Investigating affect in a distance language learning context: approaches and methods

Hurd, Stella (2008). Investigating affect in a distance language learning context: approaches and methods. RTVU ELT Express, China, 21(2)

URL: http://www1.open.edu.cn/elt/21/22.htm

Abstract

The investigation of affect has been moving (somewhat quietly) up the second language acquisition (SLA) research agenda for a number of years and is now beginning to make a wider impact as the place of emotions becomes more firmly embedded in theories of learning and language learning (Beard et al., 2007; Putwain, 2007; Oxford, 1999; Young, 1999; Arnold, 1999). The distance language learning environment is unique in that learners have to manage to a much larger extent on their own than in classroom settings, and this can have major impact on the way they feel, sometimes exacerbating negative emotions as there is no one to give immediate feedback and reassurance (Hurd, 2006, 2007a; White, 2003, 2005).

This paper gives a brief overview of affect in a distance language context in conjunction with the literature relating to classroom contexts and discusses and evaluates research methods for investigating the affective domain.

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