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Foreign language learning boredom: conceptualization and measurement

Chengchen Li , Jean-Marc Dewaele and Yanhong Hu EMAIL logo


This article reports on a two-step investigation of foreign language learning boredom amongst Chinese university non-English-major EFL students and English teachers. In Study 1, 22 students and 11 English teachers were interviewed and 659 students responded to an open questionnaire, recalling and describing their experiences and perceptions of boredom in learning English. The data allowed a multidimensional conceptualization of Foreign Language Learning Boredom (FLLB), empirically supporting the control-value theory in educational psychology. Based on the conceptualization of FLLB, in Study 2, the Foreign Language Learning Boredom Scale (FLLBS) was developed. Through surveying 808 students in a pilot and 2,223 in the main study, a 7-factor FLLBS with 32 items was validated using exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses as well as further validity and reliability analyses. It is argued that FLLB is a crucial addition to the emerging field of foreign languagelearning emotion research.

Corresponding author: Yanhong Hu, School of Foreign Languages, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, 1037 Luoyu Road, Wuhan, 430074, China, E-mail:

Award Identifier / Grant number: 19CYY017

Appendix- The Foreign Language Learning Boredom Scale

The Foreign Language Learning Boredom Scale (《 外语学习无聊量表 》)

No. 因子(分量表)和题项 Factors (subscales) and items Factor loading
因子1 外语课堂无聊 Factor 1 Foreign Language Classroom Boredom
1 英语课没什么意思。 The English class bores me. 0.746
2 上英语课我容易犯困。 I start yawning in English class because I’m so bored. 0.758
3 上英语课我容易发呆。 My mind begins to wander in the English class. 0.860
4 英语课上我人在教室,思想却在神游。 I am only physically in the classroom, while my mind is wandering outside the English class. 0.880
5 上英语课我很难集中注意力。 It is difficult for me to concentrate in the English class. 0.860
6 英语课上时间过得好慢。 Time is dragging on in English class. 0.747
7 英语课上我经常有听不下去的感觉。 I get restless and can’t wait for the English class to end. 0.834
8 英语课上我总是想办法打发时间。 I always think about what else I might be doing to kill the time rather than sitting in this English class. 0.822

因子2 任务过简型无聊 Factor 2 Under- C hallenging T ask B oredom

9 我觉得长(英语)课文分析真的太枯燥了。 I believe an analysis of long text in English is really dreary. 0.718
10 跟读(英语)课文好枯燥乏味。 It is really boring to repeat the (English) text after the modeling audio. 0.749
11 太多类似的(英语)练习好没意思。 So many similar types of (English) exercises make me lose interest. 0.838
12 对同一话题,太多重复的(英语)练习会让我很烦。 So much practice on a same (English-related) subject matter makes me restless. 0.885
13 同一(英语)练习或内容持续时间太久,我觉得没意思。 The (English-related) exercise or a subject matter lasts too long, and I feel bored. 0.857

因子3 PPT情境型无聊 Factor 3 PowerPoint P resentation B oredom

14 相比全是文字的 PPT,我觉得有其他多媒体资源会有意思些。 It would have been more interested if other multimedia resources were utilized in class rather than PPT slides loaded with text. 0.822
15 全是文字没有互动的 PPT 让我很乏味。 PPT slides filled up with solely script but without interactions make me bored. 0.882
16 “读 PPT”让我觉得很无聊。 Reading from script in the PPT slides bores me. 0.745

因子4 作业情境型无聊 Factor 4 Homework B oredom

17 想到英语作业就很烦躁。 Just thinking of my English homework makes me feel bored. 0.833
18 英语作业太多了,我好烦。 I get bored of too much English homework. 0.818
19 英语作业太难了,我不想做。 English homework is over-challenging and I don’t want to do it. 0.841
20 写英语作业是好枯燥的事情。 Doing English homework is a dull activity. 0.823

因子5 厌师型无聊 Factor 5 Teacher- D islike B oredom

21 英语老师不是我喜欢的那种类型(语音、语调或相貌),所以我对英语课也不是很感兴趣。 I am not interested in English class, because the English teacher isn’t likable (e. g., tone, pitch or facial appearance). 0.814
22 英语老师比较无趣,所以课堂比较沉闷。 The English teacher is an uninteresting, so the English class is dull. 0.821
23 我真的不想听英语老师花很长的时间发表自己的个人感慨。 I really dislike the English teacher spending so much time making personal comments. 0.696
24 英语老师花很长时间讲与教学内容无关的事情,我觉得好厌烦。 I feel agitated because the English teacher spends too much time saying things that are irrelevant to the teaching material. 0.663

因子6 学习特质型无聊 Factor 6: General L earning T rait B oredom

25 学习的时候,我总是感到无聊。 I’m always bored when I study. 0.767
26 我就是对学习不太感兴趣的人。 I’m somebody who is not interested in study. 0.830
27 学习(不仅仅英语学习)是一件无聊的事情。 Not only learning English, studying is dull in general. 0.887
28 其他科目和英语一样无聊。 Other subjects are similarly boring and dull like English. 0.781
29 我学习所有科目只是因为我不得不学。 I’m forced to learn all the subjects including English. 0.772

因子7 任务过难或缺乏意义型无聊 Factor 7 Over- C hallenging or M eaningless T ask B oredom

30 英语老师不是很重视的环节,我也会觉得无所谓。 I don’t care about teaching and learning activities that the English teacher does not value. 0.747
31 英语老师不想讲的时候,我也不想听。 When the English teacher seems unmotivated to teach, I lose my motivation to listen to him/her as well. 0.803
32 听不懂同伴的口语展示时,我会觉得很无聊。 If I cannot understand classmates’ presentations, I become really bored. 0.653


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Published Online: 2021-01-13

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