An Autobiographical Study of Language Teacher’s Perceived Psychological Dynamics: Methodological Issues and Insights

Mehvish Saleem


Psychological research in second language acquisition (SLA) is a growing field. Much of this research has primarily focused on examining the language learner with comparatively little emphasis on exploring the language teacher. Moreover, psychological research informed by process-oriented approaches views individuals’ psychological constructs stable individual difference variables. Recently, there has been a growing interest in the complex dynamic systems perspective, which has led researchers to focus increasingly on the dynamic nature of individuals’ psychological variables. This study explores the psychological dynamics of two male participants working at tertiary-level as English language teachers in Pakistan over the long-term timescale of years. Data were generated using autobiographical narratives. An inductive approach, which is inspired by Grounded Theory was then used to analyze the data. The findings demonstrate both stability and change in teachers’ experiences, thus suggesting the dynamic nature of their psychology. The paper concludes by discussing the methodological challenges facing future research on individual’s psychological dynamics.

Keywords: autobiographical narratives, complexity perspective, dynamism,
English language teachers, psychology


English language teachers; Psychology; Autobiographical narratives; Complexity Perspective; Dynamism

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