Positive Psychology in ELT Resources



Al-Hoorie, A. and MacIntyre, P. D. (2020). Contemporary Language Motivation Theory. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Csizer, K. and Magid, M. (2014). The impact of self-concept on language learning. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Deters, P., Gao, X. Vitanova, G. & Miller, E. (2015). Theorizing and analyzing agency in second language learning. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Dörnyei, Z. and Ushioda, E. (2009). Motivation, Language Identity and the L2 Self. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Dörnyei, Z. and Ushioda, E. (2013). Teaching and Researching Motivation. Second Edition. New York: Routledge.

Dornyei, Z. and Kubanyiova, M. (2014). Motivating Learners, Motivating Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dörnyei, Z., MacIntyre, P. D. and Alastair, H. (2015). Motivational Dynamics in Language Learning. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Dornyei, Z. and Ryan, S. (2015). The Psychology of the Language Learner. Revisited. New York: Routledge.

Gabrys-Barker, D. and Galajda, D. (2016). Positive Psychology Perspectives on Foreign Language Learning and Teaching. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Gkonou, C., Tatzl, D. and Mercer, S. (2016). New Directions in Language Learning Psychology. Switzerland: Springer International Publishing.

Gkonou, C., Dwaele, J.M. and King, J. (2020). The Emotional Rollercoaster of Language Teaching. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Gregersen, T. and MacIntyre, P. (2014) Capitalizing on Language Learners’ Individuality. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Helgesen, M. (2019). English teaching and the science of happiness: Positive psychology

communication activities for language learning. ABAX ELT Publishers: Tokyo.

Kalaja, P. and Barcelos, A.M. F. (2006). Beliefs about SLA. New Research Approaches. New York: Springer International Publishing.

MacIntyre, P., Gregersen, T. & Mercer, S. (2016). Positive psychology in SLA. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Mercer, S. (2011). Towards an Understanding of Language Learner Self-concept. New York: Springer International Publishing.

Mercer, S., Ryan, S. and Williams, M. (2012). Psychology for Language Learning. Insights from Research, Theory and Practice. UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Mercer, S. and Williams, M. (2014). Multiple Perspectives on the Self in SLA. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Mercer, S. and Kostoulas, A. (2018). Language Teacher Psychology. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Sampson, R. J. (2016). Complexity in Classroom. Foreign Language Learning Motivation. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Sampson, R. J. and Pinner, R. C. (2020). Complexity Perspectives on Researching Language Learner and Teacher Psychology. Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters.

Williams, M. and Burden, R.L. (1997). Psychology for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Williams, M., Mercer, S. & Ryan, S. (2015). Exploring psychology in language learning and teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Van Lier, L. (2004). The Ecology and Semiotics of Language Learning: A Sociocultural Perspective. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.


Specific Journals for Positive Psychology

  1. Journal for the Psychology of Language Learning https://www.iapll.com/journal
  2. The Journal of Positive Psychologyhttps://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rpos20/current

(Note: In this journal, there are studies involving the applications of positive psychology in education)

  1. Journal of Positive School Psychology https://www.journalppw.com/index.php/JPPW
  2. Educational Psychologist https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/hedp20/current
  3. Journal of Happiness Studies https://www.springer.com/journal/10902
  4. European Journal of Applied Positive Psychology https://www.nationalwellbeingservice.org/
  5. The Journal of School Psychology https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-school-psychology
  6. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching https://www.ceeol.com/search/journal-detail?id=797
  7. Frontiers in Psychology (Language Sciences) https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychology
  8. European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences https://www.europeanpublisher.com/en/journal/ejsbsv

Selected Journal Articles

Dewaele, J. M., Chen, X., Padilla, A. M., & Lake, J. (2019). The flowering of positive psychology in foreign/second language teaching and acquisition research. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 2128. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02128.

Dewaele, J.-M., & MacIntyre, P. D. (2014). The two faces of Janus? Anxiety and enjoyment in the foreign language classroom. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(2), 237–274. https://doi.org/10.14746/ssllt.2014.4.2.5.

Gregersen, T., MacIntyre, P. D., Hein–Finegan, K., Talbot, K., & Claman, S. (2014). Examining emotional intelligence within the context of positive psychology interventions. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4, 327– 353.

Dewaele, J.-M., Chen, X., Padilla, A.M. & Lake, J. (2019). The flowering of positive psychology in foreign language teaching and acquisition research. Frontiers in Psychology. Language Sciences, 10, 2128. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02128

Kushkiev, P. (2019). The role of positive emotions in Second Language Acquisition: Some critical considerations. MEXTESOL Journal, 43 (4), 1-10. Retrieved from http://www.mextesol.net/journal/index.php?page=journal&id_article=14709

Li, C. (2020). A Positive Psychology perspective on Chinese EFL students’ trait emotional intelligence, foreign language enjoyment and EFL learning achievement. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 41 (3), 246-263.

MacIntyre, P., & Gregersen, T. (2012). Emotions that facilitate language learning: The positive-broadening power of the imagination. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 2 (2), 193-213.

MacIntyre, P., Gregersen, T., & Mercer, S. (2019). Setting an agenda for Positive Psychology in SLA: Theory, practice and research. The Modern Language Journal, 103 (1), 262-274.

MacIntyre, P. & Mercer, S. (2014). Introducing positive psychology to SLA. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 2, 153-172. Retrieved from https://www.ceeol.com/search/article-detail?id=79512

Mercer, S. (2021). An agenda for well-being in ELT: An ecological perspective. ELT Journal, 75 (1), 1-8.

Mercer, S. (2020). Positive psychology and the future of ELT. Bulletin of the JALT Mind, Brain, and Education SIG, 6 (7), 7-12.

Mercer, S. (2017). Positive psychology in SLA: An agenda for teacher and learner wellbeing. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics40 (2), 100-122.

Mercer, S., Gregersen, T., MacIntyre, P., & Talbot, K. (2019). Positive Language Education: Combining positive education and language education. TAPLSA4(2), 11-31.

Oxford, R. L., & Cuéllar, L. (2014). Positive psychology in cross-cultural narratives: Mexican students discover themselves while learning Chinese. Studies in Second Language Learning and Teaching, 4(2), 173–203.

Oxford, R. L., Pacheco Acuña, G., Solís Hernández, M., & Smith, A. L. (2015). “A language is a mentality”: A narrative, positive-psychological view of six learners’ development of bilingualism. System, 55, 100–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2015.08.005.

Padilla, M. A, Chen, X, & Lake, J (2020). Special issue: Positive psychology, second language learning and third language learning. Frontiers in Psychology. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.599326

Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive psychology: An introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5–14. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.55.1.5

Seligman, M. E. P., Ernst, R. M., Gillham, J., Reivich, K., & Linkins, M. (2009). Positive education: Positive psychology and classroom interventions. Oxford Review of Education, 35(3), 293–311. https://doi.org/10.1080/03054980902934563.

Sheldon, K. M., & King, L. (2001). Why positive psychology is necessary. American Psychologist, 56(3), 216–217. https://doi.org/10.1037/0003-066X.56.3.216.

Shelton-Strong, S. J. & Mynard, J. (2020). Promoting positive feelings and motivation for language learning: the role of a confidence-building diary. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching. Retrieved from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17501229.2020.1825445


Selected Websites






Useful Blogs