Dr Christina Gkonou

Department of Language and Linguistics
Dr Christina Gkonou
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872633

  • Location

    4.119, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Summer term 2018: By appointment



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 at the University of Essex (Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis). As visiting lecturer, I taught undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and the University of Bremen (Germany). In 2013 I was shortlisted for a British Council ELTons Award for Innovative Writing, and in 2015 I received a British Council English Language Teaching Research Award for a collaborative research project on English language teachers' emotional and social intelligence. In 2017 I received a Celebrating Excellence Award from the Faculty of Social Sciences for innovative ideas and for promoting the department's TESOL programmes. I also serve as Committee Member (Development Officer) for the IATEFL Research Special Interest Group.


  • BA Hons (Aristotle University)

  • MA (Essex)

  • RSA Cambridge CELTA

  • PhD Essex

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Psychology of foreign language learning and teaching

Language teacher emotions, stress, burnout and emotional labour

Language teacher agency and identity

Affective and meta-affective strategies for language learning

Language teacher training and education

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

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Teaching and supervision

  • Foundations of Teaching English as a Foreign Language I (LG117)

  • Foundations of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (II) (LG118)

  • Language Teaching in Different Contexts (LG329)

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

  • Teaching Practice I (LG521)

  • Language Learning and Teaching (LG522)

  • Professional Development for Research Students (LG595)

  • Teaching Practice II (LG655)

  • Reflective Practitioner (LG656)

  • Research Methods II (LG675)

  • Project: Linguistics (LG831)

  • MA Dissertation (LG981)

  • MA Dissertation for 24 Month Programmes (LG984)


Journal articles (10)

Costley, T., Gkonou, C., Myles, F., Roehr-Brackin, K. and Tellier, A., Multilingual and monolingual children in the primary-level language classroom: individual differences and perceptions of foreign language learning. The Language Learning Journal

Miller, ER. and Gkonou, C., (2018). Language teacher agency, emotion labor and emotional rewards in tertiary-level English language programs. System

Gkonou, C., Mercer, S. and Daubney, M., (2017). Teacher perspectives on language learning psychology. Language Learning Journal, 1-13

Gkonou, C., (2017). Caring and emotional labour: Language teachers’ engagement with anxious learners in private language school classrooms. Language Teaching Research, 136216881772873-136216881772873

Gkonou, C., (2017). Emerging Self-Identities and Emotion in Foreign Language Learning: A Narrative-Oriented Approach. ELT Journal. 71 (3), 381-383

Gkonou, C., (2016). Anxiety over EFL speaking and writing: A view from language classrooms. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching. 1 (2), 267-267

Gkonou, C., (2014). The sociolinguistic parameters of L2 speaking anxiety. Second Language Learning and Teaching. 17, 15-32

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). A diary study on the causes of English language classroom anxiety. International Journal of English Studies. 13 (1), 51-68

Gkonou, C., (2013). Some Methodological Issues in Using Learner Diaries to Investigate Classroom Anxiety. ELT Research (28), 4-6

Books (2)

Gkonou, C., Daubney, M. and Dewaele, J., (2017). New Insights into Language Anxiety: Theory, Research and Educational Implications. Multilingual Matters

Gkonou, C., Tatzl, D. and Mercer, S., (2016). New Directions in Language Learning Psychology. Springer. 978-3-319-23490-8

Book chapters (5)

Gkonou, C., (2017). Towards an Ecological Understanding of Language Anxiety. In: New Insights into Language Anxiety: Theory, Research and Educational Implications. Editors: Gkonou, C., Daubney, M. and Dewaele, J., . Multilingual Matters. 9781783097715

Gkonou, C., (2017). Teaching with Heart and Soul. In: Innovative Practices in Language Teacher Education Spanning the Spectrum from Intra- to Inter-personal Professional Development. Editors: Gregersen, T. and MacIntyre, P., . Springer. 3319517880. 9783319517889

Gkonou, C., (2014). Agency, anxiety and activity: Understanding the classroom behavior of EFL learners. In: Theorizing and Analyzing Agency in Second Language Learning: Interdisciplinary Approaches. Editors: Deters, P., Gao, X., Miller, ER. and Vitanova, G., . Multilingual Matters. 195- 212. 9781783092901

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

Gkonou, C., (2010). Pair Work and Group Work as Facilitators: reducing students' anxiety in the EFL Classroom. In: Issues in Languages, Linguistics and Translation. Editors: Karlowicz-Budzik, J. and Lewkowicz, J., . Higher School of Linguistics Press. 147- 154. 978-83-926356-8-0

Reports and Papers (1)

Gkonou, C. and Mercer, S., (2017). Understanding emotional and social intelligence among English language teachers

Grants and funding


A Global Study on EFL teachers' emotional and social intelligence

British Council

+44 (0) 1206 872633


4.119, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

Summer term 2018: By appointment