Affectivity, attributional style, and learning Spanish as a second language

Our research subgroup will analyze the influence of the positive affectivity and the attributional style, typical of people who learn Spanish as a second language. To this aim, students of Spanish in an immersive context will complete the following tests: Biographical questionnaire, LexTALE, ASQ, and PANAS.



  • To identify the participants’ attributional profile.
  • To evaluate the subjects’ affective structure (positive affectivity-negative affectivity).
  • To establish the students’ level by means of a vocabulary test in Spanish.
  • To confirme the truthworthiness of the scales used for this sample.
  • To explore the existing lik¡nk between the attributional style, the affectivity, and the learning of Spanish as a second language.
  • To analyze the attributional and affective differences shown by those subjects who performed a better score versus those who performed poorly.
  • To estimate the effect and the connections between variables that have been studied by means of multivariate statistics.

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To what extent does positive affectivity and attributional style influence the learning of Spanish as a second language?

Research design

All of the participants will be students of Spanish in an immersive context.

Each participant shall sign an informed consent form in order to gather data and they will proceed to complete the tests in the following order: Biographical questionnaire, LexTALE, ASQ, and PANAS. It should be noted that, once the training period in an immersive context is over, all participants will complete again the LexTALE test so that it can be estimated the achieved goals.

Once the pieces of data are coded, the trustworthiness of the scales used for the sample will first be checked, for which Cronbach’s alpha will be calculated. Then, a descriptive analysis of the studied variables will be carried out, and the resulting interconnections will be explored. In order to do so, a correlation analysis will be conducted.

Finally, the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) will be taken as model technique to assess the dependency interrelations between Spanish language learning and the results in PANAS and ASQ tests.

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Tools and techniques

The following instruments will be used to collect information:

  • Biographical questionnaire. It is a questionnaire in which a series of demographic data has been collected from the participants, as well as relevant information in relation to their relationship with the Spanish language.
  • Attributional Style Questionnaire -ASQ (Seligman, Semmel, Abramson and Von Baeyer, 1979), in its testing phase in Spanish (Ferrándiz, 1995). It is composed of 48 items and the subject’s task is to answer a series of questions related to the dimensions of casual explanation in 12 hypothetical situations that may occur in everiday life. Half are good events, while half are bad event. From their answers to the test, subject’s scores are ranked in 10 scales, four of which were used in this research: (1) No-helplessness range (NHR; steady and global attributions for positive events); (2) Helplessness range (HR; steady and global attributions for negative events); (3) Negative compound (NC; depression associated with internal, steady and global attributions for negative situations); and (4) Positive compound (PC; it referst to internal, steady and global attributions for positive events).
  • Positive and Negative Affect Schedule-PANAS (Watson, Clark and Tellegen, 1988). The questionnaire includes 20 items, 10 of which refers to the positive affect subscale (PA), and 10 to the negative affect subscale (NA), Both subscales refer to the two-factor structure of affect postulated by its authors.
    The subject’s task consists in assessing a series of words describing different feelings and emotions. The subject has to value to which extent they feel that way at the moment of taking the test, and in the last week.
  • LexTALE – Esp (Izura, C, F Cuetos, and Marc Brysbaert, 2014): It is a lexical test aimed at students of Spanish. It is a Spanish vocabulary test based on a simple visual lexical decision task. It is a not-speeded test.
    In the test, series of sequences of letters are shown, some of which form real words in Spanish, while others don’t. The subject has to indicate which of the words they know, even if they can’t provide an accurate definition.

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