Academic Staff

Dr Christina Gkonou

Position in departmentMA TESOL Course Director, Departmental Disability Liaison Officer, Research and Impact Management Committee, PGT Recruitment & Conversion Team
Staff positionLecturer
Telephone01206 872633
Office hoursSpring term 2017: Thursday 11-1

I received my PhD in English Language Teaching and MA in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex. I also have a CELTA qualification at Pass Grade A and a BA in English language and literature from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. In 2006-2007 I studied French-Greek translation at the University Paul Valéry Montpellier III, France.

While studying for my PhD, I taught linguistics, psycholinguistics, foundations of TEFL, methodology of TEFL and computer induction for linguists at the undergraduate level. I additionally worked as an EFL, EAP and IELTS tutor in the International Academy at the University of Essex. I have also taught qualitative data analysis in the Department of Government. In 2013, I was shortlisted for a British Council ELTons Award for Innovative Writing.

My main research interests are in second/foreign language pedagogy and all areas surrounding the psychology of language learning and teaching. I am particularly interested in language learner and teacher anxiety, agency, teacher emotions, teacher burnout and the emotional labour of teaching.


BA Aristotle University, MA Essex, PhD Essex, CELTA

Current research

EFL teachers' emotional and social intelligence (funded by the British Council - English Language Teaching Research Award / with Professor Sarah Mercer, University of Graz)

Emotional self-regulation in language classrooms

Caring, emotional labour and teacher professional identity

Language teacher agency and affective-discursive practice

Critical incidents in language teaching 

EAL children and foreign languages

Research interests

Psychology of foreign language learning and teaching

Teacher emotions, stress, burnout and emotional labour

Affective and meta-affective strategies for language learning

Language teacher training and education

Teaching responsibilities

LG429 Topics in the Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching (Module Director)

LG521 Teaching Practice I (Module Director) (with Tracey Costley)

LG522 Approaches, Methods and Teacher Development for TEFL/TESOL (with Tracey Costley)

LG655 Teaching Practice II (with Tracey Costley)

LG656 Reflective Practitioner (Module Director) (with Tracey Costley)

LG675 Research Methods II (with Sophia Skoufaki)


Gkonou, C., Daubney, M., & Dewaele, J.-M. (Eds.) (forthcoming, 30 April 2017). New insights into language anxiety: Theory, research and educational implications. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 

Gkonou, C., & Mercer, S. (2017). Understanding emotional and social intelligence among English language teachers. ELT Research Papers, 17.03. London: British Council.

Gkonou, C., Mercer, S., & Daubney, M. (2016). Teacher perspectives on language learning psychology. The Language Learning Journal. DOI: 10.1080/09571736.2016.1172330

Gkonou, C., Tatzl, D., & Mercer, S. (Eds.) (2015). New directions in language learning psychology. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Gkonou, C. & Daubney, M. (Eds.) (2015). Language anxiety and the psychology of language learning. Special issue of Humanising Language Teaching

Gkonou, C. (2015). Agency, anxiety, and activity: Understanding the classroom behaviour of EFL learners. In Deters, P., Gao, X. A., Miller, E. R. & Vitanova, V. (Eds.), Theorizing and analyzing agency in second language learning: Interdisciplinary approaches (pp. 195-212). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Gkonou, C., & Rocha, C. (2014). Learner autonomy in academic speaking contexts. In Mynard, J. & Ludwig, C. (Eds.), Autonomy in language learning: Tools, tasks and environments. Canterbury, Kent: IATEFL.

Gkonou, C. (2014). The sociolinguistic parameters of L2 speaking anxiety. In Pawlak, M., Bielak, J. & Mystkowska-Wiertelak, A. (Eds.), Classroom-oriented research: Achievements and challenges (pp. 15-32). Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Gkonou, C. (2013). Tap into the world of news: Week in Pictures in the EFL classroom. English Teaching Professional, 89, 56-57.

Gkonou, C. (2013). Some methodological issues in using learner diaries to investigate classroom anxiety. ELT Research, 28, 4-6.

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