Keynote Speakers

Stacey Margarita Johnson, Ph.D. 

Vanderbilt University

“Transformative Language Teaching Practices”

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

ABSTRACT: At its best, language instruction connects students to multiple perspectives within the L2 community, helps students develop intercultural competence, and leads to truly transformative learning. The question many of us have is: what does that look like on a day-to-day level in our classrooms? With transformative learning theory as our framework, we will explore how transformation happens in the classroom as well as task- and lesson-level strategies for promoting the kind of deep, meaningful learning we want for our students.

Dr. Stacey Margarita Johnson is the Assistant Director for Educational Technology at the Center for Teaching, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Affiliated Faculty in the Center for Second Language Studies, and Adjunct Faculty in the English Language Learners Program at Vanderbilt University. She is also the Editor of the Spanish and Portuguese Review and the Producer and Host of the podcast “We Teach Languages”. Her research interests include postsecondary language classroom practices, hybrid/blended instruction, professional development, and adult learning including transformative learning and critical pedagogy. She is the author of several scholarly works, among them Hybrid Language Teaching in Practice: Perceptions, Reactions, and Results, co-authored with Berta Carrasco (2015), and Adult Learning in the Language Classroom (2015). She continues to publish and is currently working on a collection co-edited with Kelly Davidson and LJ Randolph entitled How We Take Action: Social Justice in K-16 Language Classrooms.

Elizabeth Miller, Ph.D.


“The Emotional Labor of Language Teaching: Experienced Teachers’ Accounts of Emotional Challenges, Rewards and Management Strategies”

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

ABSTRACT: The work that language teachers undertake in order to manage the emotional aspects of their professional practice is often misunderstood and rarely acknowledged as a key component of that practice. For this presentation, I draw on interview accounts produced by fifty experienced language teachers  (mean number of years: 14) working in four national contexts (the U.S., the U.K., Germany and Norway) as they talk about the situations that they find most emotionally challenging and the emotional rewards that they experience when they successfully work through them. Working from these same accounts along with related research on teacher emotions, I will discuss emotion management strategies that language teachers report as most beneficial. In closing, we will critically reflect on the socio-culturally constituted nature of teacher emotions in order to consider ways that language teachers can reframe and reorient to difficult as well as desirable emotions.

Dr. Elizabeth R. Miller is a Professor in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she will assume the position of Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Chair in January 2020. Her early research focused on issues of identity, ideology, power and agency as experienced among adult immigrant learners of English in the U.S. More recently her work has focused on the interconnection between agency and emotions among language teachers. This work was supported by a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Spring 2019. In addition to numerous articles and chapters, she has published a research monograph The Language of Adult Immigrants: Agency in the Making (2014) and co-edited two books Theorizing and Analyzing Agency in Second Language Learning: Interdisciplinary Approaches (2015) and Theorizing and Analyzing Language Teacher Agency (2019). She has also co-edited two special issues, one on “Reexamining and Reenvisioning Criticality in Language Studies” for Critical Inquiry in Language Studies: An International Journal (2017) and another on “Interdisciplinarity in Language Teacher Agency: Theoretical and Analytical Explorations” for System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics(2018).

To learn more about Dr. Johnson’s and Dr. Miller’s work, please see these suggested readings:

Johnson & Mullins Nelson (2010)

Johnson, S.M., & Mullins Nelson, B. (2010). Above and beyond the syllabus: Transformation in an adult, foreign language classroom. Language Awareness, 19(1), 35-50.

Randolph & Johnson (2017)

Randolph, L.J., & Johnson, S.M. (2017). Social justice in the language classroom: A call to action. Dimension, 2017, 99-121.

Miller & Gkonou (2018)

Miller, E. R., & Gkonou, C. (2018). Language teacher agency, Emotion labor and emotional rewards in tertiary-level English language classes. System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, 79, 49-59.

Miller & Gkonou (2019)

Miller, E. R., & Gkonou, C. (2019). Researching emotions in language teacher education and practice. In G. Barkhuizen (Ed.) Qualitative research topics in language teacher education (pp. 56-62). New York: Routledge.