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    The power to improve: effects of multilingualism and perceived proficiency on enjoyment and anxiety in foreign language learning

    Botes, E. and Dewaele, Jean-Marc and Greiff, S (2020) The power to improve: effects of multilingualism and perceived proficiency on enjoyment and anxiety in foreign language learning. European Journal of Applied Linguistics 8 (2), pp. 279-306. ISSN 2192-953X.

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    The study examines whether already knowing several languages and feeling proficient in a new foreign language (FL) has an effect on positive and negative emotions during the learning. The emergence of positive psychology in language acquisition studies has led to the examination of positive emotions in the FL learning process, such as Foreign Language Enjoyment (FLE). FLE is a positive emotional state where psychological needs are met and was introduced as the positive emotion counterpart to the oft studied negative emotion, Foreign Language Anxiety (FLA). A international sample of 1622 FL learners were analysed utilising multivariate tests of variance, examining the level of multilingualism and the level of self-perceived FL proficiency as independent variables, with FLE and FLA as dependent variables. Results indicated a very small, but statistically significant interaction effect between the level of multilingualism and self-perceived FL proficiency on the FLA of the language learner, but not on FLE. In addition, higher levels of multilingualism were associated with higher levels of enjoyment and lower levels of anxiety in FL learners. In turn, more self-perceived proficient FL learners indicated higher levels of enjoyment and lower levels of anxiety. Although effect sizes were in some cases very small, the results do indicate the benefits multilinguals and higher proficiency FL learners have when learning a FL.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Foreign Language Enjoyment, Foreign Language Anxiety, Multilingualism, Self-Perceived Proficiency, Individual Differences in Language Learning
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Research Centres and Institutes: London Geochronology Centre, Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MAMSIE), Media and Culture, Birkbeck Interdisciplinary Research in (BIRMAC), Medical Humanities, Centre for, Medieval and Early Modern Worlds, Moving Image, Birkbeck Institute for the (BIMI), Multilingual and Multicultural Research, Centre for (CMMR)
    Depositing User: Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2020 10:02
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:49


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