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An Exploration of Language Teacher Reflection, Emotion Labor and Emotional Capital

Gkonou, Christina and Miller, Elizabeth R (2021) 'An Exploration of Language Teacher Reflection, Emotion Labor and Emotional Capital.' TESOL Quarterly, 55 (1). pp. 134-155. ISSN 0039-8322

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In this article we explore the notion of emotional capital in relation to language teachers’ emotion labor and the role of reflection in understanding their emotional experiences. We draw on interview narratives with teachers (n = 25) working in higher education institutions in the US and the UK. During these interview conversations, we elicited accounts of teachers’ emotionally charged experiences that arise as part of their ongoing, mundane teaching practice and how they respond to these situations. We argue that as language teachers struggle to orient to the feeling rules of their institutions, they develop the capacity to perform the emotions that they believe are expected of them. This capacity is further shaped through their reflective practice, both as individual reflection and collaborative reflection with colleagues. We thus analyze how language teachers’ accruing emotional capital, developed through emotion labor and reflective activity, can be converted into social and cultural capital. We also point to how language teachers’ emotional capital is entangled in power relations and thus requires careful scrutiny.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: teaching of language; teaching and learning contexts; teacher characteristics; emotions; reflection
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2020 12:29
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2022 20:07

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