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Psychology for language learning: Spare a thought for the teacher

  • Sarah Mercer (a1)

Abstract

There is a wide body of research that shows how vitally important teachers are to successful learning processes. What they do, think, feel and believe are central to what happens in their classrooms, and, essentially, what happens to their learners. It is perhaps, therefore, surprising that the field of language learning psychology has focused so predominantly on the psychology of learners with so little attention devoted to teachers in comparison. In this talk, I argue it is time that we take a much closer look at language teachers’ psychology to the same degree of complexity and diversity as learner psychology has been examined. I begin by outlining the importance of teacher psychology, the links between teacher and learner psychology as well as the particular challenges facing language teachers. In the second part of the talk, I reflect on how a relational perspective can help us to appreciate the centrality of teacher psychology as well as how teacher psychology can be conceptualised through such a theoretical lens.

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Footnotes

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Revised version of a plenary talk given at the 2016 second Psychology for Language Learning conference, Jyväskylä, Finland, 22 August 2016.

Footnotes

References

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Language Teaching
  • ISSN: 0261-4448
  • EISSN: 1475-3049
  • URL: /core/journals/language-teaching
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