CALL FOR SPECIAL ISSUE PAPERS:Language Teaching Research

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Thursday, September 3, 2020 at 12:00 AM (EDT) to Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 1:00 AM (EDT)

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Language Teaching Research

Tensions in Language Teachers’ Professional Identity Development and Coping Strategies

Guest Editors:

Zia Tajeddin (Tarbiat Modares University)

Bedrettin Yazan (University of Texas at San Antonio)


Within the research strand of language teacher identity, one of the main issues is identity tensions with which language teachers grapple as they negotiate multiple identity positions (see Canagarajah, 2012, 2017; Golombek, 2017; Menard-Warwick, 2017). Teacher identity construction is a winding route involving numerous detours which is rife with “emotional and cognitive dissonance” (Golombek & Doran, 2014, p. 108; also see Golombek, 2015) leading to various degrees and types of tensions. How teachers deal with these tensions plays a significant role in their identity development. Teachers tend to experience tensions between their vision (i.e. imagined identity) and their actual practice (e.g., Hammerness, 2006), between their negotiated/enacted identities and assigned/imposed identities (e.g., Alsup, 2006), and between professional identities and personal/social identities (e.g., Olsen, 2016). Tensions have the potential to disrupt teacher identity development. The process of resolution or reconciliation might be extended, and teachers could need support in that process to minimize the possible negative impacts on their identities. Therefore, the ways in which teachers perceive, respond to, and grapple with tensions are critical experiences which offer windows into the complexities of teacher identity negotiation. Attending to these experiences, this special issue welcomes empirical studies with clear pedagogical implications for incorporating teacher identity in language teacher education practices. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Tensions in transition from student to teacher identities
  • Tensions between ideal and imposed identities, personal and professional identities, and private and public identities
  • Tensions between cognitive, emotional, and sociocultural aspects of identity work
  • Tensions between different belief systems influencing teacher identity
  • Tensions between claimed and assigned identities
  • Teachers’ emotion labor in grappling with identity tensions
  • Teachers’ agency in navigating identity tensions
  • Influence of identity tensions on teacher professional practice and development
  • Influence of identity tensions on teacher demotivation, burnout, and attrition
  • Teacher strategies for coping with identity tensions


Timeline for the special issue:

  • October 15, 2020: Submission of a 500-word proposal and a 100-word bio (to guest editors at <>; the subject line should be “LTR Special Issue Submission”).
  • November 15, 2020: Notifications for inviting full manuscripts.
  • April 15, 2021: Submission of full manuscripts.

Please note that the acceptance of proposal does not guarantee publication and all manuscripts will go through peer review process following the policies of Language Teaching Research. When preparing your full manuscript, please see LTR Authors’ Guidelines at: <>. Feel free to send your inquiries regarding this special issue to Zia Tajeddin and Bedrettin Yazan at <>