Translanguaging and emotionality of English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers

Sarah Hopkyns*, Sender Dovchin

*Corresponding author for this work

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Teaching is by no means ‘an emotion-free zone’, and teachers are often emotionally challenged in front of their students. When teaching and learning takes place via a second language, the emotional landscape of the classroom becomes especially charged. Often there is a notable gap between expected emotions or ‘emotional rules’ in English as a Second Language (ESL) classrooms and genuine emotions which results in ‘emotional labour’ for ESL teachers. Especially, ‘English only’ language policies and monolingual ideologies can lead ESL teachers and students to experience a range of emotions around authentic language use in the form of translanguaging. While research on students’ attitudes toward translanguaging has mushroomed in recent years, fewer studies have concentrated on the emotions of teachers in relation to translanguaging in the ESL classroom. To bridge this research gap, this study investigates six university teachers’ emotions related to translanguaging via semi-structured interviews in ESL classroom settings across three Asian countries (Mongolia, Japan, and the United Arab Emirates). The study revealed complex and conflicting teacher emotions around translanguaging including pride, comfort (related to feelings of safety), shame (related to linguistic inferiority complexes), guilt, and frustration. Based on the findings, practical recommendations are provided on the need for greater awareness and open dialogue on emotions in ESL classrooms for improved teacher and student wellness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching (IRAL)
Early online date17 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Apr 2024


  • Translanguaging
  • Teacher emotions
  • ESL classrooms
  • Language policy
  • Ideologies


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