Considering Emotions in Critical English Language Teaching : Theories and Praxis book cover
1st Edition

Considering Emotions in Critical English Language Teaching
Theories and Praxis

ISBN 9780415882040
Published February 17, 2012 by Routledge
160 Pages

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Book Description

Groundbreaking in the ways it makes new connections among emotion, critical theory, and pedagogy, this book explores the role of students’ and teachers’ emotions in college instruction, illuminating key literacy and identity issues faced by immigrant students learning English in postsecondary institutions. Offering a rich blend of, and interplay between, theory and practice, it asks:

  • How have emotions and affect been theorized from a critical perspective, and how might these theories be applied to English language teaching and learning?
  • What do complex and shifting emotions, such as hope, disappointment, indignation, and compassion, have to do with English language teaching and learning in the neoliberal context in public universities?
  • How might attention to emotions lead to deeper understanding of classroom interactions and more satisfying educational experiences for English language teachers and students?

These questions are addressed not just theoretically, but also practically with examples from college classes of assigned readings, student writing, and classroom talk in which various emotions came into play. Thought-provoking, accessible, and useful, this is a must-read book for scholars, students, and teachers in the field of English language teaching.

Table of Contents

Preface  Part I. Theories  1. Introduction; Rationale, and My Social/Emotional History  2. Emotions in English Language Teaching: Related Literatures  3. Critical Theories of Affect and Emotions  Part II. Praxis  4. Sticky Objects in ELT Classrooms: Hope/Disappointment; Resentment/Attachment  5. Revisiting Pedagogy about Military Recruitment: From Indignation to Friendship  6. Theory Building with Language Acquisition Students: Metaphors of Embodied Emotions  7. English Language Teachers’  English Language Teachers’ Emotion Work: Management, Embodiment, and Explicit Teaching  8. What Remains: Implications for Critical Teaching and Research

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Sarah Benesch is Professor of English at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, where she teaches linguistics courses to undergraduate and graduate students. She also coordinates the ESL program in the CSI English department. Her publications are devoted to applying critical theory to English language teaching. Her 2001 book, Critical English for Academic Purposes: Theory, Politics, and Practice, questioned the neglect of the sociopolitical context in English for academic purposes and offered extended examples of critical EAP praxis. In addition she has published numerous book chapters and articles in such journals as TESOL Quarterly, English for Specific Purposes Journal, the Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, and the Journal of English for Academic Purposes.


"This book is thought-provoking in that it foregrounds the long-present but under-theorised domain in language learning and teaching and provides a useful framework for understanding different theoretical stances or assumptions about emotions in English language learning and teaching." ― Zuocheng Zhang & Yuxia Li, Australian Review of Applied Linguistics 

"By breaking important new ground in this area for not just critical English language researchers and teachers, but also SLA researchers to explore beyond traditional cognitive conceptualizations of emotions, Benesch’s book is an invaluable and major contribution to the field." — Christian W. Chun, City University of Hong Kong, Applied Linguistics

"This is a publication no one involved in education and specifically in teaching English as a second language should overlook." TESOL Quarterly

"Considering Emotions in Critical English Language Teaching offers a set of tools for researchers and practitioners to reanalyze their practice in a way that gives emotion the attention it necessitates. ... This new critical lens expands our ability to understand emotion and should be taken up as a tenet of classrooms oriented toward producing a more socially equitable learning space." —Linguistics and Education