385 research outputs found

    Are foreign language learners’ enjoyment and anxiety specific to the teacher? An investigation into the dynamics of learners’ classroom emotions

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    Previous research has considered fluctuations in students’ foreign language enjoyment (FLE) and foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA) over months or years (Dewaele & MacIntyre, 2014, 2016). However, there has been no investigation of the effect of the teacher on these emotions at a single point in time. In this study, we investigate the question whether FL learners experience similar levels of FLE and FLCA in the same language if they have two different teachers. Participants were 40 London-based secondary school students studying modern languages with one Main Teacher and one Second Teacher. Statistical analysis revealed that while FLCA was constant with both teachers, FLE was significantly higher with the Main Teacher. Predictors of FLE such as attitudes towards the teacher, the teacher’s frequency of use of the target language in class and unpredictability were also significantly more positive for the Main Teacher. Item-level analysis revealed that the teacher creating a positive emotional atmosphere in class contributed to the higher FLE score. Items that reflected more stable personal and group characteristics varied less between the two teachers. The findings suggest that FLE is more teacher-dependent than FLCA, which is more stable across teachers

    Sociodemographic, psychological and politicocultural correlates in Flemish students' attitudes towards French and English

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    An analysis of 100 Flemish high-school students' attitudes towards French and English (both foreign languages) revealed complex links etween personality factors, gender, politicocultural identity, communicative behaviour and foreign language attitudes. Attitudes towards English were found to be much more positive than those towards French, despite the fact that the participants had enjoyed a longer and more intense formal instruction in French (it being their second language). The independent variables were found to have stronger effects for French than for English, with the exception of politicocultural identity of the participant, which had a strong effect on attitudes towards French but not English. Overall, it seems that social factors, including exposure to the foreign languages, are linked with lowerlevel personality dimensions and thus shape attitudes towards these languages

    Vous or tu? Native and non-native speakers of French on a sociolinguistic tightrope

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    Sociolinguistic rules governing choice of pronouns of address are notoriously difficult in French, despite the fact that the number of variants is rather limited: the more formal vous versus the more informal tu. Children with French as L1 learn to use pronouns of address appropriately as part of their socialization process. The learning curve is much steeper for instructed learners of French and many never reach the summit. The present contribution focuses on the effects of situational and sociobiographical variables on the self-reported and actual use of pronouns of address in native and non-native French. Data on self-reported pronoun use in different situations were collected from 125 participants through a written questionnaire. A corpus of conversations between native (n = 9) and non-native (n = 52) speakers of French provided data on the actual use of address pronouns

    Blistering barnacles! What language do multilinguals swear in?!

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    The present contribution focuses on the effects of language dominance / attrition, context of acquisition, age of onset of learning, frequency of general use of a language and sociodemographic variables on self-reported language choice for swearing. The analysis is based on a database to which 1039 multilinguals contributed through a web based questionnaire. Results suggest that, according to the self-reports, swearing happens most frequently in the multilinguals’ dominant language. Mixed instruction, an early start in the learning process, and frequent use of a language all contribute to the choice of that language for swearing. Sociodemographic variables were not found to have any effect. Frequency of language choice for swearing was found to be positively correlated with perceived emotional force of swearwords in that language. Quantitative results based on answers to close-ended questions corresponded to participants’ responses to open-ended questions

    Diachronic and/or synchronic variation? The acquisition of sociolinguistic competence in L2 French.

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    A majority of the early research in Second Language Acquisition focused on diachronic variation in the learners’ interlanguage (IL), that is, differences in the IL linked to a supposed increase in knowledge between two points in time (cf. Tarone 1988). The last decade has seen an increase in studies combining a diachronic perspective with a synchronic one, that is, where variation in production is seen as the consequence of individual differences among learners (gender, extraversion, learning strategies, attitudes, motivation, sociobiographical variables linked to the language learning experience and the use of the target language (TL)). In this perspective, non-native-like patterns are not automatically assumed to be the result of incomplete knowledge, but other possible causes are taken into consideration such as temporary inaccessibility of information in stressful situations or even a conscious decision by the L2 user to deviate from the TL norm

    Learner internal psychological factors

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    Book synopsis: What is language and how can we investigate its acquisition by children or adults? What perspectives exist from which to view acquisition? What internal constraints and external factors shape acquisition? What are the properties of interlanguage systems? This comprehensive 31-chapter handbook is an authoritative survey of second language acquisition (SLA). Its multi-perspective synopsis on recent developments in SLA research provides significant contributions by established experts and widely recognized younger talent. It covers cutting edge and emerging areas of enquiry not treated elsewhere in a single handbook, including third language acquisition, electronic communication, incomplete first language acquisition, alphabetic literacy and SLA, affect and the brain, discourse and identity. Written to be accessible to newcomers as well as experienced scholars of SLA, the Handbook is organised into six thematic sections, each with an editor-written introduction

    Investigating the psychological and emotional dimensions in instructed language learning: obstacles and possibilities

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    In this article I put forth the core argument that Second Language Acquisition (SLA) needs to account for the psychological and emotional dimensions of second language (L2) learning, but that a number of epistemological and methodological difficulties must be surmounted before this new research program can be a reality. To illustrate my arguments, I examine in depth 2 research programs developed by my colleagues and me over the last decade: research on extraversion as a psychological variable investigated within the tradition of individual differences in SLA, and research on the expression of emotion in the L2. Throughout the article, I argue against research isolationism and for more interdisciplinarity in the field of instructed SLA. I contend that research on instructed SLA would benefit from an increased methodological and epistemological diversity and that a focus on affect and emotion among researchers might inspire authors of teaching materials and foreign language teachers to pay increased attention to the communication of emotion and the development of sociocultural competence in a L2

    Word order variation in interrogative structures of native and non-native French

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    Inter-individual variation in the use of direct interrogative structures (N=450) is explored in a corpus of spoken native and non-native French. A quantitative analysis of the data reveals that while non-native speakers seem to avoid non-standard structures, they do not use more formal variants systematically. Comparison with data from other native and non-native corpora reveals important differences in the frequency of particular interrogative structures. The choice of interrogative structure seems to be influenced by a number of situational, pragmatic and socio-stylistic variables

    Psychological and sociodemographic correlates of communicative anxiety in L2 and L3 production

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    This paper analyses foreign language anxiety in the French L2 and English L3 speech production of 100 Flemish students. The findings suggest that foreign language anxiety is not a stable personality trait among experienced language learners. The societal as well as the individual contexts were found to determine levels of communicative anxiety. The perception of French as the former prestige language in Flanders and its function as a social marker was found to be linked to the participants' social class, which was, in turn, linked to levels of anxiety in French - but not in English. This social effect appeared to be a stronger predictor of communicative anxiety in French than three personality variables (extraversion, neuroticism, and psychoticism). Psychoticism, extraversion, and, to a lesser extent, neuroticism did however significantly predict levels of communicative anxiety in English L3 production. Students who scored high on the extraversion and psychoticism scales reported significant lower levels of communicative anxiety in English. Those who scored low on the neuroticism scale also tended to report lower levels of communicative anxiety in English. The same pattern emerged for communicative anxiety in French without reaching statistical significance