Within applied linguistics, understanding of motivation and cognition has benefitted from substantial attention for decades, but the attention received by language learner emotions has not been comparable until recently when interest in emotions and the role they can play in language learning has increased. Emotions are at the core of human experience, so a greater understanding of their impact on language learners is critical. In particular, the role and impact of positive emotions on learners and their learning experience has been overlooked in favour of a focus on issues of confidence and anxiety. One particular positive emotion that has a meaningful connection with the learning experience is that of pride. Drawing on qualitative interview data from tertiary English language learners in Australian universities, this article singles out pride as a means of confirming the critical role of positive emotions in language learning. The interviews revealed that pride had a significant impact on the experiences of learners. It was also discovered that within the notion of pride there exists a degree of dimensionality. Pride is felt in communicative contexts whereas a feeling of ‘non-pride’ can occur in learning contexts. The article also presents implications arising from the study concerning the place of emotions in language teaching and learning.