Guided by Images


Mental imagery of ideal future selves is considered a powerful means for motivation. Inspired by Dörnyei & Kubanyiova’s (2014) proposal to link teacher motivation and learner motivation within a framework based on building vision, this study explores how novice teachers of English as a Foreign Language have used visualisations of themselves as motivating teachers as a guiding principle in their first year as teachers. Have they helped them find ideal means to create a motivating classroom atmosphere? This longitudinal multiple case study was carried out with 18 Chilean early career teachers. Data were collected through interviews following visualisations, as well as classroom observations. Over a period of 18 months after the first round of interviews, teachers were interviewed and observed in regular intervals so as to analyse the development of their mental images, as well as the possibilities and limitations of putting these into practice. Results show that visualisations become more concrete over time, and guide novice teachers in some classroom decisions. Implications: By gaining a deeper understanding of the impact of mental imagery in teacher’s early professional development, we draw conclusions about the potential uses and pitfalls of this reflective tool in teacher education.


Novice Teachers, Learner Motivation, Visions, English Language Teaching, Chile


Adult, Community, and Professional Learning


Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


  • Dr. Katharina Glas
    • Lecturer in English Language Teaching, Instituto de Literatura y Ciencias del Lenguaje, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile Chile
    • Katharina Glas studied English, Spanish, and Education Studies in Germany and England, and holds a Ph.D. in English Language Teaching from Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Germany. She settled in Chile in 2005, and has taught English and Language Pedagogy at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso since 2008. There, she also supervises pre-service teachers' action research projects. She has authored several papers and a book on learner motivation, teacher cognition, and (inter)cultural contents for ELT. Her research interests include autonomy-supportive teaching, teacher education, and teacher well-being. Currently, she is leading a project that investigates novice teachers' development of motivational strategies for ELT.
  • Paz Allendes
    • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile Chile