Investigating Foreign Language Teacher Anxiety Using SFL's ATTITUDE and TRANSITIVITY Systems
Journal for the psychology of language learning
This study investigates language teachers' verbal construals of classroom anxiety and its cognitive precursors by drawing on the TRANSITIVITY and ATTITUDE systems in systemic functional linguistics (Martin & White, 2005) and integrating them with appraisal theory in cognitive psychology (Smith & Lazarus,1993). Three collegiate-level German teachers in a CLIL-like context participated in a two-week classroom observation sequence, which included 8 in-depth, semi-structured interviews that
... stimulated recall methodology by way of recorded classroom observations. Transcribed interview data were examined using both TRANSITIVITY analysis to capture experiential meanings and a multi-step TRANSITIVITY and ATTITUDE analysis to capture both emotional meanings and cognitive appraisals simultaneously. Findings revealed individual patterns of verbal construals of anxiety for each participant. The multi-step analysis uncovered discernible patterns for the verbal construal of cognitive appraisals that are strongly associated with both participants' feelings of anxiety and their beliefs about the nature of language teaching. Based on these findings, a new system network for the description and approach to the analysis of foreign language (FL) teacher emotions is proposed and implications of the findings for future research into teacher emotions and beliefs, as well as for teacher training, emotional well-being, and foreign language pedagogy research are discussed.