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Title: Emotion and language learning : an exploration of experience and motivation in a Mexican university context
Author: Méndez López, Mariza Guadalupe
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 931X
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2011
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Although there have been numerous studies on motivation in foreign language learning and on emotions in general education, little research in foreign language learning have focused on the relation between motivation and learners' emotions (Maclntyre, 2002), as this shift to the affective side of motivation has only recently been suggested. Thus, this study aims to contribute to the body of knowledge on how foreign language learning motivation is shaped by emotional experiences. In order to gain a better understanding of the emotional experiences originating during classroom instruction and their impact on foreign language learners' motivation, I carried out a qualitative study focusing on 18 students in an ELT programme in a Southeast Mexican university. Data was gathered through personal narratives, an Emotional Reactions Journal and semi-structured interviews. Analysis and interpretation of findings was done using a Grounded Theory approach in order to focus on the views of the participants themselves. Findings reveal the pervasive influence of emotional reactions on foreign language learners' motivation. Emotions, whether negative or positive, impact not only negatively but also positively. Emotional reactions reported by participants mainly originated from teachers' interpersonal skills and the classroom environment. Although participants in this study reported more negative than positive affective experiences, the outcomes of these experiences were positive. The Mexican socio-economic context played a crucial role in helping students transform negative experiences into learning and motivational strategies which proved to be beneficial, not only for their learning processes, but also for their personal development. The study highlights the crucial role language learners' emotional experiences have on their motivational behaviour and the significant influence teachers have on this. Recommendations for language teachers are offered so they can help foreign language learners minimise the negative impact of emotional experiences on their learning process, and promote positive emotions conducive to learning and energising learners' motivation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Philology. Linguistics ; LB1050 Educational psychology