Emotive responses to the language learning experience across contexts

Andrew S. Ross, Punchalee Wasanasomsithi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over recent decades, research into motivational and cognitive aspects of language learning has been plentiful, providing valuable insights into the psychology and learning capacity of the language learner. However, the emotions of language learners have been the victim of significant neglect (Dörnyei, 2009). Emotions lie at the centre of human experience, and their impact on learning cannot be underestimated, let alone ignored. The current study draws on qualitative interview data collected from Thai learners of English in university contexts in both Thailand and Australia to investigate what kinds of emotional experiences the learners encounter in their learning, and to observe the differences in these experiences across the differing EFL and ESL contexts. The interview results revealed that the situated context of the participants played a discerning role in determining the emotional experiences they encountered. This was largely due to the greater intensity and frequency of emotional experiences encountered by learners outside of the classroom in Australia compared with the much more limited classroom environment in Thailand. Important implications to emerge from the study are the need to create more authentic experiences and opportunities for social interaction in EFL settings, and provision of greater support for international students in ESL settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-490
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Innovation and Learning
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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