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Cultural-historical psychology: interdisciplinary research perspectives & social practices

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISBN: 978-5-94051-174-8

Published in 2017


Becoming an English teacher: a sociocultural study of the inter-relationship among emotions, experiences and the (re)construction of professional identities

Ramos F.S.
PhD, Candidate in Applied Linguistics, Assistant Professor, Federal University of Goiás, Goiás, Brazil

Full text

1. Introduction and aims

Until recently, in Applied Linguistics (AL), talking about emotions in academic paper was something unthinkable. We live in a society that prioritizes the rational side of human being. As stated by Aragão (2011), although emotions are present in the classroom, we have minimal knowledge about the relationship between our culture and emotions, as well as “how these are formed and overlapped on our experiences in teaching and learning a new language” (p.163-4). Our conception of teaching and learning, based on a Western tradition, did not take into account the emotions and, when considered, the emotional aspect tended to be treated as secondary and commonly pointed out as having negative effects on cognition, which has been seen as a major factor in understanding the process of teaching and learning a language (ARAGÃO, 2011).

Aiming to contribute to the studies that have been developed in the fi eld of AL, this research intends to investigate the inter-relationship among the emotions and experiences lived by first-time teachers in an English extension course and the (re)production of professional identities. In order to achieve this goal, I intend to investigate the phenomenon through the lens of the Historical-Cultural Psychology and Sociocultural Theory (VYGOTSKY, 2010; 2004; TOASSA, 2011; MAGLIOLINO, 2011; GONZALEZ REY, 1999; LANE, 2005; 1999; MACHADO, FACCI & BARROCO, 2011; OLIVEIRA, 1992; CIAMPA, 1984; FREITAS, 2014; LASKY, 2005; MICOLLI, 2008).

This study is justified, initially, due to the importance of the study of the concepts proposed here, as well as due to the need of a joint investigation of them. This study aims to fi ll a gap regarding the relationship among experiences, emotions, and identities. Few studies have been carried out seeking to interrelate such concepts and to investigate the influence of one on the other (BARCELOS, 2009; MURPHEY & CARPENTER, 2008).

I also offer a practical justifi cation. When proposing a discussion about the concepts in question, this study may contribute to a process of critical-reflexive education of teachers in the context of conducting the research. Since participants will discuss their experiences, emotions and identities, it will be easier to seek an understanding of how they affect the teacher’s daily practice and decision-making process.

2. Methodology

2.1. Context and participants

This research (categorized as a qualitative one) has been developed in an extension course offered by a federal university. This course aims to provide foreign language teaching to the university and external communities at a modest price. In addition to providing quality language teaching to those who seek it, the course also works as a teacher education center. The classes are taught by teachers who are selected through an interview and a didactic test. Once selected, the teacher undergoes a pedagogical accompaniment before entering the classroom. This monitoring is carried out by a pedagogical coordinator.

The participants of this research are two fi rst-time English teachers, who are also students of the third term of a Letters course.

2.2. Instruments of data collection

In this study, I will use as procedures and instruments for data generation narratives of experience, individual interviews, classroom observation and video recording of classes and stimulated recall sessions, and sessions of data analysis devolution.

Table 01: Aims and instruments/procedures for data generation


Instruments of data collection


a) To study the professional identities of the



Experience narratives, interviews,

classroom observation and recording,

stimulated recall sessions.


b) To investigate the experiences lived by

English teachers in their fi rst formal contact

with the foreign language classroom;



Experience narratives, interviews,

classroom observation and recording


c) To study the emotions experienced by

the participants during their fi rst period of

teaching language classes;


Experience narratives, interviews,

classroom observation and recording,

stimulated recall sessions, member



d) To analyze how the emotions experienced

by the teachers can be inter-related

to their experiences in the teaching process

and to the (re)production of professional



Experience narratives, interviews,

classroom observation and recording,

stimulated recall sessions, member





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