1), 107-125.
Coady, M. R. (2020). Rural English learner education: A review of research and call for a national agenda. Educational Researcher, 49(7), 524-532.
Collantes, F., Pinilla, V., Sáez, L. A., & Silvestre, J. (2014). Reducing depopulation in rural Spain: The impact of immigration. Population, Space and Place, 20(7), 606-621.
Coutin, M. (2022). Life in the empty diagonal: The experiences and impacts of newcomers in rural France.
Creswell J. W. (2009). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches (3rd ed.). SAGE.
Díez-Gutiérrez, E. J. (2023). El imaginario colectivo sobre el valor del entorno rural que construye la escuela. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación, 91(1), 163-178.
Díez-Gutiérrez, E. J., & Rodríguez-Rejas, M. J. (2022). Retos y propuestas para repoblar la España vaciada: “Por una España repoblada.” Cuadernos de Desarrollo Rural, 18, 1-19.
Dolton-Thornton, N. (2021). Viewpoint: How should policy respond to land abandonment in Europe? Land Use Policy, 102, 105269.
Domínguez, J. L. (2020). The unequal access of rural youth to public services: The need to promote education in empty Spain. Cuadernos de Investigación en Juventud, 8, 60-78.
Du Plessis, P., & Mestry, R. (2019). Teachers for rural schools – a challenge for South Africa. South African Journal of Education, 39, S1-S9.
Huertas-Abril, C. A. (2022). The role of e-Twinning tools in social and curriculum integration using multimodal communication. Teaching English with Technology, 22(3-4), 63-84.
Islam, R., & Mia, A. (2007). The role of education for rural population transformation in Bangladesh. Asia-Pacific Journal of Cooperative Education, 8, 1-21.
Kristiawan, D., Carter, C., & Picard, M. (2022). Impact of CALL professional development for EFL materials on teacher agency and technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) in Indonesian Islamic schools. Teaching English with Technology, 22(3-4), 20-42.
Labianca, M., & Valverde, F. N. (2019). Depopulation and aging in rural areas in the European Union: Practices starting from the LEADER approach. Perspectives on Rural Development, 3, 223-252.
Li, J., Shi, Z., & Xue, E. (2020). The problems, needs and strategies of rural teacher development at deep poverty areas in China: Rural schooling stakeholder perspectives. International Journal of Educational Research, 99, 101496.
Luvalo, L. M. (2014). The role of higher education in social transformation and rural development. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(23), 1206-1212.
Murthy, C., & Mathur, G. (2008). Designing e-learning programs for rural social transformation and poverty reduction. The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 9, 80-102.
Pinilla, V., & Sáez, L. A. (2017). Rural depopulation in Spain: Genesis of a problem and innovative policies. Informes CEDDAR, 2, 1-23.
Rico González, M. (2020). El fenómeno de la despoblación rural en Castilla y León: Implicaciones desde la perspectiva socioeconómica. Práctica urbanística: Revista Mensual de Urbanismo, 162, 4-18.
Robson, C. (2002). Real world research: A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers. Blackwell.
Viñas, C. D. (2019). Depopulation processes in European rural areas: A case study of Cantabria (Spain). European Countryside, 11(3), 341-369.
Walker, M. L. (1993). Participatory action research. Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin37, 2-2.