An Exploration of One Learner’s Affective Experiences and FLA Development from a DST Perspective


The mainstream studies regarding FLA affective experiences focused more on negative emotions, particularly language anxiety; whereas other emotions that one may experience over the course of language learning, such as enjoyment, relief, gratitude have been understudied. In this paper, I will present and discuss the findings of a six-month longitudinal study which aimed to investigate affective experiences and FLA development from one Chinese learner of English at a university. The main research question was, ‘From a dynamic perspective, what is the relationship between student’s perceived affective experiences and their self-reported performance in a foreign language classroom?’ To answer the research question, phenomenography, developed by Marton (1981) was adopted as a qualitative research theoretical framework. Also, validity and reliability issues were discussed. To gather the data, class observation was conducted so that the researcher could share the same learning experience as the participant. The participant was asked to keep diary entries to record her feelings throughout the sessions. Individual interviews of the participant were followed. Thematic analysis was adopted to identify the dynamic interplays between different components. Also, Nvivo and SPSS were utilised to assist data analysing. As a result, 6 attractor states, 5 affective patterns and 56 affects were identified. The affects interacted with each other at different intensities within 21 contexts. The analysis and explanation between different affective patterns, self-reported performances and attractor states will, it is hoped, help towards a better understanding of ‘signature dynamics’ (Dörnyei, 2014) during the process of foreign language acquisition.

Author Information
Luanyi Xiao, University of Warwick, UK
David Wray, University of Warwick, UK

Paper Information
Conference: ACE2015
Stream: Student learning

This paper is part of the ACE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon