Foreign Language Enjoyment and Subjective Happiness in Spanish Adult Learners
Background. Research interest in FLE and its associated factors has increased in recent years, especially regarding learner-internal factors. Happiness could potentially be one of the predictors of FLE.
Purpose. This study aimed to investigate the link between foreign language enjoyment (FLE) and a measure of subjective happiness (SH).
Methods. A total of 594 adult foreign language learners aged 16 to 72 participated in the study. Ten items extracted from the FLE scale and the SH scale translated and validated into Spanish were used to gather the data.
Results. With a significant 3.6% shared variance between FLE and SH, the study found that participants with higher scores on FLE have higher scores on SH. However, the percentage of shared variance found is considerably higher for different subgroups (e.g., 6.7% for the older adolescent group and 10% for mature and senior adults). The results suggest that the relationship between personality variables and FLE may differ depending on learner-internal factors such as age, gender, competence level and foreign language.
Implications. The study opens a new line of research into the interaction between FLE and happiness, and factors affecting it with a sample that, due to the wide range of participant ages and the number of participants beyond their twenties, is more representative of the adult foreign language learner population than is usually the case in studies of FLE.
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