Positive Psychology in the Foreign Language and Translation Classroom
Results of surveys with a sample of EFL and translation instructors and students showed that many instructors feel that their role is limited to preparing the teaching material, in-class instruction, writing exams, grading assignments and other paperwork. They declared that students have many academic problems in EFL and translation and interpreting course. They added that they are unaware of positive psychology and how to apply its principles in their courses. Students’ responses and comments on social media showed that they have a negative image of themselves. They feel inadequate and are always afraid of failing their courses. If they fail, they blame it on their bad luck, on the instructor or exams. Some are not willing to try, hate school and studying. They are under stress if they have a writing or translation assignment, a class presentation, or a test. They cram and lose sleep. Based on findings of the surveys, this study proposes a model for applying the principles of positive psychology in EFL and language classrooms to help the students become happy and relaxed learners, overcome stress and anxiety, develop positive attitudes, positive affirmations, emotional resilience, positive thinking and make more achievements and improvements. The model consists of strategies and tips for improving students’ English language and translation skills, providing psychological help (e.g., student-instructor communication, giving moral support, feedback, reading simplified self-help books, watching motivational videos), and developing students’ pragmatic skills (goal setting, time management, study skills, presentation, and note-taking skills). In addition, it provides some strategies for effective teaching.