“It’s Frustrating”: EFL Novice Teachers’ Emotional Experiences in Online Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Main Article Content

Asih Santihastuti
Utami Widiati
Yazid Basthomi
Utari Praba Astuti


Abrupt changes in the mode of instruction due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused teachers to experience different demands and situations in their jobs. These changes have brought about emotional experiences that teachers have to tackle. This study aimed to explore how teachers have been emotionally affected and have regulated their emotions during online teaching. Two EFL novice teachers participated in this study and were requested to elaborate their emotional experiences and emotional labor strategies through reflective journals and in-depth interviews. Findings reveal students’ misbehaviors, unequal distribution of resources, and time management, largely attributed to the teachers’ emotional labor. These experiences made teachers feel frustrated, angry, and sometimes anxious that they needed to control their emotions in the best interests of their students, classes, and well-being. To cope with these emotions, the teachers employed such emotional labor strategies as surface acting, deep acting, and genuine expressing to better manage their emotional labor. The findings imply the needs to build up awareness in the teacher education program to address issues related to teachers’ emotional labor and cater for the inquiry of emotional regulation strategies in the programs.


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Santihastuti, A., Widiati, U., Basthomi, Y., & Astuti, U. P. (2022). “It’s Frustrating”: EFL Novice Teachers’ Emotional Experiences in Online Teaching during the COVID-19 Pandemic. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 15(2), 214–236. Retrieved from https://so04.tci-thaijo.org/index.php/LEARN/article/view/259928
Research Articles
Author Biographies

Asih Santihastuti, Graduate Program in English Language Education, Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia; Universitas Jember, Indonesia

A graduate student at Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia.

Utami Widiati, Graduate Program in English Language Education, Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia

A professor of ELT in Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia. Her main research interests are Curriculum and material development, and Teacher Professional Development. ORCID: 0000-0002-8603-4556

Yazid Basthomi, Graduate Program in English Language Education, Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia

A professor of ELT in Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia. His research interests are Applied Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Contrastive Rhetoric, and Intercultural Education.

Utari Praba Astuti, Graduate Program in English Language Education, Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia

A full-time lecturer at Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia. Her main research interests are English Skill Courses, TEFL, and Material Development.


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