Language Learners as Gatekeepers of Teachers’ Cognition: A Case Study of Two Classroom Conditions

Document Type : Research Paper


English Department, University of Isfahan, Iran


In recent decades, L2 teachers’ cognition (i.e., their thinking about language, language learning/teaching and practices) has attracted the attention of research circles worldwide. But how is teachers’ cognition affected when it comes to learners’ own perspective towards language, social phenomenon, or cognitive one (Firth & Wagner, 1997)? Will teachers’ perspective towards language learning and teaching be modified by the way learners look at language? In this qualitative case study, we explored the influential factors, on the part of learners, which determine teachers’ methodologies and practices. To this end, 3-month diaries of a teacher who was running 2 sets of classes (i.e., regular classes of the Ministry of Education and institutionalized classes) were analyzed. The precise, qualitative analysis of the diaries suggests that depending on the perspective of the learners towards language in different instructional settings, the cognition of the teacher altered accordingly, which led to the emergence of alternative practices.