Reflecting on the potential of stimulated recall in emotion research

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Research into the regulation and performance of teacher emotions is frequently conducted through interviews and surveys; however, less commonly employed is the stimulated recall methodology, through which participants are observed teaching and asked to reflect on their thought processes during classroom events. With examples from a recent 'small lens' study, the researcher will demonstrate how stimulated recall reveals deep insights into the complexity of classroom emotional behaviours and advocates for increased use of this methodology.

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The recent emotional turn in applied linguistics (White, 2018) has revealed much about the emotional labour and demands of language teaching. Within this emerging field, it has been shown that emotion regulation, the set of cognitive and behavioural actions individuals use to alter the courses of their emotions, is employed by language teachers to mediate classroom practices, student outcomes and their own well-being (Hosotani & Imai-Matsumura, 2011; Morris & King, 2020. Emotion regulation actions are highly contextually dependant and attempts to uncover their complexity are well served by Ushioda's (2016, p.567) 'small lens' approach. While much of the research into teacher emotions has been conducted through interviews, diary studies and surveys, the stimulated recall methodology (Gass & Mackey, 2017), wherein participants are observed teaching and later asked to recall their thought processes during critical incidents, offers rich potential. Here, the presenter will introduce data from a research project conducted with 15 university teachers in Japan which sought to uncover the contextual factors underpinning the employment of emotion regulation in the classroom. The presenter will exemplify how, through the stimulated recall process, the researcher was able to reach a deeper understanding of the complexity of participants' classroom emotional experiences and regulation actions, and argue for the increased use of this methodology in teacher-led research of the affective experience of language teaching.

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Rikkyo University

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