Positive Language Education: Combining Positive Education and Language Education


In this paper, we discuss the notion of Positive Language Education (PLE), which stems from a combination of Positive Education and Language Education. We suggest that there are good reasons for language educators to engage in enhancing 21st century skills alongside the promotion of linguistic skills. One key set of 21st century competences that would have academic and non-academic benefits are those which promote wellbeing. Wellbeing is indeed the foundation for effective learning and a good life more generally. Drawing on ideas from Content and Integrated Language Learning and Positive Education, PLE involves integrating non-linguistic and linguistic aims in sustainable ways which do not compromise the development of either skill set, or overburden educators. We believe that there are strong foundations on which to build a framework of PLE. Firstly, many language teachers already promote many wellbeing competences, in order to facilitate language learning. There is also a growing body of research on Positive Psychology in Second Language Acquisition on which further empirical work with PLE interventions can be developed. Building on the theoretical arguments put forward in this paper, we call for an empirically validated framework of PLE, which can be implemented in diverse cultural and linguistic settings.


SLA; positive psychology; education; wellbeing; PERMA; 21st century skills

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Published : 2018-12-14

MercerS., MacIntyreP., GregersenT., & TalbotK. (2018). Positive Language Education: Combining Positive Education and Language Education. Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition, 4(2). Retrieved from https://www.journals.us.edu.pl/index.php/TAPSLA/article/view/7011

Sarah Mercer  sarah.mercer@uni-graz.at
University of Graz  Austria
Peter MacIntyre 
Cape Breton University  Canada
Tammy Gregersen 
Kyle Talbot 

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