Purpose: This study (1) used a person-centered approach to identify specific subgroups of 1,265 EFL learners who participated in Informal Digital Learning of English (IDLE) activities, and (2) looked at how different IDLE profiles are related to important affective variables.
Design/Methodology: To identify IDLE profiles, we used cluster analysis. Findings: The L2 motivation, L2 enjoyment, L2 anxiety, and grit levels of the IDLErs with distinct profiles differed significantly. When compared to Profiles 1 (Minimal IDLErs: 33%), 2 (Gaming-Entertainment IDLErs: 16%), and 3 (Entertainment IDLErs: 30%), both Profile 4 (Maximal IDLErs: 11%) and Profile 5 (Entertainment-socializing IDLErs: 10%) demonstrated significantly higher scores on Ideal L2 self, L2 enjoyment-self, L2 enjoyment-others, L2 communication anxiety-offline, and Grit. Profiles 4 and 5 made full use of out-of-school digital environment, which provided several affective benefits for EFL learners.
Originality/value: Methodologically, the analytical and statistical approach could help to move informal language learning research one step closer to being more person-centered. In practice, the various IDLE profiles identified in this study may be of interest to EFL teachers in order to better understand their students’ IDLE activities outside of school and to inform classroom teaching and learning. Copyright © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
CitationLee, J. S., & Xie, Q. (2023). Profiling the affective characteristics of EFL learners’ digital informal learning: A person-centered approach. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 17(3), 552-566. https://doi.org/10.1080/17501229.2022.2085713
- Informal digital learning of English
- L2 motivation
- L2 enjoyment
- L2 anxiety
- Person-centered approach