Dr Christina Gkonou

Senior Lecturer
Department of Language and Linguistics
Dr Christina Gkonou
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872633

  • Location

    4.119, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    Autumn term 2018: Friday 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 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)


University of Essex

  • Deputy Director of Education (Linguistics), University of Essex (1/9/2017 - present)

  • MA TESOL Course Director, University of Essex (1/9/2017 - present)

  • GTA Coordinator, University of Essex (1/8/2018 - present)

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 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

Critical incidents in language teaching

EAL children and foreign languages

Conferences and presentations

Rethinking the language learner: What can the psychology of language learning offer?

Keynote presentation, Bremen, Germany, 1/3/2019

Foreign language learner anxiety: Causes, consequences and classroom cures

Invited presentation, London, United Kingdom, 24/11/2018

Storying language teacher selves: Emotionality in reflections on critical incidents in past teaching

Keynote presentation, Tokyo, Japan, 3/6/2018

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

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

  • Language Teaching in Different Contexts (LG329)

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

  • Description of Language for TEFL/ELT and Applied Linguistics (LG512)

  • Teaching Practice I (LG521)

  • Language Learning and Teaching (LG522)


Journal articles (11)

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

Gkonou, C., Mercer, S. and Daubney, M., (2018). Teacher perspectives on language learning psychology. Language Learning Journal. 46 (4), 501-513

Miller, ER. and Gkonou, C., (2018). Language teacher agency, emotion labor and emotional rewards in tertiary-level English language programs. System. 79, 49-59

Oxford, RL. and Gkonou, C., (2018). Interwoven: Culture, language, and learning strategies. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching. 8 (2), 403-426

Costley, T., Gkonou, C., Myles, F., Roehr-Brackin, K. and Tellier, A., (2018). Multilingual and monolingual children in the primary-level language classroom: individual differences and perceptions of foreign language learning. The Language Learning Journal, 1-13

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

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

(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

Gkonou, C., (2011). Anxiety over EFL speaking and writing: A view from language classrooms. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching. 1 (2), 267-267

Books (2)

Gkonou, C., Daubney, M. and Dewaele, J., (2017). New Insights into Language Anxiety: Theory, Research and Educational Implications. Multilingual Matters. 9781783097722

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

Book chapters (8)

(2018). Language Teacher Psychology. In: Language Teacher Psychology. Multilingual Matters. 158- 177. 9781783099443

Dewaele, JM., Gkonou, C. and Mercer, S., (2018). Do ESL/EFL teachers’ emotional intelligence, teaching experience, proficiency and gender affect their classroom practice?. In: Emotions in Second Language Teaching: Theory, Research and Teacher Education. Editors: Martínez Agudo, J., . Springer. 125- 141. 9783319754383

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. 135- 155. 9781783097715

Gkonou, C. and Mercer, S., (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. 103- 124. 3319517880. 9783319517889

(2017). Conclusion. In: New Insights into Language Anxiety: Theory, Research and Educational Implications. 217- 223. 9781783097722

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:

Autumn term 2018: Friday 11-1