Posted by: Allyson Hadwin | March 16, 2011

Social and Affective Strategies in Second Language Learning

Social and Affective Strategies in Second Language Learning

Are you an adult interested in learning a second language… but nervous about speaking in front of others?

Are you uncertain about how to make the most of opportunities to speak and ways to improve your speaking?
You are not alone!! Emotions and social factors play an important role in second language acquisition.

This site is meant for you!

Learn the Basics:

Why, What, How

The following narrated presentations are designed to provide you with some background on the research into emotions and their influence on learning – particularly language learning. Watching these videos will give you the information you need to carry out the ” Two scenarios discussion” and the “Increasing your self-awareness” activities in greater depth.


  • Watch this quick video to find out why considering your emotions can help you become a better learner…


  • Watch this video to learn about academic emotions…


  • Watch this video to learn how to regulate your emotions…

Two Scenarios for Discussion

The following two scenarios offer possibilities for discussion or reflection. Watch the videos first so that these two case studies may help you reflect on individual and classroom sources of emotions. It is important to realize that there are no right or wrong answers to the questions; individuals may respond differently to each situation.

Do these language learners resemble you or anyone you know?

Case Study 1:Ellen
Case Study 2: Sonia



  1. This was a very informal post for me. Being an FSL teacher in English schools, I am faced everyday with students are hesitant to put their theory of language learning into practice by speaking out loud in front of their peers. I Though these students are able to learn the rules and put the grammar and vocabulary into practice but when it comes to volunteering to answer or speak in French or giving oral presentations, their social awareness takes over and they are shy, purposely make mistakes, don’t properly accentuate their words or flat out refuse to participate.
    I have had some experience teaching with an intensive/post-intensive program where the emphasis is on conversation, using easy phrases, multiple oral steps and teacher and peer modelling. This program has been effective in getting students to speak because it puts all the students on a somewhat level playing field at the start of the year and together they grow their oral communication skills thoughout the school year.

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