Vol 13, No 2 (2011) July-December


Research Articles

The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning

Las propiedades motivacionales de las emociones en el aprendizaje de una lengua extranjera


  • Mariza Méndez López Universidad de Quintana Roo


afectividad, emociones, aprendizaje de lenguas, motivación (es).


affect, emotions, language learning, motivation (en).


Abstract (en)

Although the process of learning a foreign language is replete with emotions, these have not been sufficiently studied in the field of English Language Teaching. The aim of this article is to report the motivational impact of the emotions experienced by second year students of an English Language Teaching programme in a South East Mexican University. Students were asked to keep an emotional journal for twelve weeks during their third term in order to map their emotions and their sources during instructed language learning. The results show that the emotions experienced most by students are: fear, happiness, worry, calm, sadness and excitement. Although there is a range of sources for emotional reactions, the five main sources of students’ emotions are: their insecurity about their speaking ability, the teachers’ attitudes, comparisons with peers, the classroom atmosphere, and the type of learning activities.The two main aspects identified as impacting on students’ motivation are: the teachers’ attitudes, and the classroom climate.

Abstract (es)

Aunque el proceso de aprendizaje de una lengua extranjera está lleno de emociones, estas no han sido suficientemente estudiadas en el campo de la enseñanza del inglés. El propósito de este artículo es reportar el impacto motivacional de las emociones experimentadas por estudiantes de segundo año de la licenciatura en Lengua Inglesa en una universidad del sureste Mexicano. Los estudiantes plasmaron en un diario las diversas emociones experimentadas así como sus reacciones durante doce semanas en el tercer semestre de su carrera con el propósito de mapear sus emociones y las fuentes de éstas durante la instrucción en el aula. Los resultados muestran que las emociones más recurrentes durante la instrucción son: miedo, alegría, preocupación, tranquilidad, tristeza y entusiasmo. A pesar de que hay diversas fuentes que originan estas emociones, los cinco orígenes principales de éstas son: la inseguridad al hablar en inglés, las actitudes de los profesores, la comparación con sus compañeros, el ambiente en el salón de clases y el tipo de actividades de aprendizaje. Los dos aspectos identificados como los que influyen más en la motivación de los estudiantes son: las actitudes de los profesores y el ambiente de aprendizaje.


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How to Cite


Méndez López, M. (2011). The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 13(2), 43–57.


Méndez López, M. 2011. The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal. 13, 2 (Jul. 2011), 43–57. DOI:


Méndez López, M. The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning. Colomb. appl. linguist. j 2011, 13, 43-57.


MÉNDEZ LÓPEZ, M. The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, [S. l.], v. 13, n. 2, p. 43–57, 2011. DOI: 10.14483/22487085.3764. Disponível em: Acesso em: 3 dec. 2022.


Méndez López, Mariza. 2011. “The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning”. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal 13 (2):43-57.


Méndez López, M. (2011) “The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning”, Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, 13(2), pp. 43–57. doi: 10.14483/22487085.3764.


M. Méndez López, “The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning”, Colomb. appl. linguist. j, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 43–57, Jul. 2011.


Méndez López, M. “The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning”. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal, vol. 13, no. 2, July 2011, pp. 43-57, doi:10.14483/22487085.3764.


Méndez López, Mariza. “The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning”. Colombian Applied Linguistics Journal 13, no. 2 (July 1, 2011): 43–57. Accessed December 3, 2022.


Méndez López M. The motivational properties of emotions in foreign language learning. Colomb. appl. linguist. j [Internet]. 2011Jul.1 [cited 2022Dec.3];13(2):43-57. Available from:

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