Preliminary Schedule for the

Positive Psychology in SLA  Pre-Conference

Sydney, NS, Canada, June 23, 2021


9:00 – 10:00 Plenary 1 Sarah Mercer, “Positive Language Education: It’s more than just words”

Education today must teach students skills for life as well as academic subjects. In this talk, I present a conceptual framework entitled Positive Language Education which considers how to integrate language and global life skills. It draws on insights from positive psychology building on the foundations of language teaching.

10 – 10:30  Break

10:30 – 11:30 


Concurrent Sessions


11:30 – 12:30  Plenary 2 Tammy Gregersen, “Language Teacher Psychology: We didn’t come this far to only come this far.”

In her plenary address at PPL1 in Graz, Austria, Mercer (2014) made a call to attendees to address the imbalance of attention placed predominantly on language learners, yet sparsely on their teachers.  So, how far have we come since then? This presentation examines the expanding body of research on language teacher psychology, considering both intervention as well as observational studies.

12:30 – 2:00  Lunch and posters

2:00 – 3:00 


Concurrent Sessions


3:00 – 4:00  Plenary 3, Jean-Marc Dewaele, “How Positive Psychology can counter the deficit perspective in foreign language teaching.”

The dichotomy “Native (NS) versus Non Native Speakers (NNS)” is common in applied linguistics and foreign language teaching. It reflects and perpetuates the myth of the linguistic superiority of the so-called “NS” and the banishment of the “NNS” to eternal linguistic and social limbo (Dewaele, 2018). Positive Psychology can help foreign language teachers focus on what goes right in their students’ learning.  Crucially, teachers need to transmit language skills but also build up learners’ grit and perseverance, strengths, hope, optimism and courage.


4:00 – 5:00  Round tables: Where does PosPsy in SLA go from here?


©2020 by International Association for the Psychology of Language Learning.