Dynamics of learner affective development in early FLL

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Jelena Mihaljević Djigunović


Affective learner factors were first considered as a cause of success in language learning. This was followed by a change in approach and recently authors (e.g., Edelenbos, Johnstone, & Kubanek, 2006) have considered them an important outcome, especially in early foreign language learning (FLL). Current research into affective learner factors in early FLL tries to catch the developmental aspects too, and studies are emerging that take a contextual view as well. This paper describes a study on affective characteristics of young FL learners that combines the developmental and contextual perspectives. Using the case study methodology the author analyses the affective profiles of three young learners of English as a foreign language who were followed for 4 years. The analyses are done taking into account their immediate language learning environment, home support, out-of-school exposure to English and language achievement. The findings suggest that affective learner factors contribute to the dynamic complexity of early FLL.


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Author Biography

Jelena Mihaljević Djigunović, University of Zagreb


Jelena Mihaljević Djigunović is SLA and TEFL Chair at Zagreb University's English Department. Her main research interests centre round teaching young learners, the age factor, affective learner variables, and FL teacher education. She has participated in several international projects on language learning and teaching. The most recent project she has been involved in is the Early Language Learning in Europe (ELLiE) study, a longitudinal multi-national project carried out in seven European countries. She has published extensively in national and international journals. Her publications include two research books, several volumes that she co-edited, and over 100 research papers.


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