Dr Taguhi Sahakyan

Dr Taguhi Sahakyan


I have been involved in the field of second language education since 2005 and have worked as an English language teacher and lecturer in higher education contexts both in Armenia and the United Kingdom.

I gained my PhD in Education from the University of Leeds, which was funded through a School of Education Scholarship. Before joining the School of Education as a lecturer in TESOL, I taught EAP on various pre-sessional programmes at the School of Languages and Cultures. 

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


  • MA/MED TESOL Programme Lead
  • Academic Employability Lead
  • Module manager

Research interests

My main research interests are linked to language learning/teaching motivation, with a special focus on teacher motivation. In my research, I gained an in-depth understanding of how English teachers’ motivation evolves during their career and how it is socially constructed in day to day contexts of work. Considering the exploratory nature of the study, I combined possible selves theory (Markus & Nurius, 1986) with a person-in-context relational view (Ushioda, 2009) and proposed Teacher Motivational Self Framework which connects psychological and social aspects of teacher motivation and provides a more holistic approach to researching it (Sahakyan, et al. 2018). 

Invited talks

Sahakyan, T. “Researching L2 motivation: MA students’ perceptions and reality”, Forum on Language Learning Motivation, University of Warwick, February 16, 2019.

Sahakyan, T. “Sustaining EFL teacher motivation: “I already feel exhausted”. TESOL Toulouse, France, March 25, 2017.

Selected conference presentations

Sahakyan, T. “Isolated, excluded and black: A teacher’s experience of the lockdown.” IATEFL international conference, Belfast, May 17-20, 2022.

Sahakyan, T. “Native speaker teacher self evolution: 'What the hell is infinitive?” 30th Conference of the European Second Language Association, University of Barcelona. June 30 - July 3, 2021.

Sahakyan, T. “Teacher selves in context: ‘I don’t know whether or not I’ll ever achieve that image.” 50th BAAL conference, University of Leeds. August 31 – September 1, 2017.

Sahakyan, T. “Rethinking EFL teacher motivation” TESOL France 35th Annual colloquium, Paris, France. November 18-20, 2016.

Sahakyan, T. “EFL teacher motivation: Others and I within the feasible self” 49th BAAL conference, Anglia Ruskin University. September 1-3, 2016.

Recent blogs



<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD in Education (TESOL), University of Leeds
  • MA Applied Linguistics, University of Nottingham
  • MA Teaching English as a Foreign Language, American University of Armenia
  • BA English, Russian and Literature, Yerevan State University of Linguistics

Professional memberships

  • International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language
  • British Association of Applied Linguistics
  • TESOL International Association

Student education

I teach modules on the BA Education and MA TESOL & MA TESOL Studies programmes covering the following areas:

  • language teaching methodology
  • teaching languages to young learners
  • vocabulary teaching and learning

I also supervise postgraduate taught and research students.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for Language Education

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>The school welcomes enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>