The impact of English as a Lingua Franca on emotions. The role of individuals’ native language vs. second language


This chapter aims to contribute to the current understanding of how languages impact the emotions elicited by textual messages. Grounding on the episodic trace theory – a theoretical framework originally developed in the field of cognitive psychology – we examine the role of ELF (English as a Lingua Franca) in affecting the emotional reactions of individuals having different linguistic backgrounds. Across two studies, we investigate the role of ELF in international communication by focusing on the dichotomy of native (L1) vs. second language (L2). Study 1, conducted online through the use of self-reported measures, shows that the use of ELF arouses more positive emotions among individuals having English as a native language (L1), rather than as a second language (L2). Study 2 employs an Automated Facial Coding(AFC) software, namely FaceReaderTM, able to track human basic emotions, and confirms how textual messages in L1 produces a greater emotional reaction than L2. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the theoretical and practical implications of the findings, followed by some directions for future research.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v38p167


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