About this Research Topic
Positive Psychology (PosPsy) in SLA refers to an attempt to study the second/foreign language acquisition from a more open, appreciative and positive perspective. Researchers are trying to explore what goes right or the good things in SLA. Generally, PosPsy in SLA focuses on three main areas of study: (1) the positive characteristics, traits, and strengths of SLA teachers and learners; (2) the positive emotions and feelings during the teaching/learning process; and (3) the institutions that enable people to flourish. PosPsy in SLA research includes a large range of topics, such as flourishing, happiness, hope, gratitude, interest, joy, wellbeing, resiliency, and hardiness all of which combine with motivation and result in better language learners. The aim of PosPsy is to capture the important components in learning a second/foreign language from the point of view of PosPsy and to probe the well-being of language learners.
Earlier research in SLA has largely discussed the negative elements in SLA, such as negative emotions, including learner anxiety, as well as a set of potential negative consequences in SLA. Recently, a growing number of researchers have recognizing the important impacts of promoting learner positive traits and strengths in SLA. For example, researchers have highlighted that developing character strengths, such as courage, could be an alternative way of facilitating positive language experiences and protect L2 learners from anxiety. Instead of focusing on negative emotions, anxiety, stress and the weakness during language learning, PosPsy seeks to develop positive emotions, greater engagement, meaningful language learning experience for a group of L2 language learners.
PosPsy could significantly contribute in the field of SLA in theoretical and practical ways. Theoretically, applying theories of PosPsy in SLA will help language researchers to better understand the field of SLA from a new and positive lens. For example, Lake (2013) was one of the first to explicitly adapt and apply PosPsy concepts in his study of Japanese learners’ positive self, positive L2 self, self-efficacy, and intended effort. Oxford (2016) proposed an EMPATHICS model aimed at capturing the important components in learning a new language from the point of view of PosPsy and to probe the well-being of language learners. Practically, developing the research of PosPsy in SLA could help language educators be aware of the importance of improving learners’ positive traits and strengths, positive language learning experiences, meaningful teaching and learning interactions; give scientific support for teachers and learners of how to creative a positive L2 learning classroom environment, to develop and maintain learners’ motivation, perseverance, resilience and positive emotions for a long-term meaningful language learning; help L2 learners achieve high well-being and relish the language learning experience, leading them to happiness, fulfillment and flourishing.
The goal of this Research Topic is to bridge the gap between PosPsy and SLA/TLA in the literature by providing an interdisciplinary and international forum for the science and practical application. Articles appropriate for this research topic include empirical and conceptual studies, review paper that advance the literature by stressing the interdisciplinary link between PosPsy and SLA. Authors are also encouraged to explore and develop various research tools to better serve the particular area of overlap between language learning/teaching and PosPsy. We are open to engaging with a wide range of cultural contexts.
Keywords: Language Acquisition, Positive Psychology, Positive Emotions, the Good Language Learner, Happiness
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