Emotional attachment for informal synchronous online language learning

PhD Thesis


Huston, Elena. 2020. Emotional attachment for informal synchronous online language learning. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/nwaw-8f52
Title

Emotional attachment for informal synchronous online language learning

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorHuston, Elena
SupervisorRedmond, Petrea
Son, Jeong-Bae
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages273
Year2020
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/nwaw-8f52
Abstract

This thesis describes research on emotional attachment (EA) for Informal Synchronous Online Language Learning (ISOLL). Its focus is online one-on-one video telephony mediated synchronous second or third language (L2/LX) lessons in informal settings. Anecdotally, my own teaching experience suggested that students became more actively engaged in online activities that resonated emotionally with their lives, needs or aspirations. Formally, the main research question for the study was:

How does EA enhance second language learning in diverse informal synchronous online learning contexts?

Necessary objectives involved clarifying EA, investigating its relative influence in diverse contexts, isolating its various constituents and articulating the pedagogical implications of EA.

The EA literature spans psychology, marketing and learning. In psychology, EA is an enduring bond with substantial motivational intensity, but it can become anxious. In marketing its constituents include Connection, Affection and Passion. In the learning field, EA is associated with Emotional Presence (EP) and Emotional Intelligence (EI) and influenced by Social and Teaching Presences (SP, TP). However, EA can hinder autonomous learning unless skilfully applied at the right juncture.

To answer the EA-ISOLL research question, the study adopted sequential explanatory approach with mixed methods. First, a Conceptual Phase formally articulated the EA contention and conducted a literature review in two stages that generated a draft explanatory framework. In the second Operational Phase, the research investigated the impact of the EA on learning in different contexts and identified its constituents. Operationally, in 2017-18 the study surveyed students as well as ISOLL instructors. Graphical and statistical tools helped analyse and interpret survey data to clarify EA’s constituents and assess its impact on learning. Subsequently, the study interviewed seven educational or language experts. The interviews enriched understanding of EA for informal learning and validated the EAISOLL model. The final phase of the research reflected on the statistical and qualitative results in the light of embedded teaching practice and seminal literature. Overall, the literature review, learner/practitioner survey, expert interviews and reflections balanced rigour with pragmatism and answered the EA-L2 ISOLL research question.

The results suggested that EA supports ISOLL and has five EA constituents: Affection, Connection, SP, TP and Flow. To foster EA, online instructors need to tune into student needs and embed a range of accessible but interactively and
culturally relevant tasks that engender participatory L2 dialogue so that students achieve state of 'flow' where they are stretched but absorbed in L2 dialogue or culturally conditioned L2 tasks. Flow triggers internal, psychologically charged, cognitive transformation* for deep and meaningful L2/LX learning. Paradoxically, even in apparently informal online settings, L2/LX learning is nurtured by calibrated EA that charges Emotional Presence (EP) in teachers and students and energises interactive L2 lessons. As LX students mature, they become more autonomous and EA merges with Emotional Intelligence (EI). In short, to be useful, EA needs to be calibrated or appropriately managed, so it energises without destabilising EP, dialogue and engagement to foster EI and culturally sensitive L2/LX autonomy.

* Переживание (perezhivanie) in Russian

Keywordsemotional attachment, online informal language learning, socio-cultural learning, engagement, flow, synchronous, autonomy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020470401. Applied linguistics and educational linguistics
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
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Related outputs

Theory and approach: a contribution to the book entitled Non-educational and non-technological theories and approaches for the field of education and technology: a proposal by 200 academics 08/02/2017
Huston, Elena. 2017. Theory and approach: a contribution to the book entitled Non-educational and non-technological theories and approaches for the field of education and technology: a proposal by 200 academics 08/02/2017 . Unpublished.
Emotional attachment in informal second language learning in e-learning environments
Huston, Elena. 2016. "Emotional attachment in informal second language learning in e-learning environments." International Education Conference (IEC16). Venice, Italy 04 - 09 Jun 2016