Introduction to the Issue
There are six regular papers and a review in this volume, and we wish to extend our most sincere thanks to the authors for placing their work and trust in the hands of a very recent venture and one that we hope will flourish, grow in readership and provide a much needed spotlight for works in the field of psychology in language learning. This second volume starts off with a paper by Toshie Agawa, with a study on relatedness and motivation in the L2 classroom in Japan. Based on the teachings of Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), Agawa looks at the benefits of relationships among classmates on students’ task engagement with the intention that the findings might inform classroom practitioners as to the benefits of group management. Her findings feature the significance of relationships forged either inside or outside the classroom and their effect on in-class task behaviour.
The second paper, by Louise Botes, Jean-Marc Dewaele, and Samuel Greiff, provides an exhaustive meta-analysis of the work carried out to-date on the phenomenon of anxiety in language learning. The authors examined the relationship between FLCA measured through the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) and five forms of academic achievement: general academic achievement and four competency-specific outcome scores (reading-, writing-, listening-, and speaking academic achievement). The results of the study confirm the negative association between FLCA and academic achievement in foreign language courses.
The third article, by Neil Curry, Kate Maher, and Ward Peeters, describes a study in which the authors examine students’ emotions in the face of a series of classroom and social L2 communicative scenarios (Gkonou & Oxford, 2016). They also look at learners’ coping strategies in a selection of these scenarios. In their findings, the inability to speak out in class was the most negatively rated scenario. In addition, they found a relationship between the frequency of scenario experiences and associated negative evaluations.
Our fourth paper, by Isabelle Drewelow, looks at fostering engagement and enhancing positive emotions in a technology based course of Business French. The study examines how using flow criteria to guide the integration of technology affects the learning experience and aims to better understand the links between flow, emotions, project design criteria, and effective use of technology for language learning. The findings suggest that the integration of technology can be further enhanced by its potential to generate positive emotions to support engagement in foreign language learning.
We return to the topic of language learner anxiety in our fifth paper which is based on a study by Kate Maher and Jim King, who take an innovative perspective on classroom anxiety by examining how this can be reflected through silence and non-verbal cues. In addition to employing the facilitative functions of silence such as cognitive processing, their interviewees reported using silence to navigate interpersonal interactions with their classmates. Another reason for classroom silence was fear of negative evaluation by peers. The authors also find that anxious learners may limit social exchanges in the target language for image protection purposes.
Our 6th and final paper in this volume, by Christina Stavraki and Evangelia Karagianni, turns attention to the language teacher and, using positive psychology as a backdrop, explores the resilience of classroom practitioners. A quantitative questionnaire study was designed to examine Greek EFL teachers’ resilience in relation to demographic, occupational, and school/class characteristics.
To round off this second volume, we have a review of a much needed and, indeed, incredibly timely publication on Teacher Wellbeing by Sarah Mercer and Tammy Gregersen, published by Oxford University Press. The review by Amanda Yoshida briefly summarises the eight chapters and makes suggestions about how the activities could be used in practice.
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