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Language teacher psychological well-being: an insight into the impacts of emotion regulation, reflective teaching, self-efficacy, and identity in an EFL context


Teachers' psychological wellbeing is defined as their evaluation and contentment with their own fulfillment, wellness, and profession as a concept best observable in positive psychology. Therefore, the psychological well-being of teachers is intertwined with a variety of other concepts. In the past, investigations mirrored that emotional regulation, reflective teaching, self-efficacy, and identity play important roles in the psychological and mental health of language instructors. Despite the enormous impact they play, there has never been any study that specifically investigated the contribution of emotion regulation, reflective teaching, self-efficacy, or identity to the psychological well-being of language teachers. As a result, the purpose of this sturdy was to provide emphasis on the aforementioned interpersonal dynamics within an EFL context. The Language Teacher Emotion Regulation Inventory, the English Language Teacher Reflective Inventory, the Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale, the Professional Identity Scale, and the Psychological Well-Being at Work were all part of an online survey that 433 EFL teachers from China responded to. The data analysis conducted with Structural Equation Modeling as well as Confirmatory Factor Analysis via LISREL 8.80 suggested that the status of language instructors' emotion control, reflective teaching, self-efficacy, and identity may be expected to be a significant indicator for their psychological well-being. This was shown to be the case after they were subjected to a questionnaire. The results highlight the need of adding reflective practices, skills for emotional management, self-efficacy beliefs, and identity reconstruction within the curriculum of teacher training programs.


A comprehensive and all-encompassing notion in positive psychology, teacher psychological well-being (TPW-B) includes not only general happiness but also domain-specific well-being and strong sentiments about one's profession (Collie, 2022). TPW-B refers to an amalgamation of components, some of which include having a sense of purpose, having good mental health, having a sense of purpose, and being happy with one's life. When students and instructors emphasize their personal well-being, it benefits both sides: students experience a more pleasant emotional state, and teachers have greater academic performance (Xiyun et al., 2022). It has been shown that a TPW-B has a considerable impact on a teacher's ability to engage with students. In the words of Mercer and Gregersen (2020), teachers who report higher levels of wellbeing are more engaged and empathic toward their students. On the other hand, teachers who experience higher levels of emotional exhaustion have a reduced capacity for assisting their students. Mercer (2021) emphasized the value of an individual's psychological well-being, which encompasses factors such as health, happiness, and satisfaction in life and work, in the process of developing a sense of purpose that is sustainable over time.

Maintaining a positive and contented frame of mind in the face of adversity in the classroom is essential for EFL teachers' well-being (Talbot & Mercer, 2018). Understanding the elements that lead to teachers' well-being is becoming more important in educational settings due to the impact that TPW-B has on teacher performance, student growth, and academic accomplishment. In this respect, Corcoran and O'Flaherty (2022) advocated for the advancement of resources to assist educators deal with challenges on the job and keep positive evaluations of their own performance. These tools would help teachers who experience positive feelings while at work. However, teachers who often face negative emotions at work are more likely to become emotionally exhausted or disengaged in the classrooms; this might have an adverse effect on their pupils. Consequently, investigating the aspects pertinent to teachers' well-being is not only crucial for students and educators but also has the potential to have positive implications for the educational system globally.

Emotions are a natural and integral aspect of the educational process. Teachers should expect to feel both positive and negative emotions throughout their working lives, which can either contribute to or detract from their overall professional well-being (Frenzel et al., 2021). In particular, the effectiveness of educators is dependent on their use of effective ways for keeping their emotions in control and adjusting them as required. That is to say, in order to achieve their goals, educators should be able to rein in their emotions. Many different strategies may be included under the umbrella term "emotion regulation" (ER) (Burić et al., 2020). A large number of investigations have provided conclusive evidence have shown strong evidence for the importance of teachers' ER to their students' psychological and wellness of the mind (e.g., Deng et al., 2022; Frenzel et al., 2021; Zheng et al., 2022). According to Gross (1998), ER is not a fixed characteristic but rather an ongoing process that shapes and directs the emotional experiences and manifestations of individuals. To be more specific, ER encompasses both emotion management (i.e., ways to keep one's emotions in check) and emotion management (i.e., how one's emotions manage something else) (Gross, 2015). ER also modifies cognitive, behavioral, and physiological responses, including their onset, duration, and latency (Taxer & Gross, 2018).

There are two distinct kinds of ER: overt and covert (Gross, 2014). There are two distinct kinds of ER: overt and covert (Gross, 2014, 2015). When ER is done consciously, it is clear that emotions are being controlled. Emotion regulation (ER) is implicit since it happens automatically, without thought (Kobyliska & Kusev, 2019). Setting selection, setting modification, focus deployment, cognitive change, and response modulation are the five components of ER, as outlined by Gross (2014). A six-factor model was established by Heydarnejad et al. (2021) to describe ER in language classrooms. "Situation selection," "Situation modification," "Attention deployment," "Reappraisal," "Suppression," and "Seeking social support" are the aspects. The term "situation selection" refers to activities (such as approaching or avoiding a situation) that improve the chance of a person being in a circumstance that elicits positive feelings in that individual. The term situation modification refers to the actions a person takes to change the way a certain circumstance affects them emotionally. The process of adjusting one's attentional focus within an emotionally charged scene is known as attentional deployment, and it may be used as a means of controlling one's emotional experience. Reappraisal is a meaning-focused coping mechanism that entails forming a more optimistic new meaning for a previously negative occurrence. Suppression is a deliberate attempt to ignore or stifle upsetting ideas, memories, or urges that may otherwise surface in conversation or in teachers' daily life. The last component refers to social support which means having friends and other people, including family, to turn to in times of need or crisis to give you a broader focus and positive self-image.

In accordance with Gross' process model of ER (1998, 2014), they "created the first three dimensions of the model. They also developed the reappraisal and suppression aspects using the work of Jiang et al. (2016). When presenting the last factor, seeking social support, they drew upon the work of Jennings and Greenberg (2009) as well as Taxer and Gross (2018). The social aspect of education is central to the language teacher ER model, making this element unique (Richards, 2020). In this regard, Fathi et al. (2021) applied SEM to look for links between ER, self-efficacy, burnout, and introspection. The results showed that the three concepts were intertwined, with ER serving as a mediator between teachers' self-efficacy, burnout, and introspection. Zheng et al. (2022) made the most recent effort in this direction by analyzing the connections between ER, self-efficacy, and L2grit among EFL university instructors. According to their results, a person's ER and self-efficacy inclinations might foretell how persistent they would be in learning L2. In a related vein, researchers have already determined the effects of teacher self-efficacy and ER on students' mental health in an English as an EFL setting (Xiyun et al., 2022). Similarly, Deng et al. (2022) highlighted the predictive power of ER in directing EFL teachers’ self-efficacy, work engagement, as well as anger management.

Reflective teaching, often known as RT, is a critical concept that is significantly essential for EFL teachers to learn the requisite subject and pedagogical expertise (Shirazizadeh et al., 2019). RE is believed to be a metacognitive talent that opens up options for applying perception, understanding, and creative work (Akbari, 2007; Fathi et al., 2021; Namaziandost et al., 2023). According to the definition provided by Aliakbari et al. (2020), Using an in-depth analysis of their own teaching practices, teachers may employ RT as a problem-solving strategy to adapt to any challenging situation. It encourages reflection on teaching practices and facilitates improved decision-making by educators. As a result, the development of higher order thinking abilities in educators should be an integral component of any educational system. According to Gheith and Aljaberi (2018), reflective thinking is an organized procedure that transfers meaning from one set of experiences to another in the pursuit of a more in-depth comprehension of both sets of experiences. According to Farrell (2016), it may be thought of as the polar opposite of impulsivity.

In the words of Farrell (2016), instructors who engage in reflective practice are able to expand their knowledge of teaching beyond the conventional methods and procedures often used in the classroom. As stated by Aliakbari et al. (2020), RT transforms educators into active, constructive learners who are engaged in the use of evolving methods of evaluation and contemplation. Before the year 2010, there was no crystal-clear operational model that could represent this construct since there was no consensus on what exactly defines reflection. The researchers Akbari et al. (2010) presented an RT model to the study of language teaching. The approach "involves" a total of five different aspects: cognitive, emotional, critical, metacognitive, and practical considerations.

Recent interest in RT and its correlates was reflected in the examination of the relevant literature. As an example, Shirazizadeh et al. (2019) investigated the interplay among stress, resilience, and TR in Iranian EFL setting. According to their results, RT and resilience have a favorable correlation with one another. On the other hand, RT and role stress had a negative relationship with one another. Moreover, Rashtchi and Sanayi Mashhour (2019) conducted research aimed at determining the function that RT plays as a mediator in the process of reducing teacher burnout. The findings of Rahimpour et al. (2020) provide credence to the idea that RT has a direct effect on the immunity of language teachers. The fact that there is already a body of literature on RE demonstrates that this construct is responsible for providing instructors with motivation in their work. This possible connection between RT, ER, and WE in EFL context is, as yet, barely studied. The findings of Amirian et al. (2023) evidenced that RT played a mediator role in managing teachers’ productive immunity and work motivation.

The renowned teacher-related idea of S-E has an effect on every aspect of an individual's activities and pursuits. According to Bandura's (1997) definition, S-E is a measure of how confident one is in one's ability to adapt and plan in the pursuit of a desired outcome. S-E skills influence how instructors approach objectives, difficulties, and activities in the classroom (Amirian et al., 2022). Research has shown that effective educators report higher levels of work satisfaction and are better able to address the disruptive behaviors and lack of motivation shown by their pupils. According to Barni et al.'s research from 2019, educators who have a poor sense of S-E are more likely to lose trust in their own skills. Teacher S-E is associated with several favorable outcomes for both teachers and their students, as shown by a growing body of research (Amirian et al., 2022; Deng et al., 2022; Ma, 2022; Zheng et al., 2022). The idea of S-E has its origins in Albert Bandura's social-cognitive theory of behavioral change. This theory's underlying assumptions suggest that those who have greater faith in their abilities also have a better shot of achieving those goals. This is mostly because these individuals have a clearer sense of purpose and a stronger will to overcome the challenges that are presented by a certain work (Bandura, 1986). According to Bandura (1997), this skill of metacognition is shown via self-regulatory processes. Bandura argued that these processes connect thought to action. As indicated by Chen (2018), teachers with high levels of efficacy report lower levels of stress and less burnout than teachers with low levels of efficacy. Furthermore, Martin and Mulvihill (2019) have shown that when instructors have higher levels of S-E, their inter- and intra-relationships improve, as does their enthusiasm for instructional techniques.

In addition, Burić and Kim (2020) discovered that a teacher's level of S-E can reliably forecast the administration of the classroom, intellectual activation, and supportive atmosphere. In a study that came to a similar conclusion, Burić and Frenzel (2019) found that there was a negative relationship between rage and teacher S-E. In a similar vein, Li et al. (2019) confirmed that self-efficacy and job engagement among instructors were positively associated to one another. Barni et al. (2019) provided evidence that demonstrates the positive impact that teachers' motives have on their levels of S-E, openness to change, and self-transcendence. In the same spirit, the contributions of EFL teachers’ S-E and inventiveness on their students’ academic progress was affirmed by Ma (2022). According to the findings of a research that was conducted not too long ago (Amirian et al., 2022) among university instructors, critical thinking and S-E beliefs were significant factors in the teaching styles that were preferred.

The concept of "teacher identity" is still seen as being rather nebulous in the field of education because of the diversity, instability, and social nature of the teaching profession. It is possible that during the course of its existence, it will be shaped and reshaped by the passage of time as well as by interactions formed within a variety of professional settings and communities of practice. As defined by Sachs (2005), every person has an identity that is not fixed, can be altered, and is the result of a dynamic interaction between their private, public, and discursive identities. In addition, Sachs argues that an individual's identity is the product of their private, public, and discursive identities. In accordance to the findings of the study that Yuan and Zhang conducted in the year 2020, "Teacher Professional Identity" (TPI) is thought to be a complicated, context-dependent, and non-linear phenomena.

As stated by Atay and Ece (2009), a person's sense of self and the degree to which they are able to govern their behavior in response to what and who they are within a specific social and cultural milieu are directly related to that person's perspective of their identity. Individual and interpersonal in the sense that its (re)construction arises from a web of internal and external causes and processes, it is a fluid and ever-evolving characteristic (Liu et al., 2021). Individual and interpersonal in the sense that its (re)construction results from a web of internal and external causes and processes. Recognizing that a person's identity is dependent on their surroundings is important because it suggests that a single person may have many identities in order to adapt to the broad variety of jobs and responsibilities they may experience during the course of their professional life. Because of this, an individual might have many identities based on their family life, their job life, their cultural background, their political leanings, and their religious views (Namaziandost et al., 2022a, 2022b; Salehizadeh et al., 2020).

As highlighted by Taylor (2017), the identity of the language teacher plays a significant role in the cyclical growth and rebuilding of the teacher's competence and effectiveness. This is because the teacher's identity acts as the primary motivator for these processes. This is a crucial duty that must be carried out in order to propel the iterative process of building knowledge and restoring competency. The TPI in the target language is a crucial component when it comes to the process of instructors adapting their methods to the ever-changing and increasing settings of language instruction (Xiang, 2021). In line with Huang and Benson (2013), it is possible for educators to improve their ability to perform effectively within their working environment by developing a professional self-image. To put it another way, if teachers were to increase their knowledge and proficiency in TI, it would likely allow them to enhance their performance at work (Yuan & Zhang, 2020). This will, in the long run, lead to an improvement in the quality of instruction received by language learners.

The present study

The scientific study of teacher flourishing as well as an applied method to operating at peak performance is what positive psychology is mainly concentrated. Although it is known that introducing new perspectives on ER, RT, S-E, and TPI may help improve their instruction, no research has examined the connections between these factors and TPW-B. There is a comparable dearth of investigation into the depth of TPW-B in the existing literature. With so many unanswered questions and so much riding on language teachers’ preconceived notion of professional well-being, this study sought to better understand the impacts of ER, RT, S-E, and TPI on TPW-B. A model is provided (Fig. 1) after reviewing the relevant literature and delving into the concepts that underneath it. Thus, the following research questions were generated by pondering these factors:

Fig. 1
figure 1

The suggested model

RQ1 Can ER of EFL teachers cast light on their TPW-B?

RQ2 Can RT of EFL instructors cast light on their TPW-B?

RQ3 Can S-E of EFL instructors cast light on their TPW-B?

RQ4 Can TPI of EFL instructors cast light on their TPW-B?

Materials and methods

Participants and setting

Participants in this research totaled 433, with 202 male and 231 female EFL teachers making up the total. Instructors were stationed at different junior and senior high schools around China in order to provide students with the opportunity to learn English. Participants varied in age from 25 to 53 years old, and their combined years of classroom experience were anywhere from one to thirty. There were 95 instructors who had doctorate degrees or were enrolled in doctoral programs, 146 instructors who held master's degrees, and the remaining instructors held bachelor's degrees.


The language teacher emotion regulation inventory (LTERI)

For the purpose of evaluating language instructors' ER, Heydarnejad et al. (2021) developed and validated the Language Teacher Emotion Regulation Inventory (LTERI), which is utilized for the assessment. This scale asks language instructors to reflect on situations that are comparable to those they have encountered in their own classrooms and to score the statements based on the emotion management techniques that they have used with their students. The LTERI consists of 27 items, each of which is scored between 1 (meaning "never") and 5 (meaning "always") on a 5-point Likert scale, and it is broken down into six different categories: situation selection, situation modification, attention deployment, reappraisal, and suppression, as well as seeking social assistance. In the current investigation, Cronbach's alpha test outcomes that were within the permissible range varied from 0.826 to 0.851, respectively (Table 1).

Table 1 Reliability results of the questionnaires

The English language teacher reflective inventory (ELTRI)

The English Language Teacher Reflective Inventory (ELTRI), which was developed by Akbari et al. (2010), is an instrument with 29 questions that encompasses 5 sub-components on a 5-point response scale. These sub-components are as follows: practical, cognitive, learner (affective), meta-cognitive, and critical factors. The Cronbach alpha coefficient of the reflective teaching questionnaire that was utilized for this research was determined, and it was revealed that it was 0.941 (from 0.800 to 0.889).

The teacher sense of efficacy scale (TSES)

The instructors' Sense of Efficacy Scale (long form), which was designed and validated by Tschannen-Moran et al. (1998), was used with the purpose of determining the S-E beliefs held by instructors. This measure is comprised of 24 items, each of which is rated on a 9-point Likert scale, and is divided into three sections: (1) effectiveness in student engagement, (2) efficacy in instructional tactics, and (3) efficacy in classroom management. According to Tschannen-Moran et al. (1998), both the overall dependability as well as the reliability of each individual element were good. According to the results of this research (Table 1), the reliability of the TSES, as measured by Cronbach's alpha, was adequate (with values ranging from 0.772 to 0.815).

The teacher's professional identity scale (TPIS)

Kao and Lin (2015) created the Teacher's Professional Identity Scale (TPIS) in order to assess TPI. It consists of 22 Likert-scale questions ranging from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree). Self-expectation, teachers' duties, external influential factors, pedagogy, instructional skills and knowledge, and citizenship behavior are the six subscales that make up the TPIS. In this study, it was determined that this instrument's reliability ranged from 0.726 to 0.860 (Table 1).

The psychological well-being at work scale (PWBWS)

For the purpose of this inquiry, an instrument called the Psychological Well-Being at Work (PWBWS by Dagenais-Desmarais & Savoie, 2012) was used as a means of measuring the degree of psychological well-being shown by teachers. Interpersonal Fit at Work, Thriving at Work, Feeling of Competence at Work, Perceived Recognition at Work, and Desire for Involvement at Work are the five underlying aspects that make up this questionnaire. Based on Table 1, all five of these facets have been shown to have strong reliability coefficients (ranging from 0.707 to 0.889). The scale consists of 25 statements, each of which is assessed on a 6-point scale, ranging from 0 (total disagreement) to 5 (full agreement), with 0 denoting a lack of any agreement at all. The scale's final score is based on the average of these scores.

Data collection procedures and analysis

The time frame for this inquiry was from January to May 2023. Web-based technologies (i.e., google forms) was used to accomplish the procedure. Participants were obligated to complete the survey using Online Questionnaires. The LTERI, ELTRI, TSES, TPIS, and PWBWS were all components of the survey. Since all the participants were not qualified to answer the questionnaires in English, they were translated into their mother tongue, Chinese. Three university professors and two translators check the content of the translated instruments and their comments were applied to modify the final version. Moreover, the design of the online survey necessitated close cooperation between its many components. This was done to make sure that no data was lost due to the structure of the survey. A total of 433 forms were returned, with a 63.37% return rate. The Kolmogorov–Smirnov test (K–S test) was carried out to confirm the data's normality of distribution. The normality of the data allowed for CFA and SEM analysis in LISREL 8.80.


In this part, a summary of the data analysis is made accessible, and an explanation is given for each component of the report. The first phase, which is shown by Table 2, entails the presentation of data that is descriptive in nature.

Table 2 Descriptive statistics

The two TERI subscales with the strongest average ratings were M = 17.656, SD = 4.620) and Reappraisal (M = 17.055, SD = 4.489). According to the results of the second instrument, the Reflective Teaching Inventory, Practical was shown to be the most significant factor (M = 20.524, SD = 5.543). Among the components of the third scale, Efficacy in Classroom Management received the highest mean score (M = 42.462, SD = 7.054). When broken down into its component sections, it was revealed that Pedagogy had the greatest mean value (78.970) and standard deviation (15.727) among the key factors that make up the Teacher Professional Identity Scale. When taking into consideration the Teacher Psychological Well-Being at Work Scale, the mean score for Interpersonal Fit at Work was the highest (M = 21.804, SD = 3.207).

The K–S test was then used in order to carry out an examination of the regular representations of the data that had previously been collected. Table 3 reveals that the sig values of all of the instruments and the components that make up those instruments were more than 0.05. As a result of this, one may get the conclusion that the results tracked a typical distribution, and as a result of this, it is permissible to employ parametric techniques while doing data analysis.

Table 3 The Results of K–S Test

According to the information shown in Table 2, every instrument and its subscales had a sig value that was higher than 0.05. Since the data follow a normal distribution, parametric approaches might be used to analyze them.

In this research, a Pearson product-moment correlation was used to investigate the degree to which ER, RT, S-E, TPI, and TPW-B are associated with one another.

The data on Table 4 indicated that there were substantial links that existed between the different aspects of ER and the different dimensions of TPW-B. That is to say, there was evidence of beneficial connections that were statistically significant between Interpersonal Fit at Work (r = 0.663), Thriving at Work (r = 0.625), Feeling of Competency at Work (r = 0.715), Perceived Recognition at Work (r = 0.646), and Desire for Involvement at Work (r = 0.692). Moreover, Interpersonal Fit at Work (r = 0.915), Thriving at Work(r = 0.856), Feeling of Competency at Work (r = 0.960), Perceived Recognition at Work (r = 0.933), and Desire for Involvement at Work (r = 0.892) were found to have a significant correlation with RT. Significant connections were also discovered between different TPW-B dimensions and teachers' S-E. The following connections were found to exist: Interpersonal Fit at Work (r = 0.804), Thriving at Work (r = 0.723), Feeling of Competency at Work (r = 0.814), Perceived Recognition at Work (r = 0.789), and Desire for Involvement at Work (r = 0.755). It was discovered that there are significant and positive connections between the various subcomponents of TPW-B and TPI: Interpersonal Fit at Work (r = 0.532), Thriving at Work (r = 0.558), Feeling of Competency at Work (r = 0.506), Perceived Recognition at Work (r = 0.608), as well as Desire for Involvement at Work (r = 0.589).

Table 4 The correlation coefficients between ER, RT, S-E, TPI, and the subscales of TPW-B

Next, a CAF and SEM analysis of the causal links between ER, RT, S-E, TPI, and TPW-B was undertaken. These investigations were carried out using the statistical software LISREL 8.80. The degree of agreement between the model and the data was measured using many different metrics, including the chi-square magnitude, the Root Mean Squared Error of Approximation (RMSEA), the Comparative matched Index (CFI), the good fit index (GFI), and the Nominal Fit Index (NFI). A significant result should not be obtained by the chi-square test, and the ratio of chi-square to df should be less than three. According to Jöreskog (1990), RMSEA levels that are less than 0.1 are often regarded to be acceptable in research settings. In addition, Jöreskog (1990) proposes that the cutoff value for the NFI, GFI, and CFI need to be 0.90 or above in all three cases.

The data are shown in Table 5, and they reveal that all of the fit levels, including the chi-square/df ratio (2.928), the RMSEA (0.067), the GFI (0.934), the NFI (0.939), and the CFI (0.945), were within the acceptable limits (Model 1). In addition, the findings shown in Table 4 suggest that the parameters necessary for a good fit in relation to Model 2 have been satisfied. These conditions include the chi-square/df ratio (2.800), the RMSEA (0.064), the GFI (0.944), the NFI (0.952), and the CFI (0.931).

Table 5 Model fit indices

Figures 2 and 3 exhibit a graphical depiction of the correlation that exists between the variables. The presentation of standardized estimates and t-values, respectively, is used to study the effect of Teacher ER, RT, S-E, and TPI on TPW-B. Teacher ER (β = 0. 63, t = 14.12), RT (β = 0.88, t = 21.34), S-E (β = 0.75, t = 18.66), and TPI (β = 0.54, t = 9.89) have all been demonstrated to have a beneficial influence on academic well-being.

Fig. 2
figure 2

The values of the path coefficients expressed in a schematic format (model 1)

Fig. 3
figure 3

T values for path coefficient significance (model 1)

Correlations between Teacher ER, RT, S-E, TPI, and the TPW-B subscales are displayed visually in Figs. 4 and 5 using the actual values of the coefficients provided by Model 2. It was found that there was a correlation between Teacher ER and Interpersonal Fit at Work (β = 0. 64, t = 14.48), Thriving at Work (β = 0. 60, t = 12.89), Feeling of Competency at Work (β = 0.69, t = 15.56), Perceived Recognition at Work (β = 0.62, t = 13.73), and Desire for Involvement at Work (β = 0.67, t = 15.31). It was discovered that there was a correlation between the findings of RT and Interpersonal Fit at Work (β = 0.89, t = 22.75), Thriving at Work (β = 0.83, t = 19.57), Feeling of Competency at Work (β = 0.95, t = 26.63), Perceived Recognition at Work (β = 0.92, t = 24.48), and Desire for Involvement at Work (β = 0.87, t = 20.92). S-E and Interpersonal Fit at Work (β = 0.78, t = 17.89), Thriving at Work (β = 0.71, t = 16.14), Feeling of Competency at Work (β = 0.80, t = 19.24), Perceived Recognition at Work (β = 0.76, t = 17.24), and Desire for Involvement at Work (β = 0.73, t = 16.92) were found to have a positive correlation. Positive correlations were found between TPI and Interpersonal Fit at Work (β = 0.51, t = 8.86), Thriving at Work (β = 0.53, t = 9.64), Feeling of Competency at Work (β = 0.48, t = 6.51), Perceived Recognition at Work (β = 0.59, t = 12.45), and Desire for Involvement at Work (β = 0.56, t = 10.70).

Fig. 4
figure 4

The values of the path coefficients expressed in a schematic format (model 2)

Fig. 5
figure 5

T values for path coefficient significance (model 2)


The goal of the current study is to determine whether or not ER, RT, S-E, and TPI are capable of providing a significant prediction of TPW-B for EFL instructors. In order to verify the structure that lies underneath the aforementioned structures and to explain how their interactions are mutually beneficial to one another, a method known as structural equation modeling was used. This was done in order to validate the underlying structure that exists between the structures. This was done in order to demonstrate how the two different structures work together to form a whole. When all of the results of the research were considered together, they offered evidence in support of the hypothesis that ER, RT, S-E, and TPI each play a mediating role in the process of cultivating teachers' TPW-B. In the next paragraphs, the results of the research are dissected and analyzed in more depth than before in the preceding paragraphs.

The examination of the data lends support to the hypothesis that a high ER level might function as a predictor of a similarly increased TPW-B level (RQ1). To put it another way, the findings of the study demonstrated that the individuals" potential levels of TPW-B in their occupations grew in proportion to the degree to which they used emotion regulating approaches. The findings also demonstrated that ER had a positive influence on each of the four components that make up TPW-B (Model 2). In light of the findings, it was discovered that those who were able to keep tabs on their moods while working were more likely to maintain a healthy emotional balance. This was shown to be the case regardless of the kind of job they did. ER users may have higher levels of self-awareness and self-regulation (Jiang et al., 2016), make more well-considered decisions (Heydarnejad et al., 2022; Taylor et al., 2020), have greater psychological health and L2 grit, and have better relationships with peers and superiors (Sudina et al., 2021).

This indicates that ER may be able to offer a way of minimizing the consequences of work situations and supporting a better work-life balance for its users. Both Fathi et al. (2021) and Xie (2021) come to conclusions that are in line with what we have seen in our own research. These results lend credence to those obtained by Zheng et al. (2022), who discovered a significant relationship between the feeling of S-E possessed by university faculty members and their dogged determination to instruct students in a second language. The findings that were gathered are in line with those that were found by Li et al. (2022). They came to the conclusion that the ER played an important part on the TPW-B and S-E of the academics working in the Iranian EFL context.

In addition, the findings demonstrated that RT have an effect on the TPW-B of the subjects (Model 1). Taking into consideration this outcome, one may suggest that RT and cognitive evaluation helped the participants better manage and maintain tabs on their moods by providing them with more information about those sensations. Since it is probable that the combination of logical cognition and emotional experience was responsible for effective TPW-B, it is possible that EFL instructors were better able to achieve both personal and professional demands. The results demonstrate, in a manner that is consistent with the findings of previous research (such as Amirian et al., 2023; Gheith & Aljaberi, 2018; Namaziandost et al., 2023), that the amount of more advanced thinking that teachers possess is related to the level of their professional well-being.

The data that were produced also demonstrated the positive effects that RT has on the sub-scales of TPW-B. The results indicated, to put it another way, that the level of thinking possessed by EFL instructors had a direct bearing on the cognitive, emotional, and social states that were shown by those teachers. On the basis of the data, one may make the case that the reflective practices of academics lead to more thoughtful and effective analysis, synthesis, and assessment of their work. That is to say, by considering their professional challenges and ambiguities via the prism of RT, the participants may have been able to cultivate more complex modes of thinking and used more effective approaches for addressing them. There is a possibility that the language teacher RT model developed by Akbari et al. (2010) will be used in order to offer context for the findings. In keeping with this idea, one may make the assertion that participants who reflected on their work spent a greater amount of time engaged in critical, analytical, and evaluative thought about their work. Being in this situation may have significantly improved the participants' capacity for critical thinking as well as their ability to manage classroom activities with more awareness and insight.

The data also suggested that if EFL instructors worked on improving their S-E abilities, they may get better TPW-B ratings. Educators who possess this talent are able to evaluate their own emotional experiences and get direction on how to improve their overall professional well-being. An in-depth analysis of the data revealed that the S-E beliefs held by instructors had a significant bearing on the four sub-components that make up TPW-B (Model 2). Bandura's (2012) core notions of social-cognitive theory provide validity to this research by underlining the necessity for educators to take an active role in the development of their own self-control, self-worth, and efficacy beliefs. S-E, also known as confidence in one's own skills to accomplish objectives, enables EFL instructors to identify and capitalize on their strengths. As a direct consequence of S-E, language educators are being enjoined to modify their methods in the classroom so that they are more cautious, informed, and up to date. To put it another way, S-E refers to the present requirement for making significant and suitable adjustments in one's educational pursuits as well as one's own personal development (Chen, 2018; Heydarnejad et al., 2022).

In addressing the fourth study question, the data that was obtained revealed that TPI may be able to predict the TPW-B of the EFL teachers. The data also showed that TPI had a positive influence on the subcomponents that were a part of TPW-B. To put it another way, the data that was gathered demonstrated that the levels of TPI possessed by EFL instructors had a direct influence on the cognitive, emotive, and social lenses through which they saw the world. The results provide validity to the allegations that the TPI allowed for comprehensive and competent analysis. This analysis included assessment, emancipation, and inspection of the acts carried out by the language instructors. According to Sheybani and Miri's research (2019), EFL instructors may have a higher perception of their own professional competence as a result of training in TPI. This data offers implicit support to the hypothesis that instructors of foreign languages could benefit from creating a feeling of RT, S-E, and ER for their students. However, this conclusion cannot be compared and contrasted with others since no prior study has explicitly studied the link between language teachers' professional identities and their TPW-B. Consequently, this finding cannot be compared and contrasted with other findings. Nevertheless, it might stimulate the growth of more study in the area of TEFL.


The current research offered convincing empirical proof that EFL instructors are able to improve their psychological well-being with the assistance of ER, RT, S-E, and TPI. That is to say, EFL teachers who are armed with the capabilities and methods of ER, RT, S-E, and TPI may be able to change their actions and match them with the psychological and mental display needs of the position they hold. This is because ER and RT are both receptive techniques, while S-E and TPI are expressive techniques. The inferences that can be made from the results of this research show that it would be beneficial for educator instructors to add information and methodologies related to ER, RT, S-E, and TPI into their course schedules in order to develop more effective preliminary and in-service training programs for their teachers. This would allow the educators to better prepare their students for the classroom. This is the logical conclusion that can be drawn from the observation that it would be beneficial for instructors to include effective tactics into the curriculum that they provide. Furthermore, individuals who are in charge of making choices about education should be firmly encouraged to take these data into consideration. Because of this, students will have the opportunity to develop an in-depth understanding of the factors that impact the efficiency of educational programs and teachers.

Besides, it is essential for educators, teachers, and decision-makers to get an understanding of the major role that ER, RT, S-E, and TPI play in the profession of language teaching. This is of utmost significance in light of the fact that TPW-B for language teachers is a trend that is now gaining traction. Because of this, research projects such as the one that is now being carried out provide information that is not only illuminating but also has the potential to be valuable to those who are employed in the field of language instruction. In teacher education programs, there should be a greater focus placed on the need to emphasize the environmental, cognitive, and mental aspects that affect the success of TPI. This is because these factors all have an impact. This is something that requires more stress to be placed on it. The premises of this study may also be useful for resource developers, who may then put their experience to use in order to create instructional materials and activities that make use of ER, RT, S-E, TPI, and TPW-B.

There are some caveats to this study that might be explored in future studies. Because of the convenience sample technique that was used to choose the participants, more study in various types of educational settings is required in order to widen the applicability of the findings. In spite of the fact that this study made use of a quantitative methodology, it seems that any future research that investigates the link between ER, RT, ER, RT, S-E, and TPI, TPI, and TPW-B would be best served by making use of a mixed-methods approach. This is because a quantitative methodology was used in this inquiry. In addition, since demographic aspects such as the instructors' majors, their prior levels of competence, as well as their cultural and socioeconomic circumstances were not investigated in this research. As a direct result of this, it is advised to researchers that in the future they carry out similar study investigations while taking into consideration the demographic elements that are related with teachers. Last but not least, since this study was a cross-sectional one, there is a second need for more longitudinal research to be carried out in order to evaluate the effects of ER, RT, ER, RT, S-E, and TPI, and TPI on TPW-B over the long term. This is because the current study was a cross-sectional one.

Availability of data and materials

The authors state that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article.



English as foreign language


Language Teacher Emotion Regulation Inventory


English Language Teacher Reflective Inventory


Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale


Professional identity scale


Psychological well-being at work


Teacher psychological well-being


Emotion regulation


Reflective teaching


Structural equation modeling


Confirmatory factor analysis


Reflective teaching


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This study is supported via funding from Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University Project Number (PSAU 2023 /R/1444).

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Correspondence to Bemnet Ajanil.

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Ismail, S.M., Patra, I., Yang, H. et al. Language teacher psychological well-being: an insight into the impacts of emotion regulation, reflective teaching, self-efficacy, and identity in an EFL context. Asian. J. Second. Foreign. Lang. Educ. 8, 44 (2023).

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