Introduction to Volume 2
Jo Mynard, Kanda University of International Studies, Chiba, Japan
Imelda K. Brady, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
Sarah Mercer, University of Graz, Graz, Austria
About the Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning (JPLL)
Welcome to the second volume of the Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning (JPLL), which is published by the International Association for the Psychology of Language Learning (IAPLL). The journal publishes quality empirical work in the field, and aims to facilitate connections not only within the field of the psychology of language learning (PLL) but also within SLA in general.
The journal is published annually in June, and is an online, open access, double-blind peer reviewed, scholarly publication. Manuscripts for the next volume (June 2021) can be submitted via the website between November 10th (2020) and January 10th (2021). There will also be occasional special issues of the journal on a particular theme, and scholars are encouraged to approach the editors if they have suggestions for special issues. For more information about the JPLL, please see the website:
About the Papers in this Volume
There are six regular papers and a review in this volume, and we wish to extend our most sincere thanks to the authors for placing their work and trust in the hands of a very recent venture and one that we hope will flourish, grow in readership and provide a much needed spotlight for works in the field of psychology in language learning. This second volume starts off with a paper by Toshie Agawa, with a study on relatedness and motivation in the L2 classroom in Japan. Based on the teachings of Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985), Agawa looks at the benefits of relationships among classmates on students’ task engagement with the intention that the findings might inform classroom practitioners as to the benefits of group management. Her findings feature the significance of relationships forged either inside or outside the classroom and their effect on in-class task behaviour.
The second paper, by Elouise Botes, Jean-Marc Dewaele, and Samuel Greiff, provides an exhaustive meta-analysis of the work carried out to-date on the phenomenon of anxiety in language learning. The authors examined the relationship between FLCA measured through the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS) and five forms of academic achievement: general academic achievement and four competency-specific outcome scores (reading-, writing-, listening-, and speaking academic achievement). The results of the study confirm the negative association between FLCA and academic achievement in foreign language courses.
The third article, by Neil Curry, Kate Maher, and Ward Peeters, describes a study in which the authors examine students’ emotions in the face of a series of classroom and social L2 communicative scenarios (Gkonou & Oxford, 2016). They also look at learners’ coping strategies in a selection of these scenarios. In their findings, the inability to speak out in class was the most negatively rated scenario. In addition, they found a relationship between the frequency of scenario experiences and associated negative evaluations.
Our fourth paper, by Isabelle Drewelow, looks at fostering engagement and enhancing positive emotions in a technology based course of Business French. The study examines how using flow criteria to guide the integration of technology affects the learning experience and aims to better understand the links between flow, emotions, project design criteria, and effective use of technology for language learning. The findings suggest that the integration of technology can be further enhanced by its potential to generate positive emotions to support engagement in foreign language learning.
We return to the topic of language learner anxiety in our fifth paper which is based on a study by Kate Maher and Jim King, who take an innovative perspective on classroom anxiety by examining how this can be reflected through silence and non-verbal cues. In addition to employing the facilitative functions of silence such as cognitive processing, their interviewees reported using silence to navigate interpersonal interactions with their classmates. Another reason for classroom silence was fear of negative evaluation by peers. The authors also find that anxious learners may limit social exchanges in the target language for image protection purposes.
Our 6th and final paper in this volume, by Christina Stavraki and Evangelia Karagianni, turns attention to the language teacher and, using positive psychology as a backdrop, explores the resilience of classroom practitioners. A quantitative questionnaire study was designed to examine Greek EFL teachers’ resilience in relation to demographic, occupational, and school/class characteristics.
To round off this second volume, we have a review of a much needed and, indeed, incredibly timely publication on Teacher Wellbeing by Sarah Mercer and Tammy Gregersen, published by Oxford University Press. The review by Amanda Yoshida briefly summarises the eight chapters and makes suggestions about how the activities could be used in practice.
Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (1985). Intrinsic motivation and self-determination in human behavior. New York, NY: Plenum Press
Mercer, S., & Gregersen, T. (2020). Teacher wellbeing. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press
About the Editors
Jo Mynard is a Professor, Director of the Self-Access Learning Center (SALC), and Director of the Research Institute for Learner Autonomy Education (RILAE) at Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Chiba, Japan. She advises language learners, oversees research and the general direction of the SALC, and teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. She is particularly interested in research related to advising, learner autonomy, self-directed language learning, language learning beyond the classroom / self-access language learning, and the social and affective dimensions of language learning. She is currently the publications officer of IAPLL.
Imelda K. Brady is an Associate Lecturer at the University of Granada, Spain. She has been teaching EFL and ESP at third level for over 20 years now across a wide range of university degrees and has also taught modules on psycholinguistics and language teaching methodologies for primary and secondary teachers. Her research interests lie in L2 learning motivation and individual differences in language learning. She has co-authored articles on autonomy of language learning and edited several books on language learning and teaching. She is the current secretary of IAPLL.
Sarah Mercer is the Head of the ELT Research and Methodology unit at the University of Graz. She is interested in all aspects of language learning psychology. In her research, she prefers to employ qualitatively-oriented approaches. Currently, she is engaged in considering aspects of language teacher psychology through a complexity lens and exploring a diverse range of methodological approaches for this purpose. Her current projects cover the areas of language teacher psychology, socio-emotional intelligences, positive language education, and wellbeing. She is currently vice-president of IAPLL.
Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning
Issue 2, June 2020, pp. 1-5.