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[en] This thesis investigates two emotion variables in the foreign language (FL) classroom, namely the negative emotion of Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety (FLCA) and the positive emotion of Foreign Language Enjoyment (FLE). FLCA is the unique situation-specific anxiety experienced by FL learners when confronted with the challenges of FL learning. FLE, in turn, is a broad positive emotion experienced when psychological needs are met during the course of FL learning. The dissertation examines three main themes regarding FLCA and FLE, namely (1) the psychometric measurement of the two emotion variables, (2) the relationship an interactions between FLCA and FLE, and (3) the broader nomological network of individual differences in FL learning.
In Chapter 1, an overview of the development, definition, design, and measurement of FLCA and FLE is given. In addition, the current state of the literature regarding the relationship between FLCA and FLE and the broader nomological network is provided. This is followed by the five manuscripts that form the main body of the dissertation in Chapters 2 to 6. Papers 1 and 4 have already been published in peer-reviewed journals, whereas papers 2, 3, and 5 are currently under peer-review.
The first empirical paper in this dissertation introduces the construct of FLCA by providing an extensive overview of the literature as well as a meta-analysis of FLCA and academic achievement. The paper addresses the research aim of examining the broader nomological network of the emotion variables and confirms the negative association between FLCA and academic achievement.
The second paper follows with a second meta-analysis, this time with FLE at center stage. An overview of the literature regarding FLE is provided along with four individual meta-analyses of FLE and academic achievement, self-perceived achievement, willingness to communicate, and FLCA. The meta-analyses confirmed the positive association between FLE and academic achievement, self-perceived achievement and willingness to communicate. Furthermore, the negative association between FLCA and FLE found across the literature is confirmed. The paper contributes to the broader aim of examining the nomological network of the emotion variables.
The third contribution investigated the measurement of FLE. The positive emotions variable was introduction to the research lexicon with an accompanying 21-item scale. The third paper attempted to develop a short-form of the 21-item scale and in the process uncover the factor structure underlying FLE. As a result, the third manuscript developed and validated a nine-item, three-factor hierarchical measure of FLE, which can be used with confidence in future studies. The third paper contributes to the overall aim of examining the measurement of the emotion variables.
The fourth paper examined the broader nomological network of the two emotion variables by investigating the effect of multilingualism and self-perceived proficiency on FLCA and FLE. Previous research findings have theorized that a possible interaction effect may occur between the level of multilingualism and proficiency on emotions in the FL class. The study confirms an interaction effect of multilingualism and self-perceived proficiency on FLCA, but not FLE. The fourth manuscript contributes to the overall aim of examining the broader nomological network of FLCA and FLE.
The fifth and final paper in the dissertation examined the complex interactions between FLCA and FLE on the perceived proficiency of an FL learner. Through the use of polynomial regression and response surface modelling, a three-dimensional model was rendered which visually depicted the complex non-linear interactions between FLCA and FLE. Furthermore, the relative ‘strengths’ of FLCA and FLE in the interaction effect could be examined with the negative impact of FLCA seeming to outweigh the positive impact of FLE in certain instances.
Chapter 7 provides a general discussion of all papers included in the main body of the dissertation, as well as practical implications and limitations to the research. Lastly, chapter 8 provides additional manuscripts written during the course of my doctoral studies but which does not attempt to address the three main aims of the dissertation.
Positive and Negative Emotions in Language Learning: Measurement, Interactions, and Nomological Network