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    “You can't start a fire without a spark”. Enjoyment, anxiety, and the emergence of flow in foreign language classrooms

    Dewaele, Jean-Marc and MacIntyre, P. (2022) “You can't start a fire without a spark”. Enjoyment, anxiety, and the emergence of flow in foreign language classrooms. Applied Linguistics Review , ISSN 1868-6303.

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    The present study adopted a mixed-methods approach using a convergent parallel design to focus on the role that positive and negative emotions have in the Foreign Language (FL) classroom on the ontogenesis of positive flow. Participants were 1044 FL learners from around the world. They provided quantitative and qualitative data on FL enjoyment (FLE), classroom anxiety (FLCA) and experience of flow via an on-line questionnaire (Dewaele and MacIntyre 2014). FLE was a significantly stronger predictor of frequency of flow experience than FLCA. Further statistical analyses revealed that flow experiences are typically self-centred, infrequent and short-lived at the start of the FL learning journey and when the perceived social standing in the group is low. They become an increasingly shared experience, more frequent, stronger and more sustained as learners reach a more advanced level in their FL. What starts as an occasional individual spark can turn into a true fire that extends to other group members. The findings are illustrated by participants’ reports on enjoyable episodes in the FL classroom in which some reported complete involvement in an individual or collective task, merging of action and awareness, joyful bonding with classmates, intense focus and joy, loss of self-consciousness, sense of time and place


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Classroom emotions, Foreign Language Enjoyment, Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety, Flow
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2022 13:52
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:53


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