Ling Fridays: Goetze on teacher well-being

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215 Van Hise
@ 3:00 pm

The role of individual differences in teachers’ sense of health and well-being in (post)pandemic language classrooms

Julia Goetze, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of German, Nordic, Slavic +

Teaching is a stressful profession and language teaching is no exception. Even before the COVID19 pandemic, teaching had some of the highest global stress and burnout rates (McIntyre et al., 2017), with language teachers at an even higher risk due to factors such as foreign language anxiety, unstable employment, and the demands of constant interpersonal communication and relationship building (MacIntyre et al., 2019). In recent years, researchers in instructed second language acquisition have begun to explore how language teachers can effectively counteract these professional stressors (Gregersen et al., 2023) and maintain or bolster both their physical and psychological well-being (Sulis et al., 2023), which has been shown to positively affect not only teacher classroom emotions (Ergün & Dewaele, 2021), teacher self-efficacy (Vesely et al., 2013), and teacher retention (Dreer, 2021) but also student learning (Mason, 2017).

In this talk, I draw on quantitative survey data of 255 language teachers collected in fall 2023 and use regression analysis to examine how individual differences, such as emotional intelligence, emotion regulation capacity, amount of teaching experience, and contextual variables like average class size, contribute to teachers’ sense of physical health and well-being in their (post)pandemic language classrooms. Additionally, I present data from an anxiety-provoking classroom scenario and explore whether individual differences in teachers’ sense of health and well-being impact the amount and intensity of positive and negative emotions they experience in such a situation. In closing, I will briefly discuss research challenges, future directions for inquiry, and pedagogical implications of the findings.