"You feel a little bit embarrassed, but you get over it" : EFL students' beliefs and emotions about speaking

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Diert-Boté, IratiDiert-Boté, Irati - ORCID ID
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cc-by (c) Diert-Boté, Irati, 2022
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Drawing on positive psychology, i.e. the study of how people flourish and thrive, (MacIntyre, Gregersen and Mercer, 2016), this paper aims to analyse the elements which learners regard as most important to have positive and enjoyable experiences in the English classroom. The participants are first-year university students enrolled in an English for Specific Purposes course that were inquired about their life-long trajectories studying English and their experiences in an ESP course which followed a communicative approach. The data were obtained through an open-ended question from a questionnaire (pre- and post-); eight semi-structured interviews; and four focus groups. The answers from the open-response items were analysed at a macro-level through Domain and Taxonomic Coding (Saldaña, 2016) and afterwards the interviews and focus groups were content-analysed to deepen the understanding of students' responses at a micro-level. The analysis reveals that oral activities are the aspect which students value most positively; yet, some report negative emotions due to lack of practice and to negative beliefs about speaking tasks and about their own capabilities. Findings suggest that extensive speaking practice along the course, as well as a supportive teacher, a positive classroom atmosphere and an effective classroom management can increase students' self-confidence and positivity.
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Porta Linguarum, 2022, num. 37, p. 143-160