Chinese students' emotional experiences in learning English as a foreign language
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This study expands on the growing body of literature on the emotional experiences of learning English as a second language outside English-speaking countries. This is an exploratory study that aims to answer the following three research questions: (1) How do Chinese college students experience shame differently for English learning in studying-related, test-related, and class-related situations? (2) How do Chinese college students from three different majors and years differ in their shame experiences of learning English in three academic settings? (3) Whether Chinese college students regard the emotional experiences of English learning as more positively or more negatively? A total of 143 Chinese college students recruited from Shanghai International Studies University in China, participated voluntarily in this study. These college students were from three different majors and all had studied English for more than 10 years. For the quantitative component, the modified version of Achievement Emotion Questionnaire (AEQ) developed by (Pekrun et al., 2005) was used to assess the shame emotions experienced by Chinese college students. For the qualitative component, interviews were conducted to provide supplemental and profound understanding of how Chinese college students perceive shame experiences in learning English as a second language, and how these experiences differed in class-related, learning-related, and test-related settings. Results indicated that Chinese college students experienced shame emotion in English learning differed significantly in class-related, learning-related, and test-related settings. They scored their shame experiences higher in learning-related setting than other two settings. However, statistics indicated that there was no difference of shame experiences for students from three majors across three academic settings. Quantitative results also revealed that college students from Shanghai International Studies University experienced more positive emotions than negative emotions when learning English in three academic settings. Qualitative findings from answers of four participants in interviews confirmed their relatively high scores in experiencing positive emotions. Chinese college students’ shame experiences in learning English as a foreign language were elaborately illustrated from participants’ answers to interview questions.