This talk presents the notion of language teacher agency as a key construct for us to understand language teachers’ professional practice and development. In the talk, I will answer the ‘what’ question, offering major conceptualisations of agency and explaining how they shape the way that language teacher agency can be approached. I will then continue with the ‘why’ question and elaborate on the different reasons that language teacher agency matters at multiple levels of a given context. I also discuss how it intersects with such concepts as teacher identity, emotion, belief and knowledge. I conclude the talk with suggestions on how to promote teacher agency through making changes to contexts and/or actors.
In this workshop, I present language learner agency as a key focus for language teachers when preparing learners for the challenges and opportunities beyond the classroom in teaching. I also outline what learner agency is, what it is not and how it operates. I will invite participants to reflect and discuss the challenges that we may have in promoting learner agency before we identify some possible solutions together.