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Affect: The Role of Language Anxiety and Other Emotions in Language Learning

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Psychology for Language Learning

Abstract

The term ‘affect’ includes many things, such as feelings of self-confidence, feeling willing to communicate, or feeling anxious. Perhaps the most widely studied affective reaction to L2 communication, and the main focus of this chapter, is language anxiety. Language anxiety is a term that encompasses the feelings of worry and negative, fear-related emotions associated with learning or using a language that is not an individual’s mother tongue. The term covers language being learned in locations where intergroup contact is available (so-called ‘second’ language) or not available (so-called ‘foreign’ language) and also covers various language skills (especially speaking, but also reading, writing, and comprehension). After reviewing the literature on language anxiety, we will consider the issue of affective variables more broadly. There is still much to learn about the role of affective variables in Second Language Acquisition (SLA), and we will conclude with some suggestions for future research.

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© 2012 Peter MacIntyre and Tammy Gregersen

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MacIntyre, P., Gregersen, T. (2012). Affect: The Role of Language Anxiety and Other Emotions in Language Learning. In: Mercer, S., Ryan, S., Williams, M. (eds) Psychology for Language Learning. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137032829_8

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