Undergraduate EFL Students’ Perceived Emotions in Assessment: Disclosing the Antecedents and Outcomes

Document Type : Original Research Article


1 English language and Literature, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran

2 English Language and Literature, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


A bulk of research has revealed that emotions play a crucial role in different aspects of second/foreign language (L2) education. However, the emotions that English as a foreign language (EFL) students experience during assessment have been neglected, so far. Against this backdrop, this qualitative study intended to unveil the typologies, antecedents, and outcomes of assessment-related emotions of 24 Iranian EFL undergraduate students studying applied linguistics. To this end, a semi-structured interview and a narrative frame were employed. The results of the thematic analysis demonstrated that undergraduate EFL students experienced different positive and negative emotions before, during, and after assessment practices at the university. Furthermore, it was found that “teacher”, “tasks”, and “textbook” were the most frequent causes of the participants’ perceived emotions in assessment. Concerning the outcomes of assessment-induced emotions, the results demonstrated that “burnout”, “frustration”, “demotivation”, “stress”, and “self-doubt” were the most frequent negative outcomes, while “motivation”, “learning”, “pride”, and “excitement” were repeatedly posited as positive outcomes. Finally, the study enumerates some implications for L2 educators and researchers concerning the role of emotions in assessment processes and practices.