Emotions, Perezhivanie, and Transformation in an English Teacher Education Course: A Historical-Cultural Study1 1 Paper resulting from doctoral dissertation presented at the Graduate Program in Linguistic Studies at State University of São Paulo (UNESP) under the supervision of Prof. Maria Helena Vieira Abrahão.

Emoções, Perezhivanie e Transformação em um Curso de Formação de Professores de Inglês: Um Estudo Histórico-Cultural

Fabiano Silvestre Ramos About the author

ABSTRACT

This article aims to discuss how the perezhivania and emotions experienced by an English teacher in initial training can assist in professional development. The data was generated in an extension course in English teaching, with a student-teacher of English in the initial education process. Data collection instruments used were: written narratives, oral interviews, classroom observations, class recording and stimulated recalls. Data analysis followed content analysis procedures (BARDIN, 2011BARDIN, L. Análise de conteúdo. Lisboa: Persona, 2011 [1979].). The results have suggested that different emotions are experienced by the participant in the same class. They take on a positive or negative connotation from the (re) action they generate. When mediated by a more experienced couple, these emotions and experiences can take on a transforming role in the teaching practice of the student-teacher, leading her to better understand and manage her practice in the classroom.

KEYWORDS:
emotions; experiences (perezhivania); English teacher education

RESUMO

Este artigo objetiva discutir como as vivências e emoções experienciadas por uma professora de inglês em formação inicial podem auxiliar no desenvolvimento profissional. Os dados para este estudo foram gerados em um curso de extensão de ensino de inglês, de uma universidade federal, com uma estudante de Letras-Inglês em formação inicial. Foram utilizados como instrumentos de geração de dados narrativas de experiência, entrevistas orais, observação e gravação de aulas seguidas de sessões de visionamento. A análise dos dados segue os procedimentos do método de análise de conteúdo e sugere que diferentes emoções são vivenciadas pela participante em uma mesma aula. Estas assumem uma conotação positiva ou negativa a partir da (re)ação que geram na mesma. Quando mediadas por um par mais experiente, essas emoções e vivências podem assumir papel de transformação na prática docente do professor em formação, levando-o a compreender e manejar melhor sua prática em sala de aula.

PALAVRA-CHAVE:
emoções; vivências; formação de professores de língua inglesa

1 Introduction

In 2012, PavlenkoPAVLENKO, A. The affective turn in SLA: From ‘affective factors’ to ‘language desire’ and ‘commodification of affect’. In: Gabrys-Barker, D.; Bielska, J. (Eds.). The affective dimension in second language acquisition. Bristol, England: Multilingual Matters, 2012. pp. 3-28. stated that Applied Linguistics was undergoing an “affective turn”. In recent years, other authors have claimed that Applied Linguistics (AL) has undergone an “emotional turn” (WHITE, 2018WHITE, C.J. The Emotional Turn in Applied Linguistics and TESOL: Significance, Challenges and Prospects. In: AGUDO, J.D.M. (ed.). Emotions in Second Language Teaching: Theory, Research and Teacher Education. Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 2018. Pp.19-34.; BARCELOS, 2013; 2015BARCELOS, A.M.F. Unveiling the relationship between language learning beliefs, emotions, and identities. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, Kalizs, v.5, n.2, pp. 301-325, 2015.). Aragão and Cajazeira (2017ARAGÃO, R.; CAJAZEIRA, R.V. Emoções, crenças e identidades na formação de professores de inglês. Revista Caminhos em Linguística Aplicada, Taubaté, v.16, n.2, pp. 109- 133, 2017.) use the term “affective turn” to refer to the emergence of several studies aimed at investigating emotions in language teaching and learning processes.

A search for theses and dissertations on CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel) database2 2 Portal de Teses e Dissertações CAPES. Available at: https://catalogodeteses.capes.gov.br/catalogo-teses/#!/ Retrieved: May, 30th, 2021. reveals an increasing number of studies about emotions in the processes of language teaching and learning and teacher education. These studies are affiliated with several theories: Zembylas’s poststruturalist theory of emotions (ANDRADE, 2016ANDRADE, N. C. Emotions and motivation to teach English at a Brazilian public school. 2016. 110 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras) Departamento de Letras, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa.; PADULA, 2016PADULA, B. C. Emoções de uma professora de Inglês de escola regular: o papel do coaching. 2014. 134 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Departamento de Letras, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa.; RODRIGUES, 2015RODRIGUES, N.N. Relationships between pre-service teachers’ emotions and beliefs about learning and teaching English. 2015. 168f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Departamento de Letras, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa.; RIBEIRO, 2012RIBEIRO, D.C. Estados afetivos de professoras de língua inglesa em formação inicial. 2012. 151 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Departamento de Letras, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa.), cognitive psychology (SILVA, 2016SILVA, L.C. Reflexões sobre uma experiência com a produção de textos on-line: uma análise das emoções expressas por alunos de ensino fundamental. 2016. 124 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada). Pós-graduação em Linguística Aplicada, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, São Leopoldo.), discursive semiotics (LIMA, 2016 ), Aristotle’s theory of passions (DUARTE, 2016DUARTE, S. Identificação e paixão: a língua inglesa na escola de ensino regular e na escola de idiomas. 2016. 138 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística). Universidade de Franca. Franca.), Wallon and Piaget’s theory of affectivity (BRUNETTI, 2014BRUNETTI, G.M. Emoção e inteligência: aspectos entrelaçados no processo de ensino e aprendizagem. 2014. 138f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Cognição e Linguagem). Centro de Ciências do Homem, Universidade Estadual do Norte Fluminense Darcy Ribeiro, Campos dos Goytacazes.), neurolinguistics programming (PIRES, 2005PIRES, S.S. Aspectos afetivos nos processos de ensino e aprendizagem de língua estrangeira na meia-idade. 2005. 241 f. Tese (Doutorado em Letras). Instituto de Letras, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre. ), Bakhtinian dialogism (BARBOSA, 2008BARBOSA, M.V. A dimensão afetivo-emotiva dos discursos de professores e alunos nas interações em sala de aula. 2008. 381 f. Tese (Doutorado em Linguística Aplicada) Instituto de Estudos da Linguagem, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas.), theory of appraisal (COSME, 2014COSME, C.A. A emoção de satisfação de alunos de cursos EAD: perspectivas de investigação e de análise utilizando a Appraisal Theory. 2014. 82 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada). Pós-graduação em Linguística Aplicada, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos, São Leopoldo.), theory of communicative action (BRASILEIRO, 2012BRASILEIRO, A.M.M. A emoção na sala de aula: impactos na interação professor/aluno/objeto de ensino. 2012, 263 f. Tese (Doutorado em Letras). Programa de Pós-graduação em Letras Pontifícia Universidade Católica-MG, Belo Horizonte.), Damasio’s studies on emotions of Damasio (SILVEIRA, 2012SILVEIRA, F.V.R. Resignificando a ansiedade na aprendizagem e uso de línguas estrangeiras através das crenças: um estudo exploratório. 2012. 300 f. Tese (Doutorado em Estudos da Linguagem). Departamento de Letras do Centro de Teologia e Ciências Humanas, Pontifícia Universidade Católica-RJ, Rio de Janeiro.), the biology of knowing (LEMOS, 2017LEMOS, L.S. Ensino/aprendizagem de inglês no ensino médio com WhatsApp: emoções, multiletramento e possibilidades. 2017. 136 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus.; MARTINS, 2017MARTINS, S.T.A. O impacto do PDPI nas emoções-identidades do professor de inglês. 2017. 131 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus.; SOUZA, 2017SOUZA, N.E.S. Emoções entre o ser aluno e o ser professor: transformações entre o aprender e o ensinar inglês.2017. 128 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus.; FERREIRA, 2016FERREIRA, F. M. M. Emoções de professores de inglês sobre políticas linguísticas de ensino nas escolas públicas. 2016. 111 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Departamento de Letras, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa.; CAJAZEIRA, 2015CAJAZEIRA, R.V. Crenças e emoções nas identidades de professores-alunos do PARFOR Inglês da UESC. 2015. 98 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus.; DIAS, 2014DIAS, I.A.F. Cibercultura e redes sociais no ensino e aprendizagem de Inglês: possibilidades e limitações. 2014. 122 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Universidade Estadual de Santa Cruz, Ilhéus.; REZENDE, 2014REZENDE, T. C. Autoestudo sobre as emoções de uma professora de inglês em uma escola pública. 2014. 128 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Departamento de Letras, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Viçosa.; TAVARES, 2014TAVARES, M.R. Manifestações de emoção nas relações interpessoais em um curso on-line. 2014. 220 f. Tese (Doutorado em Estudos da Linguagem). Pontifícia Universidade Católica-SP, São Paulo.; OLIVEIRA, 2013OLIVEIRA, H.F. Esculpindo a profissão professor: experiências, emoções e cognições na construção das identidades docentes de licenciandos em Letras. 2013. 301f. Tese (Doutorado em Letras). Faculdade de Letras, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia.; COELHO, 2011COELHO, H.S.H. Experiências, emoções e transformações na educação continuada: um estudo de caso. 2011. 175f. Tese (Doutorado em Estudos Linguísticos). Faculdade de Letras, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte.; ARAGÃO, 2007ARAGÃO, R. C. São as histórias que nos dizem mais: emoção, reflexão e ação na sala de aula. 2007. 276 f. Tese (Doutorado em Estudos Linguísticos) Faculdade de Letras, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte.), theory of historical-cultural activity (GOULART, 2008GOULART, A.R. Desesperança aprendida: sentidos de alunos de uma escola pública sobre si mesmos como aprendizes. 2008. 163 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada e Estudos da Linguagem). Pontifícia Universidade Católica-SP, São Paulo.) and historical-cultural theory (RAMOS, 2018; MELO, 2016MELO, L.V. Professor também tem sentimentos: a afetividade de uma professora de inglês como língua estrangeira. 2016. 169 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras). Faculdade de Letras, Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia.; SANTOS, 2010SANTOS, M.M. de S. “Meu destino tá traçado vou ser marginal”: a construção de sentidos-e-significados sobre a violência em escola pública. 2010. 102 f. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística aplicada e estudo de línguas). Programa de Pós-Graduação em Linguística Aplicada e Estudos da Linguagem, Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo, São Paulo.).

This growing interest in emotions corroborates their importance for the language teaching and learning field (BARCELOS, 2015BARCELOS, A.M.F. Unveiling the relationship between language learning beliefs, emotions, and identities. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, Kalizs, v.5, n.2, pp. 301-325, 2015.), highlighting an active role of affectivity3 3 Affect is defined in this paper according to Spinoza, who defends that the term designates the states of the soul. Affect, according to Spinoza, is a modification that happens at the same time in the body and mind. It encompasses the transition (transition) from one state to another. Affectivity, in this sense may be used as an umbrella term that encapsulate other such as emotions, feelings, and affect. concerning one’s actions in the different socio-cultural contexts. Considering this growing interest, this paper aims at discussing how the perezhivanie (a vygotskyan term used to express the dialectical unity of affect and lived experiences) and emotions lived by a student-teacher of English in Brazil can assist in her professional development.

The importance of this study is firstly related to the need to understand emotions as a constitutive phenomenon of human beings as emancipated subjects. Lane (2006LANE, S.T. M.; CAMARGO, D. Contribuição de Vigotski para o estudo das emoções. In: LANE, S.T. M.; SAWAIA, B.B. (ed.). Novas veredas da Psicologia Social. São Paulo: Brasiliense; Educ, 2006. pp. 115-131.) states that emotion, thought, and language act as mediators that lead the subject to action. Every emotion will develop this role of organizing our reactions. In addition, understanding the role that these higher mental functions play in the constitution of subjectivity is extremely important, since, according to Camargo and Bulgakov (2016CAMARGO, D.; BULGACOV, Y.L.M. Recuperação histórica do conceito de emoção em Vigotski: contribuição para a tese da indissociabilidade da emoção na atividade humana. Revista INFAD de Psicologia/International Journal of Developmental and Educational Psychology, Badajoz, n.1, v.1, pp. 231-220, 2016.), all social activities are permeated by emotions. Secondly, understanding emotions can help teachers and teacher educators in their daily practice in the classroom, since knowing about their own emotions and their catalytic situations can help them work in ways as to avoid the ones which lead to harmful actions or behaviors. Thus, teachers can help their students to have a greater perception of their own emotions.

This article is organized as follows: besides this introduction, in the second and third sections, I define the concepts of emotion and perezhivanie (emotional experience). In the fourth section, I explain how emotions can actively act as instruments for the transformation of the teaching practice. In the fifth section, I explain the methodological procedures, and in the next section, discuss the results of the study. In the conclusion, I present implications of this study for teacher education and the study of emotions in language teaching and learning.

2 The concept of emotion as a higher mental function

There are several definitions of emotion depending on the field that studies it. In education, for example, emotions are understood as discursive practices (ZEMBYLAS, 2005ZEMBYLAS, M. Discursive practices, genealogies, and emotional rules: A poststructuralist view on emotion and identity in teaching. In: Teaching and Teacher Education, v.21, 935-948, 2005.), as procedural and influenced by experience (SCHIMIDT and DATNOW, 2005), a state of being that modifies actions (LASKY, 2005LASKY, S. A sociocultural approach to understanding teacher identity, agency and professional vulnerability in a context of secondary school reform. Teaching and Teacher Education, n. 21, pp. 899-916, 2005.), and responses that involve physiological, experiential, and behavioral activities (van VEEN, SLEEGERS, and van de VEN, 2005van VEEN, K.; SLEEGERSB, P.; de VEN, P. One teacher’s identity, emotions, and commitment to change: A case study into the cognitive-affective processes of a secondary school teacher in the context of reforms. Teaching and Teacher Education, v.21, pp.917-934, 2005.).

In this study, I understand emotions from a historical-cultural viewpoint (JOHNSON and GOLOMBEK, 2016JOHNSON, K. E.; GOLOMBEK, P. R. Mindful L2 teacher education: a sociocultural perspective on cultivating teachers’ professional development. New York, NY: Routledge, 2016. (ebook) ; VYGOTSKY, 2004VYGOTSKY, L.S. Teoria de las emociones: estudio histórico-psicológico. Madri: Akal, 2004. 262p. [1934]). This perspective is based on historical and dialectical materialism, in an attempt to explain how mental functions become complex in the course of human history and culture (JOHNSON, 2009).

According to Oliveira (1992OLIVEIRA, M. K. O problema da afetividade em Vygotsky. In: LA TAILLE, Y.; OLIVEIRA, M.K.; DANTAS, H. (eds.). Piaget, Vygotsky, Wallon: teorias psicogenéticas em discussão. São Paulo: Summus, 1992. pp. 75-84.) and Costa & Pascual (2012COSTA, A.J.A.; PASCUAL, J.G. Análise sobre as emoções no livro Teoría de las emociones (Vigotski). Psicologia & Sociedade, Recife, n.24, v3, pp.628-637, 2012.), the separation of the intellectual (cognitive dimension) and the affective side (emotional dimension) of human beings was one of the main deficiencies in Psychology, as denoted by Vygotsky4 4 There are different spellings for the name of Lev Vygotsky (e.g. Vigotski (Portuguese and Spanish), Vygotsky (English)). I adopt the spelling used in the English language, with exception in cases of citation of translated works. , who sought to develop a method that would maintain the nexus between the physiological and psychological aspects of the human being.

Vygotsky believed that to understand how emotions emerge and develop in human beings, it would be necessary to recognize them as an amalgam of the subject social life and their biological maturation. In this way, the author suggested a model that integrated these two strands. Vygotsky outlined a critical analysis of the naturalistic theories prevailing at the time. Emotions were considered a phenomenon apart from psychic life and were not related to other aspects, as they would be of an exclusively biological nature (VYGOTSKY, 2004VYGOTSKY, L.S. Teoria de las emociones: estudio histórico-psicológico. Madri: Akal, 2004. 262p. [1934]).

The author also criticized the organicist theory, whose most notable defenders were James and Lange. The latter sought the source of emotions in the organism itself and stated that the organic reactions that accompanied the emotional processes would be their foundation (MAGIOLINO, 2011). Emotions would be related solely and exclusively to the biological factor. They would simply be reflections of organic reactions (the body) in consciousness (the mind). Emotional life would be restricted to the body and would not be related to other psychological processes (COSTA and PASCUAL, 2012COSTA, A.J.A.; PASCUAL, J.G. Análise sobre as emoções no livro Teoría de las emociones (Vigotski). Psicologia & Sociedade, Recife, n.24, v3, pp.628-637, 2012.; VYGOTSKY, 2004VYGOTSKY, L.S. Teoria de las emociones: estudio histórico-psicológico. Madri: Akal, 2004. 262p.). According to Vygotsky (2010VYGOTSKY, L.S. Psicologia pedagógica. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2010. 576p., p. 133), “it is not difficult to see that emotions arise from the base of instincts and are close to them. This gives reason for some scholars to consider instinctive-emotional behavior as a whole”.

Vygotsky (2004VYGOTSKY, L.S. Teoria de las emociones: estudio histórico-psicológico. Madri: Akal, 2004. 262p., 2010VYGOTSKY, L.S. Psicologia pedagógica. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2010. 576p.) defined emotions as higher mental/psychological functions, culturalized and susceptible to development, transformation, or new appearances. This psychological process, according to the author, is always in direct relationship with other functions in the human psyche (MACHADO, FACCI, and BARROCO, 2011MACHADO, L.V.; FACCI, M.G.D.; BARROCO, S.M.S. Teoria das emoções em Vigotski. Psicologia em Estudo, Maringá, v.16, n.4, p.647-657, 2011.). Emotions must be understood in relation to the way they influence and modify human behavior in a given context (VYGOTSKY, 2004VYGOTSKY, L.S. Teoria de las emociones: estudio histórico-psicológico. Madri: Akal, 2004. 262p.). Thus, they would be directly related to the subject activity, since there is a direct relationship between behavior and emotion. Vygotsky (2010VYGOTSKY, L.S. Psicologia pedagógica. São Paulo: Martins Fontes, 2010. 576p.) claimed emotions are a catalyst or inhibitor of action. As reported by the author, “[n]o feeling can remain indifferent and fruitless in behavior” (p. 139) and they can work as an internal organizer of our reactions to the events the subject experiences in sociocultural contexts. He considered emotions as a system of previous reactions that communicate to the organism the immediate future and organize the forms of behavior.

Lane (2006aLANE, S.T.M. A mediação emocional na constituição do psiquismo humano. In: LANE, S.T.M.; SAWAIA, B.B. (eds.). Novas veredas da Psicologia Social. São Paulo: Brasiliense; Educ , 2006a. Pp. 55-63., p. 57-58) discusses the mediational character of emotions. According to the author, they are present in the subject’s actions, consciousness and identity and differ socially and historically through language. For Lane, emotion, language and thought are comprehended as mediation that will lead to action; thus, “we are the activities we develop, we are the conscience that reflects the world and we are affectivity that loves and hates this world, and, with this baggage, we identify ourselves and are identified by those around us” (LANE, 2006aLANE, S.T.M. A mediação emocional na constituição do psiquismo humano. In: LANE, S.T.M.; SAWAIA, B.B. (eds.). Novas veredas da Psicologia Social. São Paulo: Brasiliense; Educ , 2006a. Pp. 55-63., p. 62). Lane (2006bLANE, S.T.M. Avanços da psicologia social na América Latina. In: LANE, S.T.M.; SAWAIA, B.B. (eds.). Novas veredas da Psicologia Social. São Paulo: Brasiliense; Educ , 2006b. Pp. 67-81.) states that “the presence of emotion as an essential mediation for the movement of consciousness, to trigger activities and in the production of identity has been pointing to the importance of unconscious contents”. Lane and Camargo (2006LANE, S.T. M.; CAMARGO, D. Contribuição de Vigotski para o estudo das emoções. In: LANE, S.T. M.; SAWAIA, B.B. (ed.). Novas veredas da Psicologia Social. São Paulo: Brasiliense; Educ, 2006. pp. 115-131.) also argue that affectivity is one of the fundamental categories of the human psyche, together with consciousness and activity. For the authors, identity would thus be a “category-synthesis of the individual-society relationship” (p. 117).

Martins (2011MARTINS, L. M. O desenvolvimento do psiquismo e a educação escolar: contribuições à luz da psicologia histórico-cultural e da pedagogia histórico-crítica. 2011. 249 f. Tese (Livre docência). Universidade Estadual Paulista - Campus Bauru, Bauru.) defends the thesis that the development of the human psyche involves the functioning of interrelated higher psychological functions within a system. Thus, within a psychic system, emotions, language, memory and thought would function as pieces of machinery that act in a way that modifies each other in a dialectical relationship. Thus, it is possible to affirm that the development of language carries marks of the historical and cultural development of emotion as a psychic function.

3 Perezhivanie: the concept of emotional experience in Vygotsky

According to Toassa (2009TOASSA, G. Emoções e vivências em Vigotski: investigação para uma perspectiva histórico-cultural. 2009. 348 f. Tese (Doutorado em Psicologia). Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo., 2011TOASSA, G. Emoções e vivências em Vigotski. Campinas: Papirus, 2011. 288p.), emotions do not occur as differentiated units from other higher mental functions of consciousness. Costa and Pascual (2012COSTA, A.J.A.; PASCUAL, J.G. Análise sobre as emoções no livro Teoría de las emociones (Vigotski). Psicologia & Sociedade, Recife, n.24, v3, pp.628-637, 2012.) corroborate this idea, defending that they are integrated with the concept of experience (perezhivanie), proposed by Vygotsky.

Vygotsky (1994VYGOTSKY, L.S. The problem of the environment. In: van der VEER, R.; VALSINER, J. (Eds.). The Vygotsky reader. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1994. pp. 338-344., p. 342) defines perezhivanie (emotional experience) as

a unit where, on the one hand, the environment is represented in an indivisible state, that is, what is being experienced - the emotional experience - is always related to something that is found outside the person; on the other hand, what is represented is how I am experiencing it myself. In other words, all personal and environmental characteristics are represented in an emotional experience: all things selected from the environment and all things selected from our personality, all our characteristics, their constitutional elements, which are related to the event in question. So, in an emotional experience (perezhivanie) we are always dealing with an indivisible unit of personal and situational characteristics.

For Sawaia and Silva (2015SAWAIA, B.B.; SILVA, D.N.H. Pelo reencantamento da psicologia: em busca da positividade epistemológica da imaginação e da emoção no desenvolvimento humano. Caderno Cedes, Campinas, v. 35, n. especial, pp. 346-360, 2015.), the concept of emotional experience illustrates the relationship between imagination and emotion in the internalization process, the relationship between the child and the environment. According to the authors, the concept indicates that the subject does not immediately react to society, “but to the lived experience, which, as he highlights, is emotional” (p. 354). This concept is presented to explain why the singularity exists in same parents’ children, raised in the same environment. According to Sawaia and Silva (2015SAWAIA, B.B.; SILVA, D.N.H. Pelo reencantamento da psicologia: em busca da positividade epistemológica da imaginação e da emoção no desenvolvimento humano. Caderno Cedes, Campinas, v. 35, n. especial, pp. 346-360, 2015., p. 354), the child will not react immediately and uniformly to society, but she will experience it emotionally.

Vygotsky (1994VYGOTSKY, L.S. The problem of the environment. In: van der VEER, R.; VALSINER, J. (Eds.). The Vygotsky reader. Oxford, UK: Basil Blackwell, 1994. pp. 338-344., p. 342) states that, in a given situation, some of the subject’s constitutional characteristics play a primary role, but in other situations, different characteristics can play this role. Hence, he proposes that

[i]t is not essential that we know what constitutional characteristics are per se, but what is important for us is to find out which of these constitutional characteristics has played a decisive role in determining the child’s relationship in a given situation.

In each experience, part of the subject’s characteristics acts so that one makes meaning of the historical moment in which one lives. Subjectivity, cognition and emotion are involved in this construction of meaning, thus building unity.

Toassa (2009TOASSA, G. Emoções e vivências em Vigotski: investigação para uma perspectiva histórico-cultural. 2009. 348 f. Tese (Doutorado em Psicologia). Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Paulo., p. 28) proposes that, if there is brain activity, there will also be an experience, “although each experience is marked by the more intense activity of this or that psychic function”. Thus, thought and emotion are unified in the experience. For the author, “experiences are inscribed in a temporality of facts that extends into the past, present, and future of psychological life”. The term thus unifies the higher mental functions.

Toassa and Souza (2010TOASSA, G.; SOUZA, M.P.R. As vivências: questões de tradução, sentidos e fontes epistemológicas no legado de Vigotski. Psicologia USP, São Paulo, v.21, n.4, pp.757-779, 2010., p. 769), based on Vygotsky (2004VYGOTSKY, L.S. Teoria de las emociones: estudio histórico-psicológico. Madri: Akal, 2004. 262p. [1933]), affirm that “experiences acquire the role of the dynamic unity of conscious life”. As reported by the authors, the experiences are articulated in two nuclei: an internal one (which involves the body, representations, and ideas; fantasies, memories, and other singular mental processes that are related to the self but that are not present in the objective reality), and one external (object perceptions).

Therefore, the concept of perezhivanie is proposed to defend the interactive existence of higher mental functions. Thus, it would not be possible, for example, to isolate one or another function to study it. It is necessary to consider its totality. The study of emotions, for example, is associated with the study of the formation of cognition, since emotion involves an assessment of the current situation for it to emerge.

Considering what has been discussed so far, I define emotion, based on the Vygotskyan studies, as higher mental functions that organize and guide one’s practice. Such functions are built in a historical-cultural context, based on the social interaction of individuals with their environment.

4 Methodology

This is a qualitative study (RICHARDSON, 2014RICHARDSON, R.J. Pesquisa social: métodos e técnicas. São Paulo: Atlas, 2014. 407p.; FRANCO et al., 2013FRANCO, K.J.S.M.; CARMO, A.C.F.B.; MEDEIROS, J.L. Pesquisa qualitativa em educação: breves considerações acerca da metodologia materialismo histórico e dialético. In: Revista Sapiência: sociedade, saberes e práticas educacionais - UEG/UnU Iporá, v.2, n. 2, pp.91-103, 2013.) and, as such, it operates with an investigation into the participant’s natural living environment. According to Franco et al. (2013FRANCO, K.J.S.M.; CARMO, A.C.F.B.; MEDEIROS, J.L. Pesquisa qualitativa em educação: breves considerações acerca da metodologia materialismo histórico e dialético. In: Revista Sapiência: sociedade, saberes e práticas educacionais - UEG/UnU Iporá, v.2, n. 2, pp.91-103, 2013.), this environment will become a source of research, with the researcher being the main instrument in this type of study, due to the great demand for fieldwork and direct contact between her and the research object. It is an attempt, according to Richardson (2014RICHARDSON, R.J. Pesquisa social: métodos e técnicas. São Paulo: Atlas, 2014. 407p., p. 90), “for a detailed understanding of the meanings and situational characteristics presented by the interviewees, instead of producing quantitative measures of characteristics or behaviors”.

As reported by Moita Lopes (2013MOITA LOPES, L.P. Fotografias da Linguística Aplicada brasileira na modernidade recente: contextos escolares. In: MOITA LOPES, L.P. (ed.). Linguística aplicada na modernidade recente: festschrift para Antonieta Celani. São Paulo: Parábola , 2013. pp.15-38.), Brazilian AL is almost exclusively qualitative. Research in the area seeks to investigate, through a fruitful dialogue between AL and other social and human sciences, “issues in which language has a constitutive role in knowledge, in identity configurations and the relationships that [...] form, conform, deform, inform, transform the realities we build” (KLEIMAN, 2013KLEIMAN, A. B. Agenda de pesquisa e ação em Linguística Aplicada: problematizações. In: MOITA LOPES, L.P. (ed.). Linguística aplicada na modernidade recente: festschrift para Antonieta Celani. São Paulo: Parábola, 2013. pp.15-38. , p. 43). This dialogue politicizes the act of doing research (ZOLIN-VESZ, 2015ZOLIN-VESZ, F. Pesquisa em linguística aplicada e (des)colonialidade: construindo bases para a superação da subserviência epistêmica. In: ZOLIN-VESZ, F. (ed.). Recortes em linguística aplicada: estudos em homenagem à professora Ana Antônia de Assis Peterson. Campinas, SP: Pontes Editores , 2015. p. 25 - 32.; MOITA LOPES, 2006MOITA LOPES, L.P. da. Introdução: Uma linguística aplicada mestiça e ideológica: interrogando o campo como linguista aplicado. In: MOITA LOPES, L.P. (ed.) Por uma linguística aplicada Indisciplinar. São Paulo: Parábola editorial, 2006. pp.13-44.), making it possible to hear other voices that allow an understanding and reinvention of social life as we know it.

This study was developed after submission and consent from the Ethics and Research Committee, in an extension course on language teaching at a federal university in southwest Goiás, which serves the university and external communities, providing services of language teaching at a modest price.

The course was created in 1996 and is located on one of the campuses of the aforementioned university, in the central region of the city. In addition to providing quality language teaching to those who seek it, it also acts as a teacher education center. Classes are taught by student-teachers selected through interviews and a practical test. Once selected, the student-teachers undergo pedagogical training before finally starting the teaching activities. This monitoring is carried out by a pedagogical coordinator, usually a professor from the Languages course. The selected teachers go through a process of reading and discussing theoretical texts about the teaching and learning of foreign languages, for a period class observation by veteran teachers and preparation of reports on the classes attended.

The participant in this study, Valentina, comes from a family of teachers. However, the teaching degree course was not her first option. She intended to take Industrial Design or Graphic Design. However, for financial reasons, since both courses are not offered in the city where she lives and her family would not be able to keep her living in another city, she decided, by her mother’s guidance, to take the Languages course. The choice was influenced by her great affinity with the English language. The formal contact with the language took place at the age of thirteen, when she was enrolled in a language course. Since then, she has shown herself keen to learn the language. Her initial intention is to have a job so that she can support herself in another city to take the longed-for Industrial Design course. In the third semester of her undergraduate studies, Valentina decided to participate, as a teacher, in the selection process for a scholarship in the aforementioned extension course. It is also important to highlight the fact that Valentina was still an English language student at the time of the data collection process. She was currently in an intermediate level of English in her undergraduation course.

Written and oral narratives, individual interviews about emotions (CLARÀ, 2015), observation and video recording of classes, and viewing sessions were used as data collection instruments. The data obtained through oral narratives, individual interviews about emotions, and viewing sessions was transcribed, analyzed, and triangulated with the other data generation instruments.

Data was analyzed following the content analysis procedures. Bardin (1979BARDIN, L. Análise de conteúdo. Lisboa: Persona, 2011 [1979]., p. 48) defines content analysis as “a set of communication analysis techniques aiming to obtain, by systematic and objective procedures for describing the content of messages, quantitative indicators (or not) that would allow the inference of knowledge related to the conditions of production/reception (inferred variables)”. According to Cezarim dos Santos (2015, p. 89) “[the] content analysis occurs in the enunciation marks of the texts that can deepen the understanding of the investigated phenomenon, by obtaining answers to research questions, to achieve its objectives”.

5 Discussion

In this section, I discuss the emotions lived by Valentina, in the context of initial education - more specifically, in her first experience as an English language teacher. The emotions identified in this study are divided into three categories related to different actors/social institutions: (i) students/classroom; (ii) institution/pedagogical coordination and; (iii) profession. Although I talk about them separately, they are related to each other and influence each other in a dialectical way.

It can be said that, for Valentina, emotions related to the profession emerged even before she started teaching, when she was unable to study in her intended undergraduate course: industrial design. A lack of motivation concerning the Languages course probably started at that moment. Her narrative shows the emergence of an emotion that would permeate her new major choice:

(1) Then, in the second year, this idea of industrial design, or graphic design started [...] I researched all the faculties I had, all the possibilities that were closer [...] Then, when I entered in the third year, I think I was in the second two months, my mother explained that she had talked to my father, that there would be no way to send me out to another city, that there was no condition, that it was too expensive, that they would practically spend the money they earn monthly to keep me there .... oh, that I should get a plan b [...] And, because of that, I had a horrible demotivation. […] When she said I wasn’t going to be able to do it, I gave up studying. I had that stupid mentality, you know, that I didn’t need to study to take to Languages ((laughs)). Oh, I wasn’t even there for school anymore. I was going to school to be able to complete it so I could have a presence and take a test. (Oral life history)

Visible frustration is perceived in Valentina’s opening speech. This frustration seems to emerge from the subjective evaluation of an action/event. Friedman (2006FRIEDMAN, S. Uma aproximação metodológica ao estudo das emoções. In: LANE, S.T.M.; SAWAUA, B.B. (orgs.). Novas veredas da Psicologia Social. São Paulo: Brasiliense; Educ, 2006. pp. 135-146. ) notes that the personal meanings understood as “relationships attributed to words in the confrontation between current social meanings and social experience” are related to “moments and situations given, to reasons and affections, to activities and particular experiences lived by the subjects”. In this way, the personal senses can transform “meanings and are able to articulate a conscience and behavior with a greater or lesser degree of criticism concerning the ideological interpretation of reality” (p.136).

According to González Rey (1999, p. 44), one of the functions of emotions would be to signify reality, a signification that “appears in its terms, based on the subjects’ needs that accompany their actions and the contradictions between this necessity and the new ones that arise in the course of their actions”. There is a relationship between emotion and necessity, which is born in the course of the subject’s experiences. Valentina’s entry into the Languages course brings her new needs as well as new emotions and a call to certain actions. As Gonzalez Rey (2000) explains, one acts through needs and new needs are generated and organized through existing emotions.

In the excerpt below, Valentina highlights a personality trait associated with an emotional state of frustration. She says she is irresponsible because, according to her, she works best under pressure, so, she performs her activities on a “last-minute” basis.

(02) I am very irresponsible when I have to do certain jobs when I have to deliver a task. Because I am a very “last-minute person”. I work under pressure, in those aspects. So, I think I’m very irresponsible. (Oral life history)

It is possible to associate Valentina’s initial frustration with her posture in the Languages course. She claims to be irresponsible and to work under pressure. An important question to ask is whether this personality trait will also be transposed to her practice as an English teacher.

The emotions associated with the teaching profession emerge from the low status of teaching in Brazilian culture and society. Valentina mentions or associates teaching to an undesired feeling:

(03) Interviewer: What emotions were previously associated with the profession for you?

Valentina: Before, it was the question of not wanting to. There is no disgust, but just the question of “not wanting” and “not going to”. Yet, from time to time, I still have my relapses, which I don’t want to teach.

Interviewer: You speak of not wanting to, something that bordered on disgust, but what generated this feeling towards the profession?

Valentina: It is that cultural issue: “Teacher doesn’t earn well”, “Teacher does this”, “Teacher that”, “Student disrespects teacher” and it was a situation that I didn’t want as a professional. […] The profession is devalued, we see it everywhere. Also, my teachers, the teachers that I had, most of them, showed that they were there because they needed the money and not because they wanted it. And also, because they didn’t like the profession. So, I thought that then being a teacher was that. That was the example that I had. But then, my mother, as she is an educator, she tried to change that in me. But until I entered the classroom, it was very complicated. (Interview about emotions)

The concrete/material reality is what constitutes this feeling of not wanting to teach, as highlighted by Valentina. The precariousness and low status of the teaching profession in the Brazilian culture make Valentina feel unmotivated to continue her studies. This result corroborates Oliveira’s (2019OLIVEIRA, S. L. Emoções ressoantes no discurso de uma professora de língua inglesa da rede pública. 2019. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada). Faculdade de Letras, UFMG, 135f.a) study, which indicates that emotions are constructed in accordance to the cultural-economical context where the subject is inserted.

Miguel (2015MIGUEL, F. K. Psicologia das emoções: uma proposta integrativa para compreender a expressão emocional. In: Psico-USF, Bragança Paulista, v.20, n.1, pp.153-162, 2015. , p. 155), in a discussion about the group of social theories on emotions, points out that, for this group, the emphasis is on the social value of the expression of emotion, “which is understood as a social role built by culture and that, at the same time, influences and alters culture”, in a dialectical relationship. According to the author, since it is through social interaction that people evaluate and interpret their emotional reactions and that of other social actors, unconsciously, most of the time, “emotions would have a crucial role in maintaining social relationships. Thus, the effects of culture would be present in several areas of the emotional experience”. Valentina, inserted in a context where the profession she chose has no social prestige, ends up being frustrated.

The first class, for both the teacher and the students, can be a catalyst for anxiety. Anxiety, in this context, can take on a connotation of “a call to action”. A student-teacher, when having to teach the classes of the mandated supervised teaching practicum (usually this is the first experience as a teacher that many have), for example, feels anxious. Some possible scenarios may arise from the situation mentioned. Student-teachers, when feeling in such a way, can invest more time in their preparation to enter the classroom and feel better prepared and comfortable to perform the function. Thus, the definition of the connotation of the emotion experienced will depend on the action it will generate.

In talking about her first class, Valentina expressed nervousness (through a physical reaction, laughter) and fear:

(04) Interviewer: What do you highlight from your first class?

Valentina: As it is the first class, we always want to meet our students. So, I think it was important for them to know a little about me and me a little about them.

Interviewer: You laugh a lot, right? ((Laughs))

Valentina: When I’m nervous, yes ((laughs))

Interviewer: What were you nervous about?

Valentina: Because it was the first class ((laughs)). […] I’m glad I don’t cry because when I’m very, I cry a lot. Don’t you remember that day in the interview?

Interviewer: Ah, it’s true. In addition to the nervousness, what went through your mind in that first moment of interaction?

Valentina: Not being able to show the image of “I am a teacher” […] not being able to fulfill my role as a teacher. (Viewing session 1)

This was her first experience teaching adults, which justifies the fear she claims to feel when entering the classroom. Mollica (2012MOLLICA, A.J.P. Professores iniciantes na educação de jovens e adultos: emoções e sentimentos envolvidos na atuação. In: ALMEIDA, L.R. Afetividade, aprendizagem e educação de jovens e adultos: relatos na perspectiva de Henri Wallon. São Paulo: Loyola, 2012. Pp. 59-78.), in a study on beginning teachers in the context of youth and adult education, draws attention to the fear of the new, a situation experienced by Valentina. Despite having taught children before, she has a new challenge now dealing with adults, also generating nervousness, which slows down her performance in the classroom, as can be seen in the excerpt below:

(05) Valentina: It was horrible. I had studied. I had spent, I think, like,12 hours to prepare this class and I was so nervous that I got lost in class.

Interviewer: I can see that you’re a little bewildered ...

Valentina: ... a little? ((laughs))

Interviewer: Do you think you managed to get around this, in the end?

Valentina: As I have explained this topic before, and I will explain it again, I think it will work. ((laughs)). It will be much better than the first day. (Viewing session 1)

Valentina is “bewildered” due to nervousness, to the point of not being able to proceed consistently with the explanation of the content. In another situation, fear appears in Valentina’s practice. After a week of classes, it was necessary to divide the group, which had more than twenty students enrolled. However, this class had already started their meetings with another teacher. This situation made Valentina fear being compared to another teacher, who was more experienced and had been in that project for three years until that point. The excerpt below illustrates the event:

(06) Interviewer: What is going on in your head here [pointing to a situation on the video recording of the participant’s class]?

Valentina: If I was going to be able to teach ((laughs))because the boys were already with Kaio. Then I was afraid of, like, not being up to their expectations, because Kaio is a ...

Interviewer: Comparison?

Valentina: Yes. More the nervousness of the first class.

Interviewer: You start to teach the class in English, you stop and say that you are anxious. What does it mean to be anxious for you?

Valentina: When I get anxious, like, it’s when I’m expecting something. When I am anxious, I, it is different, so it is not so different almost the same thing as when I am nervous. I speak very fast. I usually laugh. And I am in agony.

Interviewer: How so?

V: The same agony as when I have to attend class and I can’t go out, or get up or do anything.

Interviewer: Physically, does that cause you anything?

Valentina: I’ll give you an example: do you remember that class I had to present a seminar with Larissa? That I couldn’t handle sitting in the chair? In that class, I was agonizing because I had to stay inside the room, and I talked a lot. I begged you to take a break ((laughs.

Interviewer: Ah. I remember. [...] Can you see any difference between this first class and the other one, on Saturday?

Valentina: The mood of the room. Although I was super nervous in the first class, I had that feeling of comfort in that one ((laughs)).

Interviewer: Why didn’t you have the same feeling of comfort in the other one?

Valentina: Because in that one the boys were already with another teacher. And I also don’t know why that day I was so nervous because, when I started at ((name of the school)) I had taken a class that had already gone through two teachers. [...] And in this case, there was a need separate the students as well. Then, I took the boys who were already with another teacher. They switched classes without having any option. The decision was taken for them. So, the risk of rejection was bigger.

Interviewer: And that made you more anxious.

Valentina: Yeah. (Viewing session 1)

Initially, Valentina’s fear makes her question or doubt her ability as a professional. She is exposed to a situation in which she would have to replace a teacher who had already started his activities. For Valentina, the problem was in the fact that the students did not have any participation in the decision-making process, being forced to such division. Her concern and anxiety are related to not meeting students’ expectations. Her anxiety, according to her, is expressed through laughter, fast speech, and restlessness. The “mood” of the classroom is another aspect that generates anxiety for Valentina, who compares the nervousness in the first two classes. According to her, despite being nervous in both situations, the atmosphere in the classroom and the reception of the students in the first class made her let her guard down and feel comfortable.

As she advanced in the profession, new emotions emerged, such as pride, happiness, anxiety, and stress. All of them, in addition to being related to her classroom practice, also apply to her relationship with students.

(07) Valentina: […] after that first class, when I saw that I was not going to die, then I noticed an evolution.

Interviewer: How so?

Valentina: I was more relaxed. (Viewing session 1)

(08) Interviewer: Thinking about your profession, what emotions do you feel?

Valentina: All of them. I think they are all possible. There are moments of pride, happiness, anxiety, stress, wanting to strangle students ((laughs)).

Interviewer: In what situations does each of them happen?

Valentina: Proud is when I can perceive that the student […] is able to do the things it alone, to give her steps without me holding her. Anxiety usually happens when I prepare the class and I don’t know if they will like it if it will work. I want to strangle them when they make a mess, but sometimes I even help with the mess ((laughs)). Or when they asked me some unnecessary questions in the first class. They turned to me and asked if I was a virgin. I looked at them and said, “This is not of your business”. Then they say “Yes, we’re asking.” And I said, “No, you don’t need to know that”. Then, they asked if I smoke marijuana because I’m still a college student and if I cut myself ((laughs)). I just looked at them and said, “I’m not going to answer that because I’m going to end up cursing these boys” ((laughs)). (Interview about emotions)

One aspect that stands out in the participant’s speech refers to discomfort and disaffection. Teaching is not just about pleasure and affection in the teacher-student relationship. It is also constituted by difficulties in interpersonal relationships. These outbursts of anger are common in everyone and the teacher is not an exception. Because teaching involves a lot of emotional labor5 5 Hoschild (2012 [1983], p. 8) defines emotional labor as the management of feeling to “create a publicly observable facial and bodily display”. According to the author, other terms that may be used as synonymous are emotion work or emotion management. (HOCHSCHILD, 2013 [1983]HOCHSCHILD, A.R. The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling (Updated with a New Preface). University of California Press: Los Angeles, 2012 [1983].), sometimes, teachers suppress emotions such as anger, nervousness, and stress, since they can harm the pedagogical practice and the professional’s image. However, emotions are part of everyday life and also play an important role in the constitution of a person as a professional. This suppression of negative emotions in the classroom can lead to a non-identification of the teacher with the profession.

Valentina’s professional identity is constituted by different emotions experienced through the course of her practice. Sometimes, it is possible even to say that the emotions diverge in the same context. At the same time that Valentina says she wants to “strangle” her students when they make a mess during classes, as she mentions in excerpt 08, she says she feels very happy in the classroom:

(09) V: Have you seen how happy I am inside the classroom? […] Ah, I’m happy, because, like, I see that... I don’t like evaluation by grade. But what I looked from their evolution, for example, one of the ways that I used was the oral test, I see their development in speaking, mainly… and the grammatical question, pronunciation. And I was very glad they got that breakthrough. (Viewing session 2)

Happiness and pride emerge from the perception that her students are progressing in their learning process. Galano (2006GALANO, M. H. As emoções no interjogo grupal. In: LANE, S.T.M.; SAWAIA, B. B. Novas veredas da psicologia social. São Paulo: Brasiliense; Educ, 2006. Pp. 147-146., p. 147) states that in a group organization “its operability is impregnated with an entire affective-emotional production, which directs, formally and informally, the climate of relationships between the members, as well as between the members and the task to be accomplished”. Valentina claims to have a lot of affection for her students, even being concerned about them, as illustrated in the excerpt below:

(10) So far, the coexistence with the students hasn’t disconcerted me. I’m still very happy about teaching my classes because when something like that happens I usually start complaining too much… “oh, I’m terrified of this class”. But, no, with the three classes, all of them… I have a great affection for all my students. Especially because when they are missing classes, I feel the need to call them. Even though I already know why… But this is a characteristic that I have since I worked at ((name of the school)), because there, like, there is always this concern with the student. (Viewing session 1)

Valentina’s concern is related to the well-being of students, as well as to their learning process. According to Oxford (2016OXFORD, R. L. Toward a Psychology of Well-Being for Language Learners: The ‘EMPATHICS’ Vision. In: MacINTYRE, P.D.; GREGERSEN, T.; MERCER, S. (eds.). Positive Psychology in SLA. Bristol, Blue Ridge Summit: Multilingual Matters, 2016, pp.10-88. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783095360-003
https://doi.org/10.21832/9781783095360-0...
), language learners with high levels of well-being might seek and create meaning in the activity of learning and this may help to maintain them motivated during classes. Valentina’s concern is very appropriate in this scenario, since this concern leads to great care within the classroom. She seeks to dedicate individual attention to each student for whom she feels there is a need, according to excerpt 11:

(11) I keep thinking, like, are they understanding what I’m talking about? Are they understanding grammar? Then I ask and everyone says yes. I ask for feedback: “I liked it”. Then, when they are doing an activity, that I see that they are having difficulty I go from chair to chair and explain again, to see if they understand. There was even a student, I think it was in Saturday’s class. I sat next to her to explain. And there was a class on Friday also that I sat next to a student and explained to him. Because the others were already taking care of themselves, so I sat next to him. (Viewing session 2)

Valentina is concerned with trying to provide a more personalized type of relationship with the students regarding corrective feedback, so that they feel more secure when participating in the activities. She seems to understand the need for protecting the students’ face. According to Goffman (1955GOFFMAN, E. On face-work: an analysis of ritual elements in social interaction. In: Psychiatry: Journal for the Study of Interpersonal Processes, 18, pp. 213-231, 1955., p. 215), in contexts of social interaction, one “is expected to go to certain lengths to save the feelings and the face of others present”. This may produce safer environments for students to express themselves in the target language.

Another emotion related to the classroom spectrum is how Valentina feels secure with her students as it is possible to perceive in excerpt 12:

(12) Valentina: It was. Especially because the students themselves give me a kind of security.

Interviewer: That’s great.

Valentina: I can… my day it can be very, very bad, but I arrive in the room, the boys make me laugh. (Viewing session 2)

She mentions that her students provide her with a sense of security that may influence how she feels about a class. Murphey et al. (2010MURPHEY, T.; PROBER, J.; GONZALES, K. Emotional belonging precedes learning. In: BARCELOS, A.M.F.; COELHO, H.S.H. (orgs.). Emoções, reflexões e (trans)form(ações) de alunos, professores e formadores de professores de línguas. Campinas, SP: Pontes Editores , 2010. pp. 43-56. ) associate this security with a sense of emotional belonging. According to the authors, “[a] sense of belonging encourages motivation and investment in the group’s objectives and, therefore, is extremely important for productive communities” (p. 44).

Barcelos (2016BARCELOS, A.M.F. O papel das emoções na construção da parceria universidade- escola em um projeto de educação continuada. In: CELANI, M.A.A. Tendências e desafios na formação de professores de línguas no século XXI. Campinas, SP: Pontes Editores, 2016. pp. 71-92. , p. 86) suggests that teachers “need to feel that they emotionally belong to a place so that they feel empowered to deal with difficult situations and also where they feel comfortable to create their own identities as teachers”. In Valentina’s case, this feeling of belonging comes from her students. She claims to feel safe in the classroom and also to have her emotions transformed by her students. She feels comfortable interacting with them:

(13) Interviewer: What do you like most about your classes?

Valentina: The climate inside the classroom. That my students are comfortable with me. And that, especially the Saturday class that I thought there would be some students who would sleep during the class. But nobody sleeps. Everyone is awake. (Viewing session 2)

(14) Interviewer: What assessment do you make of your performance?

Valentina: Ah, I’m happy, because, like, I… I don’t like grading. But what I use to evaluate their evolution, for example, one of the ways I used was the oral test, I saw a lot of their development in speech, mainly. And the grammatical question, pronunciation. And I was very happy that they had this breakthrough. (Viewing session 3)

(15) Valentina: More relaxed than when I worked at ((name of school)). Because here I have support and kind people to help me. Back at school I used to teach, the coordinator didn’t help me, she kind of threw me aside. So, I, as I was there, I kind of created ... I don’t know, it wouldn’t be a trauma, but, a certain block about teaching. Then, I signed up at the Language Center, thinking about seeing, how it could help me unlock this block concerning the classroom. (Viewing session 1)

A contradiction between what she believes to be the right thing to do in the classroom and what she can do, according to the context in which she works, also makes Valentina anxious. She tries to act informed by a daily concept of her practice as an English student: using as much of the target language inside the classroom, as shown in excerpt 16.

(16) Interviewer: Are you having any trouble?

Valentina: Speaking English-English inside the room ((laughs)).

Interviewer: How so?

Valentina: I don’t know. The coordinator said that we have to speak more English with the guys. But, I don’t know, seeing their difficulty, I can’t handle it.

Interviewer: And what do you think of that?

Valentina: I think it’s bad.

Interviewer: Why do you think is bad?

Valentina: Because I have always maintained that the more contact you have with the language, the better you learn.

Interviewer: Where did you get this principle?

Valentina: I learned that way.

E: Have you read anything about it?

V: No. (Viewing session 1)

In a study on the relationship between anxiety and the identities of English-speaking students, Mastrella-de-Andrade (2011MASTRELLA-DE-ANDRADE, M.R. Falar, fazer, sentir, vir a ser: ansiedade e identidade no processo de aprendizagem de LE. In: MASTRELLA-DE-ANDRADE, M.R. (org.). Afetividade e emoções no ensino/aprendizagem de línguas: múltiplos olhares. Campinas, SP: Pontes Editores , 2011. pp. 17-48 , p. 18) suggests that learning a second language is often “pointed out as the one thing that rises, in many students, anxiety, and fear”. This is due, according to the author, to the fact that such activity “requires them to participate in a context of constant evaluation”. Valentina, in addition to being an English teacher, is also a student of the target language, which may justify her insecurities in the classroom.

Her linguistic-communicative difficulty creates a problem regarding her teaching methodology, which is based on an everyday concept, a type of unconscious and empirical knowledge (JONHSON; GOLOMBEK, 2016; VYGOTSKY, 2007VYGOTSKY, L.S. A formação social da mente: o desenvolvimento dos processos psicológicos superiores. São Paulo: Martins Fontes , 2007. 224p.). Thus, she questions her own professional identity. The idea behind this anxiety generated by the difficulty of expressing herself in the target language is also a concern with her students’ development. Valentina has not developed the “teacher language” (RICHARDS, 1992RICHARDS, J. C. Longman Dictionary of Language teaching & Applied linguistics. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press. 1992. ), a facilitated version used by the teacher so that she is always speaking in the target language with her students. She reports insecurity regarding her linguistic competence:

(17) I am insecure about my speech, which is why I signed up for the English Oral Practice Course. Because sometimes I am afraid of using the wrong pronunciation of the wrong. (Viewing session 2)

The last category of emotions identified in Valentina’s experiences as an English teacher concerns her relationship with the institution, represented by the pedagogical coordinator. Valentina’s narrative points out to a beginning of possible friction. To discuss the emotions related to the pedagogical institution/coordination, I group all of Valentina’s narration in which she mentions this social factor. Excerpts 18 and 19 illustrate this relationship:

(18) Then, during my teaching career, there were moments that I wanted to give up and that I even looked for the course I wanted initially, that I got bored with something ... but, no... the day I got tired was when I thought I was going to be disconnected from the language center too. I felt some time ago… there is the language center website, and there is a place there that gives information about the teachers, that gives the name of each teacher. I searched and my name was not there. Then I thought: Okay, they already took me out of the language center without telling me. Then I started to panic, started to cry at home ((laughs)). Then I thought: I don’t want to be a teacher anymore because of this tantrum that this teacher has with me. I don’t know why he has this tantrum, but it was very frustrating for me. But, as everything is learning, I remember that at the language center, when I started, I was super organized ((laughs)). Then I was kind of sloppy. But this year, I have already organized myself as the school asks for a lesson plan every fifteen days, there are four ... thirty ... almost forty class plans for the classes. I will organize myself with the Center and send the lesson plans from month to month, to be more organized. We learn. (Interview about emotions)

(19) My last relapse was due to the conflict I had with a professor at the university. Because of this teacher, I have these tantrums and I say that I don’t want to be a teacher anymore so I can go out and not have to see him anymore. Because it looks like he’s a poison in my life. But, then, other situations calm me down and I remember that situation will happen anywhere. (Interview about emotions)

Valentina’s initial discomfort can be seen in excerpt 18, when she claims to have received a “scolding” from the coordinator. She seems to have been hurt by the way she was approached to discuss issues related to the project. The conflict, according to her, made

her feel sick when she had her class observed by the coordinator. The hurt, associated with the anger felt by Valentina, can also be perceived concerning a possible lack of guidance for carrying out the project activities. Valentina says the orientation was flawed. As reported by her, the orientation regarding the course organization and assessment, which should have been dealt with at the beginning of the semester, only came in the end, when the activities were almost over.

Valentina also reports fearing a dismissal for not having a good relationship with the coordinator. She even thought about giving up teaching when she felt anger and fear. The emotions generated from this social interaction with the coordinator usually affect her practice. She affirms, at a certain moment, that her posture went from “super-organized” to “sloppy”, due to the demotivation that arose among other emotions, according to excerpt 18, where she states “when I started, I was super-organized. Then I was kind of sloppy”. Golombek and Klager (2015 GOLOMBEK, P.; KLAGER, P. Play and imagination in developing language teacher identity-in-activity. In: Ilha do Desterro, v. 68, n.1, pp.17-32, 2015. , p.20) draw attention to the need for the introduction and mediation of new tools or signs to support the qualitative transformation of the mental activity of novice teachers. However, when this mediation does not exist, and the interpersonal relationship is not harmonious, there may be moments that foster emotions which hinder the teaching practice.

One can notice, in Valentina’s practice, a range of different emotions that act as a guide for (non)action in the classroom and the process of teacher education. According to Golombek and Johnson (2016JOHNSON, K. E.; GOLOMBEK, P. R. Mindful L2 teacher education: a sociocultural perspective on cultivating teachers’ professional development. New York, NY: Routledge, 2016. (ebook) ), perezhivanie - when mediated by the teacher educator - can act as moments of transformation in the subject’s practice. Responsive mediation - defined Johnson and Golombek (2016JOHNSON, K. E.; GOLOMBEK, P. R. Mindful L2 teacher education: a sociocultural perspective on cultivating teachers’ professional development. New York, NY: Routledge, 2016. (ebook) ) as a negotiated mediation that emerges from the needs that become visible in the process of interaction - is an essential component of teacher educators and student-teachers. The discussion about student-teachers’ emotional experiences can work as moments for understanding and reinterpreting their emotions. Johnson and Golombek (2020JOHNSON, K. E.; GOLOMBEK, P. R. Informing and transforming language teacher education pedagogy. In: Language Teaching Research, 2020, Vol. 24(1) 116-127. DOI:10.177/13621688187539
https://doi.org/10.177/13621688187539...
) reiterate that teacher education courses must have room for this type of mediation where participants are encouraged to reflect on what it means to be a teacher. It should be added that the strategic mediation must consider the perezhivanie as well.

8 Conclusion

This study sought to discuss emotions in the process of teaching and learning English in a specific context of a course aimed at initial education and professional development of teachers. Data analysis suggested that different emotions were experienced by the participant in the same class. Valentina starts the semester anxious, nervous, and frustrated (because the Languages course was not her first Major choice), but as the semester goes, new emotions emerge, such as pride, happiness, stress, and anxiety associated to new experiences and social actors. These emotions can be related to her actions inside the classroom. At the beginning of the semester, she was organized and then, as the term progressed her classes started to become less structured. Since emotions are socio-historically constructed, Valentina’s relation to the profession was informed by how it is perceived in Brazilian society: socially discredited, badly paid and offering little infrastructure for teachers (OLIVEIRA, 2021OLIVEIRA, A. C. T. Emoções e Ensino Critico de Línguas: uma abordagem político-cultural das emoções de uma professora de Inglês. in: Rev. Bras. Linguíst. Apl., v. 21, n. 1, p. 81-106, 2021. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1984-6398202117125
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1984-639820211...
). The way each person experiences certain emotions differs according to the culture of the classroom space. Thus, the actions generated by each emotion will also be different. This aspect corroborates the results achieved by Oliveira’s study (2021OLIVEIRA, A. C. T. Emoções e Ensino Critico de Línguas: uma abordagem político-cultural das emoções de uma professora de Inglês. in: Rev. Bras. Linguíst. Apl., v. 21, n. 1, p. 81-106, 2021. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1984-6398202117125
http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1984-639820211...
): context influences the interpretation of the emotion. Thus, it may produce different actions according to the situation. Emotions assume a positive or negative connotation from the (re) action they generate in the body. When emotions are mediated by a more experienced pair, they can take on a transforming role in the teaching practice of the student-teacher, leading her to better understand and manage her practice in the classroom (GOLOMBEK and JOHNSON, 2016JOHNSON, K. E.; GOLOMBEK, P. R. Mindful L2 teacher education: a sociocultural perspective on cultivating teachers’ professional development. New York, NY: Routledge, 2016. (ebook) ).

Valentina’s narrative tells us that we can construct meanings on the moments which catalyze different emotions. Understanding these moments helps us recognize how to deal with situations that generate emotions that have negative impact on the teaching process. The very act of describing/narrating the moments experienced in the classroom sheds new light on those events, helping to build new repertoires of action in light of these situations.

Sawaia, Magiolino and Silva (2020SAWAIA, B. B.; MAGIOLINO, L. L.S.; SILVA, D. N.H. Imagination and Emotion as the Basis of Social Transformation. In: In: TANZI NETO, A.; LIBERALI, F. (Org.); DAFERMOS, M. (Org.). Revisiting Vygotsky for social change: Bringing together theory and practice. 1. ed. Nova Iorque: Peter Lang, 2020. v. 1. 314p. pp.241-260.) state that imaginative processes and emotions are fundamental to the construction of an emancipatory process of each person. According to the authors, we are human beings guided by our affections, our imagination and our ability to think and act with freedom and joy. Therefore, the understanding of emotional experiences can provide fundamental repertoires for the transformation of the subject towards the emancipation of their social practices. This is in line with what is defended by Lantolf and Swain (2019LANTOLF, J. P.; SWAIN, M. Perezhivanie: The Cognitive-Emotional Dialectic within the Social Situation of Development. In: Contemporary Language Motivation Theory, 2019, 80-106. doi: 10.21832/9781788925204-009.
https://doi.org/10.21832/9781788925204-0...
), who claim that it is essential to listen (and read) attentively to what students are saying and writing when they engage in the struggle towards self-development. Thus, it is essential to provide room for exchanging the emotional experiences of teachers undergoing initial training (OLIVEIRA, 2019OLIVEIRA, S. L. Emoções ressoantes no discurso de uma professora de língua inglesa da rede pública. 2019. Dissertação (Mestrado em Linguística Aplicada). Faculdade de Letras, UFMG, 135f.).

The emotional experiences of teachers in pre-service education can act as growth points, defined by Golombek and Johnson (2016JOHNSON, K. E.; GOLOMBEK, P. R. Mindful L2 teacher education: a sociocultural perspective on cultivating teachers’ professional development. New York, NY: Routledge, 2016. (ebook) ) as moments of dialectical instances in which an individual can reach terms of development, starting from the contradiction generated by a specific moment. However, with responsive mediation these growth points can create conditions for development. Thus, teacher educators must act - in a process of strategic mediation - based on the emotions of student-teachers, so that they can understand the catalyzing moments of emotions that may cause problems in the teaching process.

In conclusion, the understanding of affective processes is fundamental and must be considered in teacher education courses (RICHARDS, 2020RICHARDS, J. C. Exploring Emotions in Language Teaching. In: RELC Journal, pp. 1-15, 2020. DOI: 10.177/0033688220927531.
https://doi.org/10.177/0033688220927531...
). There must be space available for the preparation of student-teachers to deal with the emotions that they may experience in their practices (BARCELOS, 2015BARCELOS, A.M.F. Unveiling the relationship between language learning beliefs, emotions, and identities. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, Kalizs, v.5, n.2, pp. 301-325, 2015.). Usually teachers are taught that they must suppress their emotions so that they do not interfere, negatively, in their activity in the classroom. It is argued in this text that an approach where emotions could be expressed and discussed must be adopted if we want transform language teaching practices.

Acknowledgments

I would like to thank Fundação Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior - CAPES for the partial doctoral scholarship, process number 88881.135135/2016-01.

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  • 1
    Paper resulting from doctoral dissertation presented at the Graduate Program in Linguistic Studies at State University of São Paulo (UNESP) under the supervision of Prof. Maria Helena Vieira Abrahão.
  • 2
    Portal de Teses e Dissertações CAPES. Available at: https://catalogodeteses.capes.gov.br/catalogo-teses/#!/ Retrieved: May, 30th, 2021.
  • 3
    Affect is defined in this paper according to Spinoza, who defends that the term designates the states of the soul. Affect, according to Spinoza, is a modification that happens at the same time in the body and mind. It encompasses the transition (transition) from one state to another. Affectivity, in this sense may be used as an umbrella term that encapsulate other such as emotions, feelings, and affect.
  • 4
    There are different spellings for the name of Lev Vygotsky (e.g. Vigotski (Portuguese and Spanish), Vygotsky (English)). I adopt the spelling used in the English language, with exception in cases of citation of translated works.
  • 5
    Hoschild (2012 [1983], p. 8) defines emotional labor as the management of feeling to “create a publicly observable facial and bodily display”. According to the author, other terms that may be used as synonymous are emotion work or emotion management.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    02 May 2022
  • Date of issue
    2022

History

  • Received
    30 May 2021
  • Accepted
    29 Sept 2021
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