Young Finnish Adults Perspectives on Using English in Different Social Situations: Exploring the Influence of Affective Factors through Photo-Elicitation Interviews

Reetta Rantala, Vincent Troy Greenier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Research on the influence of affective factors in language learning
has grown in recent years largely due to the recognition of the role
they play in second language (L2) acquisition (Henter, 2014). This
study investigates two affective factors, confidence and anxiety,
and how they impact young Finnish adults when using English in
different formal and informal communicative situations. A multiple
case study design is employed to gather different experiences and
perceptions of young Finns’ willingness to use English in different
situational contexts. To explore confidence and anxiety in specific
speaking scenarios, the study used photo-elicitation interviews, in
which a set of photographs was used as a stimulus with regular
interview questions (Harper, 2002). Findings show that young
Finnish adults attribute the lack of authentic oral communication in
their comprehensive English education as being partially
responsible for their apprehension in speaking English, and that fear
of judgment, particularly in more formal scenarios, often induces a
sense of anxiety. Confidence in using English was sensed through
the perception that their English was equal to or better than those
around them and was also ameliorated by the familiarity and
casualness of the situation. The photo-elicitation method proved
fruitful for evoking more detailed and personal experiences and
helped participants visualize the scenarios, providing more lucid
and candid responses. The study affirms a need for more research
on Finnish adults’ affective factors in their use of English and
advocates for the wider application of photo-elicitation in Applied
Linguistics research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-88
Number of pages29
JournalLanguage Related Research
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Finnish EFL education
  • affective factors
  • confidence
  • anxiety
  • photo-elicitation interview
  • visual research methods

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Young Finnish Adults Perspectives on Using English in Different Social Situations: Exploring the Influence of Affective Factors through Photo-Elicitation Interviews'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this