Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 13. Number2.  June 2022                                          Pp. 338 -351

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Gratitude in Foreign Language Learning

Jeffrey Dawala Wilang
School of Foreign Languages, Institute of Social Technology
Suranaree University of Technology
Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand

Received:2/4/2022                            Accepted: 5/4/2022                       Published:6/24/2022


Studies on positive emotions in language learning have increased over the years. However, gratitude, a moral virtue, which may have a novel effect in learning a foreign language, remains underexplored in applied linguistics. This paper aims to know the antecedents of gratitude and its constructs in English as a foreign language context. Nineteen antecedents of gratitude were generated to create a survey questionnaire called Foreign Language Gratitude Scale, a 4-point Likert rating scale. An open-ended question was also added to gain qualitative data. Convenience sampling was used to collect data from 240 undergraduate students. Descriptive statistics results showed that the participants were very grateful in all situations in the survey, specifically for their improved outputs and the corrections initiated by their teachers. Further, principal component analysis was used to explore the underlying dimensions of gratitude. Two factors were elicited – positive reinforcement and language practice. The first factor includes the following grateful situations: encouraging students to do better, appreciating students’ output, correcting students’ mistakes, using media resources in learning, sharing practical knowledge, providing examples and practices, treating students equally, encouraging language activities, and managing classroom effectively. The grateful situations in the second factor are having fluent English speakers, doing productive activities, providing opportunities, sharing ideas, and having a better output. Other factors coded from the qualitative data include promoting collaborative work, gaining comprehension and knowledge, language success, encouraging productive activities, the teacher acts, and designing out-of-class activities. Finally, implications of results and suggestions for future studies were presented.
Keywords: English as a Foreign Language, Foreign Language Gratitude Scale, gratitude, Principal Component Analysis

Cite as:  Wilang, J. D.  (2022). Gratitude in Foreign Language Learning. Arab World English Journal, 13 (2) 338 -351.


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Received: 2/4/2022 
Accepted: 5/4/2022
Published: 6/24/2022

Jeffrey Dawala Wilang is an Assistant Professor at the Graduate School of Foreign Languages, Institute of Social Technology, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand. His research interests are emotions in language learning, English Medium Instruction, and ELF.ORCID: 0000-0001-6322-8799