The motion of emotion: Idiodynamic case studies of learners' foreign language anxiety
Affect, Anxiety, Emotion, Idiodynamic, Learner variables
Modern Language Journal
Language learning is an emotionally and psychologically dynamic process that is influenced by a myriad of ever-changing variables and emotional "vibes" that produce moment-by-moment fluctuations in learners' adaptation. This individual-level study triangulates physiological, idiodynamic, interview, and self-report survey data of three high and three low anxiety language learners to examine their language anxiety, its triggers, and the interpretations of rapidly changing affective reactions over a short period of time. Participants were videorecorded giving a presentation, while wearing heart monitors, in their Spanish as a Foreign Language class. Using the idiodynamic method, participants self-rated their moment-by-moment anxiety 42 times over three and a half minutes and later explained their reactions in an interview. The strong relationship observed among the various converging data sources demonstrates the strength of considering language learners on an individual level using triangulated quantitative and qualitative approaches. The study generated pedagogical implications for dealing with both positive and negative emotions, facilitating the reinterpretation of physiological cues, planning "escape routes" that allow participants to remain active in communication exchanges, and invoking the positive power of preparation, planning, and rehearsal. © 2014 The Modern Language Journal.
Department of Languages and Literatures
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Gregersen, Tammy; Macintyre, Peter D.; and Meza, Mario D., "The motion of emotion: Idiodynamic case studies of learners' foreign language anxiety" (2014). Faculty Publications. 1490.