JALT2015 Conference Article: On Emotions in Foreign Language Learning and Use

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Jean-Marc Dewaele, Birkbeck, University of London

Emotions are at the heart of the foreign language learning process. Without emotion, boredom would reign and very little learning would take place. I report on some recent work that has investigated the role of emotion in the foreign language classroom, both positive (foreign language enjoyment) and negatives ones (foreign language anxiety). It seems that both learners and teachers play a crucial role in managing emotions in the classroom. I also report on the difficulties associated with the communication of emotions in a foreign language and on their relative absence in foreign language course books and during classes. This leaves learners ill-prepared to recognise and express emotions appropriately in a foreign language, which is an essential part of sociopragmatic competence.