Understanding EFL teachers’ emotional experience of doing research: A multiple case

Fei Ellen LI

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Theses


This multiple case study explores the subjective perspectives of EFL educators participating in research initiatives at Chinese institutions with three research questions including what kind of emotions do English teachers in mainland Chinese universities experience when they participate in scientific research projects? What factors affect the emotional experience of English teachers in mainland Chinese universities participating in scientific research projects? And what are the consequences of their emotional experience? To explore the research questions, the author, using a qualitative approach, reviewed a variety of relevant literature in educational psychology, sociology, and the study of teachers’ feelings based on a refined theoretical framework consisting of four components: emotional antecedents, emotional experiences, emotional regulation, and emotional outcomes.

The overall methodology is a multiple-case study to learn more about the feelings of five university Chinese English teachers who conduct research. Data was obtained from in-depth interviews, document analysis, and field observations to yield important insights into the affective aspects that shape the study experiences of EFL teachers. The findings not only highlight the significance of teachers' personal experiences in shaping their professional development and trajectory but also the importance of taking into account and addressing teachers’ emotions. Based on the findings, the research has made recommendations for schools with respect to the school’s atmosphere and investments in teachers’ emotions. Supported by English teachers’ detailed information, the intentions of the study is to facilitate more in-depth discussions from practitioners and researchers concerning the subjective perspectives of EFL educators participating in research initiatives. The expectation is that the study will be useful to university educators and higher learning institutions in China and other parts of the world. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Education
Awarding Institution
  • The Education University of Hong Kong
  • ZOU, Di, Supervisor
  • JIANG, Lianjiang, Supervisor
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • EFL
  • Emotions
  • Research
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • Teaching
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ed.D.)--The Education University of Hong Kong, 2023.


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