Achilleas Kostoulas

Applied Linguistics & Language Teacher Education

books on bookshelves

Positive Psychology in SLA

Update: Now published!

Positive Psychology in SLA (Cover Page)
Positive Psychology in SLA (Cover Page)

Positive Psychology in SLA, the book which was announced with the call for papers below, was published by Multilingual Matters in 2016. This is the first book that attempts to tease out connections between language education and positive psychology, the controversial, yet popular ‘science of happiness’.

The edited volume consists of 17 contributions, including an introductory and a concluding chapter. These incude an expansive chapter by Rebecca Oxford, which outlines EMPATHICS, a frame for narrative analysis that draws on positive psychology constructs, and goes on to examine various psychological states and traits from a positive psychology perspective.

The chapters that make up the volume are divided into three sets focussing on theoretical, empirical and applied contributions. The first set of three chapters argues for the relevance of constructs like love and empathy in language acquisition. This is followed by seven chapters reporting on studies and interventions informed by positive psychology, and another four chapters which are more directly relevant to classroom practice.

The listing of the book in the publishers’ website can be found here, and the book is available for (partial) browsing and purchase from Amazon.

Call for Chapters

Chapters are invited for an edited volume, tentatively titled Positive Psychology in SLA. The volume, which will be edited by Tammy Gregersen (University of Northern Iowa; link no longer active), Peter D. MacIntyre (Cape Brenton University) and Sarah Mercer (University of Graz), is to be published by Multilingual Matters.

What is this book about?

The scope of the book is described as follows:

Positive psychology has focussed on three main areas: positive characteristics and traits, positive emotions and enabling institutions. In the Positive Psychology Manifesto (Sheldon et al. 2000), the authors state that the main aim of Positive Psychology is “to understand, test, discover and promote the factors that allow individuals and communities to thrive”. […] it is especially important to stress that positive psychology is not pop psychology and one of the key aims of the proposed volume is to make this point clear and strengthen the academic credentials of this perspective within the SLA context.

Some suggested topics include:

* flourishing * happiness and eudemonia * hope * gratitude *
* interest * joy * well-being * resiliency* hardiness *
and the signature strengths of learners

Abstracts (300 words max) are to be sent to the lead editor Tammy Gregersen (Tammy.Gregersen[at]uni[dot]edu) by 1 August 2014, outlining the proposed topic of the contribution and stating how it connects to the subject matter of the volume.

Important dates

  • Deadline for proposals: 1 August 2014
  • Deadline for first draft: 22 December 2014
  • Deadline for final submissions: 4 May 2015



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