mart01.rtf

Here work in positive psychology might also offer

  • No School
  • AA 1
  • 19

This preview shows page 8 - 10 out of 19 pages.

class and that they feel the work is personally meaningful and relevant to them. Here, work in positive psychology might also offer some useful insights to ensure that our learners ‘flourish’ in our language classes (Seligman, 2001). The aim of positive psychology is to understand successes, instances of where things work well and people are happy and content. Research in this area has shown that positive emotions and attitudes can help people to cope better with anxiety, be more resilient in the face of criticisms or problems, have better general health and more overall well-being (Frederickson, 2011; Seligman, 2001). Within SLA, little has been done yet working explicitly with interventions from positive psychology although interest is growing in this area (see, e.g., Gregersen, MacIntyre, & Mercer, forthcoming; MacIntyre & Gregersen, 2014). The general acceptance is that despite some genetic predispositions towards happiness, people can increase their overall levels of positivity by some considerable degree (Lyubomirsky, 2010). One teacher (Fresacher, forthcoming), who has been working with positive psychology tools in the language classroom, reports on her successes and suggests practical ideas adapted from the interventions in other fields, such as keeping a gratitude journal or portfolio of successes and positive experiences in language learning, reflecting on one’s strengths as a language learner, using positive visualisation techniques to combat speaking or test anxiety, and learning to work on active constructive listening skills and empathy in communication (for empathy, see also Mercer, forthcoming). In addition, much work has been done in the past on concentrating on positive emotions such as in the humanist approaches. Oxford (1990, p. 140) has also suggested three categories of affective strategies that teachers and learners can use to manage their emotions. She centres them around the acronym ‘LET’ – for L owering anxiety, E ncouraging oneself, T aking one’s emotional temperature. She explains, “affective strategies help language learners to LET their hair down!”. The first two are perhaps self-evident but the third one is concerned with supporting learners in becoming aware of their emotions such as by keeping a diary, discussing their feelings with a suitable partner, or working through questionnaires or checklists of feelings, emotions and motivations, reflecting on how and why they are experiencing a certain emotion. Only then can learners recognise what they are feeling and perhaps understand why they are in a better position to manage and control their emotions in a way that is facilitative for their learning processes and purposes.
Image of page 8

Subscribe to view the full document.

A construct with a strong emotional dimension is that of motivation, which has been the focus of much research in SLA with good reason. Teachers and learners alike intuitively recognise the importance of motivation as being the driving force behind what we do and, indeed, whether we do anything at all. Over time, there have been multiple ways of conceptualising motivation in SLA starting in earnest with the social-psychological views proposed by
Image of page 9
Image of page 10

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern