DOI: 10.1075/tblt.16.03lic ISSN: 1877-346X

Chapter 3. Understanding, measuring, and differentiating task enjoyment from foreign language enjoyment

Chengchen Li, Jean-Marc Dewaele

This study aims to conceptualize and measure task-specific enjoyment and examine its links with general foreign language enjoyment. A 23-item Task Enjoyment Scale was developed based on interview data obtained after the completion of an L2 oral task. The scale was subsequently validated with two cohorts of Chinese university EFL learners. Exploratory factor analysis revealed three dimensions: task enjoyment-self, task enjoyment-task characteristics, and task enjoyment-social. Further confirmatory factor analyses confirmed a 10-item Task Enjoyment Scale representing the three-factor structure. Correlation analyses revealed varying positive relationships between task enjoyment, foreign language enjoyment, and their dimensions. We highlight that task enjoyment may be the foundation of foreign language enjoyment, and that learners may also bring enduring foreign language enjoyment to a specific task, contributing to the temporary experience of task enjoyment, which may be linked to task performance. We conclude that enjoyment, whether task-specific or general, is vital, and a primary non-linguistic goal for L2 teachers is to make L2 tasks/learning as enjoyable as possible.