Theorizing and Analyzing Language Teacher Agency Edited by: Hayriye Kayi-Aydar, Xuesong (Andy) Gao, Elizabeth R. Miller, Manka Varghese, Gergana Vitanova

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05 Jun 2019
New Perspectives on Language and Education
Multilingual Matters
234 x 156


This volume examines the agency of second/foreign language teachers in diverse geographical contexts and in both K-12 and adult education. It offers new understandings and conceptualizations of second/foreign language teacher agency through a variety of types of empirical data. It also demonstrates the use of different methodologies or analytic tools to study the multidimensional, dynamic and complex nature of second/foreign language teacher agency. The chapters draw on a range of theories and approaches to language teacher agency (including ecological theory, positioning theory, complexity theory and actor-network theory) that expand our understanding of the concept, while at the same time presenting various analytic approaches such as discourse studies and narrative inquiry. The chapters also analyze the connection of agency to other relevant topics, such as teacher identity, emotions, positioning and autonomy.


This edited volume is a welcome addition to the growing literature on teacher identity with a specific emphasis on teacher agency. The contributors focus on the complexities of teacher agency in a wide range of K-12 and adult education contexts, employing high-level theorizing and innovative research methodologies. This volume is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how teachers can and do make a difference.

- David Block, ICREA and Universitat de Lleida, Spain

The chapters in this engaging and important volume span an impressive range of contexts, theoretical lenses, methods, and consequences. An indispensable read for those of us seeking more nuanced understandings of the complex interplay between teachers’ agentive possibilities and the limits of individual agency in the face of structural constraints.

- Suhanthie Motha, University of Washington, USA

These are increasingly illiberal times that dull the joys of teaching and repress the potential for pedagogies that best serve the interests of students and their communities. Rightly so, the notion of agency has emerged as a crucial construct in language teacher identity work. This timely book combines theory and practice in principled ways that will inspire and inform a transformative potential in second/additional language settings.

- Brian Morgan, Glendon College/York University, Canada

This edited collection serves as a tremendous resource to language and education researchers, teacher educators, and other education professionals seeking to develop a nuanced understanding of language teacher agency, its possibilities and its limits, as well as to those individuals seeking to design innovative LTA research. This volume will surely animate rich discussion about the role of language teachers as transformative agents within the multi-layered systems in which they work.

- Teachers College Record, 2020 - Jung Won Hyun, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA and Gail Prasad, York University, Canada

Author Biography:

Hayriye Kayi-Aydar is an Assistant Professor of English Applied Linguistics at the University of Arizona, USA.

Xuesong (Andy) Gao is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

Elizabeth R. Miller is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA.

Manka Varghese is an Associate Professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA.

Gergana Vitanova is an Associate Professor at the University of Central Florida, USA.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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