Using Character Strengths to Address English Writing Anxiety


Positive psychology has been introduced to the applied linguistics literature with the broad goal of improving the experience of language learners and teachers through a variety of interventions (MacIntyre & Mercer, 2014; Gabryś-Barker & Gałajda, 2016). “The aim of positive psychology is to catalyze a change in psychology from preoccupation only with repairing the worst things in life to also building the best qualities in life” (Seligman &
Csikszentmihalyi, 2000, p. 5). One significant contribution of this young field has been a series of empirically-tested positive psychology interventions (PPIs) that have been shown to increase positive emotion, reduce distress, and/or improve well-being (Seligman, Steen, Park, & Peterson, 2005; Sin & Lyubormirsky, 2009). In the present research, we examine one application of a PPI involving a focus on using character strengths as a way to address language anxiety. Through a case study analysis, we demonstrate the ways that this intervention was beneficial for the student.



signature strengths; writing anxiety; positive psychology

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Published : 2021-07-09

GregersenT., MacIntyreP., & BuckR. (2021). Using Character Strengths to Address English Writing Anxiety. Theory and Practice of Second Language Acquisition, 7(2), 11-35.

Tammy Gregersen
Peter D. MacIntyre 
Cape Breton University  Canada
Rachel Buck 
American University of Sharjah  United Arab Emirates

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