ESOL Practitioners' Wellbeing and Emotion Labour: A Mixed Methods Approach

Morriss, Charlotte (2023). ESOL Practitioners' Wellbeing and Emotion Labour: A Mixed Methods Approach. In: Quantitative Methods in Social Sciences: An Interdisciplinary Conference, 20 Mar 2023, University of Warwick.


The rapidly expanding number of UK ESOL classes (English classes for migrant, asylum seeker, and refugee-background learners) is associated with additional mental health concerns for teachers and learners. The field of Language Teacher Psychology has identified that not only is teacher wellbeing beneficial for teachers’ professional careers, but high teacher wellbeing is associated with higher student wellbeing, lower student psychological distress, and higher levels of student achievement outcomes. Consequently, there have been calls to enhance language teacher wellbeing. However, language teacher wellbeing has yet to be thoroughly investigated in a UK ESOL teaching population. The current doctoral project aims to examine UK ESOL teacher wellbeing, and how teacher wellbeing may interact with emotion labour, a commonly reported teaching phenomenon.

The pilot study was conducted over a three-week period (n = 27). UK ESOL teachers completed Likert-style questionnaires relating to general wellbeing, workplace wellbeing, and emotion labour, as well as a background questionnaire. Descriptive statistics indicated that the practitioners generally reported high wellbeing and workplace wellbeing. Inferential statistics suggested that the teachers’ general wellbeing is associated with the emotion labour subscales.

The results of the pilot data are encouraging for justifying further examination into UK ESOL teacher wellbeing, and the potential links between wellbeing and emotion labour variables. Therefore further study in this area may provide evidence concerning the potential impact of promoting wellbeing for UK ESOL teachers.

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