The emotional geographies of language teaching

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The paper reports on an in-depth narrative case study of an immigrant background English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher’s emotional experience in a teacher professional community in England. The data are derived from the teacher’s ‘emotion diaries’ and six interviews during the three-month period when she taught on a pre-sessional English programme at an English university. The data were analysed with Andy Hargreaves’s emotional geography framework which focuses on the physical, moral, sociocultural, professional and political aspects of schooling. Through five stories that recount her experience in different emotional geographies, the paper demonstrates that the teacher had understandings and misunderstandings of different aspects of schooling, which gave rise to various emotions, both positive and negative. In order to survive, she also needed to adopt a wide range of strategies to manage her emotions. The study has implications for both teachers and administrators by stressing the need to engage in emotional understanding of each other’s work.

teacher emotion, emotional geography, community of practice, teacher learning, language teacher development
Journal Title
Teacher Development
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Informa UK Limited