chapter  6
11 Pages

Affect Matters

Learners are propelled by the trajectory of their emotions
ByYoke Sim Fong

A wide range in the affective dimension was another learner characteristic that the seven focal participants reflected in the data. The students reported positive and negative emotions that varied over time. Altogether, I identified ninety-eight citations of feelings in the diaries and the interviews, yielding an average of fourteen citations per student. That affect featured frequently in the learners’ thoughts and expressions underscores the importance of this dimension in the participants’ learning journey; the journey was not a purely cognitive or academic experience. Much of their emotional self was involved in their transitions and adaptions from an English as a Foreign Language to an English as a Second Language and English as an International Language context. These feelings both resulted from and motivated their learning. Generally, the trajectory of emotions moved from more negative or extreme to more positive or stable states as the students became more and more competent and confident in their English learning.