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Affective Factors in SLA

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1 Affective Factors in SLA
Junghwa Woo

2 Overview of Affective Factors in SLA
What are affects? Why affective factors? How are affects and cognition related? Krashen’s Affective filters Elements of Affective factors Affective activities

3 1. What are affects? The emotional side of human behaviors
Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy of Affective domains 1) Receiving 2) Responding 3) Valuing 4) Organization of values into a system of beliefs 5) Value System that becomes consistent with a person’s behavior

4 2. Why affective factors? Cognitive consideration of second language acquisition cannot provide the most fundamental side of human behavior. Language belongs to a person’s whole social being. It is part of one’s identity. (Williams 1944)

5 3. How are affects and cognition related?
Neorobiological research indicates that reason and emotion are distinguishable but inseparable.(Damasio 1994; LeDoux 1996) Reason and emotion complement each other. 1) Reason : set a goal 2) Emotion : get us involved enough to act and to work towards the goal Attention and creation of meaning are made through emotional responses because the brain cannot process all the stimuli. Affect and cognition are both part of the learner’s whole-person development. (Arnold, Jane 2011)

6 4. Krashen’s Affective filters
The filter controls how much input the learner comes into contact with, and how much input is converted into intake. It is ‘affective’ because the factors which determine its strength have to do with the learner’s motivation, self-confidence, or anxiety state. The affective factors influences the rate of development, but it does not affect the route.

7 5. Elements of Affective Factors
Self-esteem Inhibition Anxiety Empathy Extroversion Risk-taking Attitude Motivation

8 Self-esteem A personal judgment of worthiness that is expressed in the attitudes that individuals hold towards themselves (Coopersmith 1967) Three levels of self-esteem 1) global self-esteem : general assessment one makes of one’s own worth over time 2) specific self-esteem : one’s self-appraisal in particular life situations 3) task self-esteem : one’s self-appraisal in particular tasks within specific situations Significance in L2 learning : important roles in determining one’s willingness to communicate

9 Inhibition Sets of defenses all human beings build to protect the ego
Language ego : very personal, egoistic nature of L2 acquisition Meaningful L2 acquisition involves some degree of identity conflict. “thin” and “think” ego boundaries : the openness, vulnerability, and ambiguity tolerance of those with thin ego boundaries How to deal with mistakes : unavoidable in L2 learning, but can be viewed as threats to one’s ego Influence to language teaching : approaches to make students feel free to take risks, to orally try out hypotheses

10 Risk-taking Learners have to gamble a bit, to be willing to try out hunches about the language and take the risk of being wrong. A climate of acceptance will encourage students to experiment the target language and take risks without feeling embarrassed. Calculate and willing guesses > meaningless verbal guesses Self-esteem and risk-taking: a person with high global self-esteem is not daunted by the possible consequences of being laughed at. Fossilization: could be due to a lack of willingness to take risks

11 Anxiety Feelings associated with uneasiness, frustration, self-doubt, apprehension or worry Different levels of anxiety 1) global or trait anxiety: a more permanent predisposition to be anxious 2) situational or state anxiety: experienced in relation to some particular event

12 Anxiety Debilitative vs Facilitative anxiety
1) debilitative anxiety: anxiety as a negative factor 2) facilitative anxiety: some concern over a task to be accomplished is a positive factor. performance Positive effects of competitiveness…. it motivates students to work harder -> should be optimal! Level of anxiety Optimal level of anxiety

13 Empathy The Empathic Civilization
The process of reaching beyond the self to understand what another person is feeling. Empathy – possibility of detachment Sympathy – an agreement or harmony between individuals Communication requires a sophisticated degree of empathy. The reason that autistic children have difficulty in communicating with others – they tend to view life in terms of their own needs and desires.

14 Extroversion Extroversion – the extent to which a person has a deep-seated need to receive ego enhancement, self-esteem, and a sense of wholeness from other people Introversion – the extent to which a person derives a sense of wholeness and fulfillment apart from a reflection of this self from other people. Myth 1 – extroversion with better social adjustment and higher oral participation (cross-cultural norms) Myth 2 – extroversion with higher empathy It may work for face-to-face interaction of language learning , but not for listening, reading or writing. Myth 1 – different appreciation of extroversion in the classroom / relativity of degree of extroversion among countries

15 Attitude Attitude toward self: related to self-esteem, ‘Do I have an adequate mind, and am I the kind of person that other people are willing to spend time with?’ → affirmative answer: better able to engage in L2 learning Attitude toward the Target Language and the people who speak it; Negative stereotypes: undermine attempts at language acquisition affect the self-esteem of the group’s members encourage negative attitudes toward the TL and culture, especially if the teacher and peers fail to show respect for the L1 culture and language Second one is something that ESL teachers need to be very careful about.

16 Attitude Attitudes toward the Teacher and the Classroom Environment
How to cope with the communication breakdowns in the classroom (Scarcella, 1990) 1) Encourage the development of friendship 2) Emphasize commonalities 3) Create a place in which the experiences, capacities, interests, and goals of every classroom member are simultaneously utilized for the benefit of all 4) Teach all students how their communications styles can be misinterpreted

17 6. Affective Activities To create an environment that fosters an appreciation of differences so that it encourages individual growth and decrease hostility. Useful and important in ESL classes in which many different value systems are brought together Teachers and students are to remain objective throughout the activity, to listen thoughtfully and nonjudgmentally.

18 6. Affective Activities (examples)
Open-ended sentences If I were older, I would… One thing I do well is …. My brother (sister) makes me feel …. People seem to respect me when I …. When people tease me, I …. If I could have one wish come true, I would wish for …

19 6. Affective Activities (examples)
Value Survey: Students are asked questions and are given 3 or 4 choices. When giving the instructions, stress that there are no right or wrong answers. Value Voting My favorite possession A Helping Hand

20 Resource Brown, H. Douglas, Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (2000) Fourth Edition, Longman Richard-Amato, Patricia A., Making It Happen(1996) Second Edition, Longman ARNOLD, Jane 2011, Attention to Affect in Language Learning, International Journal of English Studies, 22/1, 11-22 Hui Ni 2012, The Effects of Affective Factors in SLA and Pedagogical Implications, Theory and Practice in Language Studies, Vol 2

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