Talk’s title: When Language Teacher Emotions and Language Policies Intersect in Neoliberal Times
Following the sociocultural turn (e.g., Zembylas, 2005) in teacher emotion research and the broader and deepening interest in affect within adjacent fields of psychology (e.g., MacIntyre, Gregersen & Mercer, 2020), second language acquisition (e.g., Dewaele, 2021), sociolinguistics (e.g., Wee, 2017) and linguistic anthropology (e.g., Koven, 2017), I explore second language teacher emotions from a critical and ecologically-oriented perspective (De Costa, Li & Rawal, 2019). It is in this vein (i.e., a critical and ecological perspective) that I next conceptualize language policy, while foregrounding how contemporary policy objectives and curricular decisions are often driven by neoliberal logics. Specifically, I draw on my recent work on linguistic entrepreneurship (De Costa, Park & Wee, 2016, 2019, 2021) to highlight the affective dimensions of language policy because more often than not, such policies seek to construct language learners as individuals whose moral responsibility is to acquire additional languages and develop multilingual repertoires. As a consequence, the teachers of such language learners are implicated in this neoliberally-inflected enterprise. By focusing on two exemplar teachers and the ways in which they managed their emotions in the face of policy changes, I illustrate and call for the need to examine the interface between teacher emotion and language policy work.