Academic Staff

Dr Christina Gkonou

Position in departmentMA TEFL/TESOL Course Director, Departmental Disability Liaison Officer
Staff positionLecturer
Telephone01206 872633
Office hoursAutumn term 2016: Friday 12-2

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.

My main research interests are in second/foreign language pedagogy, psychology of language learning and teaching, language anxiety, emotions, learner agency, and ecologies of learning.


BA Aristotle University, MA Essex, PhD Essex, CELTA

Current research

EFL teachers' emotional and social intelligence

Emotional self-regulation in language classrooms

Dialogic approaches to language teacher identity and agency

Language teacher agency and affective-discursive practice

Research interests

I am specifically interested in anxiety about foreign language learning and how this might be socially, ecologically and dynamically understood. My work has focused on skill-specific language anxiety, in particular speaking anxiety and writing anxiety, from the perspective of the learner and the teacher, as well as on the interplay between anxiety, self-concept and learners’ sense and exercise of agency. I am also interested in qualitative research methodology, particularly interview research and diary studies.

Teaching responsibilities

LG117 Foundations of Teaching English as a Foreign Language I

LG118 Foundations of Teaching English as a Foreign Language II

LG429 Topics in the Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching

LG521 Teaching Practice I

LG522 Approaches, Methods and Teacher Development for TEFL/TESOL

LG675 Research Methods II


Gkonou, C., Daubney, M., & Dewaele, J.-M. (Eds.) (forthcoming, 2016). New insights into language anxiety: Theory, research and educational implications. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. 

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.

Additional information

2013 British Council
Nomination for ELTons Awards: Macmillan Education Award for Innovative Writing.
Gkonou, C. & Rocha, C. Academic speaking that works.

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