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Language Teacher Agency in Classrooms

Page history last edited by Zhenjie Weng 8 months, 2 weeks ago


Session Title: 


Language Teacher Agency in Classrooms (EVO2022)







This session aims to empower language teachers through developing an ecological perspective of agency. Participants will examine the interplay of various factors influencing teacher agency. They will also reflect upon and share different ways of achieving agency and have a chance to implement language teacher agency in their classrooms.


Target audience:


We aim to connect with pre-service and in-service teachers, teacher trainers, mentors and teacher educators in English language education and those who are interested in exploring their agency in teaching.


Session objectives: 


By the end of this hands-on session, participants will 

     - develop a better understanding of “Language Teacher Agency” and its influencing factors 

     - reflect upon the factors influencing their instructional practices and decision-making in classrooms

     - apply their agency in their current and future teaching 

     - develop tools/strategies to build a supportive community to enhance their agency 

     - share their agency in teaching with other participants in this community of online practice in EVO, and if possible, beyond.



The session syllabus include the major focus for each week and at least one activity or task.

See below.



Week 1: (January 10 - 16) : Understanding Language Teacher Agency (LTA) and Classroom Practice 


  • Discuss what is “Language Teacher Agency”? 

  • Understand different conceptualizations (sociocultural and ecological perspectives) of LTA

  • Make the connection between LTA and classroom practice 

  • Reflect upon individual understanding




  1. Participants register and start setting up a Canvas Free for Teachers site.

  2. Participants make an online video to introduce themselves and post the video in Discussion Forum. 

  3. Participants read short texts on LTA and its connection with classroom practice.

  4. Participants post in Discussion Forum on their understanding of LTA.


Moderators: ALL


Week 2: (January 17 - 23): Exploring the temporal and relational dimensions in achieving agency 


  • Examine iterational, practical-evaluative, projective dimensions of LTA

  • Analyze scenarios of different contexts

  • Connect the observation to individual teaching contexts




  1. Participants read short texts on iterational, practice-evaluative, projective dimensions of LTA.

  2. Participants post in Discussion Forum on their understanding of the three aspects of LTA.

  3. In the Zoom meeting, participants are given one of the three scenarios and analyze the LTA enacted in the scenarios and share their analyses.


Moderators: ALL 


Week 3: (January 24 - 30): Reflecting upon past influencing factors on agency (past)


  • Recognize facilitating and prohibitive factors on LTA

  • Brainstorm for potential solutions to address challenges

  • Engage in dialogic reflection among participants




  • Based upon their own teaching experiences in the past, participants post in Discussion Forum on the facilitating and prohibitive factors on LTA.

  • Participants respond to each other's posts to address those identified prohibitive factors and possibly help each other to find solutions.
  • In the Zoom meeting, participants read the moderators' reflections and self-transformation process though their engagement in the reflection process on LTA. 
  • In the Zoom meeting, participants share their takeaway in Discussion Forum on reading the reflections.


Moderators: ALL 


Week 4: (January 31 - February 6): Enacting agency in classrooms and beyond (present)


  • Identify a problem in current teaching contexts

  • Practice agency in classrooms 

  • Apply strategies and technology in building a supportive online community

  • Reflect upon the experience of enacting agency in their own teaching contexts




  • Participants identify one problem in their current teaching contexts and post in Discussion Forum and share what they can do to solve their problem.

  • Participants create their own action plan in the Zoom session.
  • Participants post and respond to each other's action plan. 


Moderators: ALL


Week 5: (February 7 - 13): Setting up and sharing further goals (future-oriented)


  • Develop future teaching or career goals

  • Identify approaches in achieving the goals 

  • Share the goals and approaches with other participants 

  • Envision goals of implementing teacher agency




  1. Participants post their future teaching or career goals in Discussion Forum.

  2. Participants identify approaches in achieving the goals in the Zoom session. 

  3. Participants share their highlights and key takeaways from the course.


Moderators: ALL




  • Interactive space: Canvas Discussion Forums
  • Content space: Canvas Free for Teachers
  • Live meeting space: Zoom 


Other technology tools: 

  • Google Drive
  • Mentimeter
  • Padlet



Sponsor(s): Higher Education (HEIS), Teacher Educator (TEIS), Ohio TESOL, and Graduate Student Working Group for Foreign Language Research and Teaching (FLRT).


Join this session


Registration starts on Jan 2, 2022. 


To self-enrol in this EVO session, please click https://canvas.instructure.com/enroll/J6EJ9H, Or https://canvas.instructure.com/register, using the following join code: J6EJ9H






Name (last, first)

Email address

(country of residence)

(max. 50 words) 


Weng, Zhenjie


United States

Zhenjie Weng is a doctoral candidate in the Multilingual Language Education program at The Ohio State University. She also teaches second langauge writing to international undergraduate and graduate students. Her research focuses on second language writing teacher identity, teaching expertise, and teacher agency. In her recent work, she studies graduate level ESL composition teachers' identity construction and teaching practice.



Kim, Grace kim.6874@osu.edu United States

Grace J. Kim is a doctoral candidate in the Multilingual Language Education program at The Ohio State University. Her research examines language socialization and biliteracy development of emergent bilingual learners, dual language program curriculum design and teacher education, language teacher agency and leadership, and language teaching with technology.

Zhu, Jingyi zhu.1662@osu.edu United States

Jingyi Zhu taught EFL in university settings and now teaches ESL composition at undergraduate and graduate levels. Her interests are L2 reading, arts-based practices in L2 research, and language teacher education.


Primary Contact: 

Zhenjie Weng





By allowing your name to be put forward as co-moderator of this session

you acknowledge the following:


  • I understand that session first-time moderators are required and returning moderators are encouraged to participate in the 5-week Moderators' Development Session from October 17 until November 14, 2021.

  • I am available to actively engage in the EVO session I have agreed to co-moderate between January 10 and February 13, 2022. 

  • I further understand that 

    • EVO sessions are free of advertising and commercial sponsorship.

    • EVO sessions are free and open to all

    • No academic credit may be given for participation.



Zhenjie Weng

Grace kim

Jingyi Zhu




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