Chapter 5, Emotion, Cognition, and Engagement in GLL, builds upon the psychological, cognitive, and neurobiological evidence spotlighted in previous chapters to show how thought, emotion, and action come together in pursuit of, and in response to, L2 acquisition and experience.
Because commitment and fortitude are needed in long-term language acquisition, this chapter focuses on emotional processes primarily related to goal-directedness, which activates what we think of as cognitive constructs – self-concept, motivation, mindset, imagination – that set the course. Closely connected to emotional processing, it is these aspects of the individual that guide intentional actions, thereby shaping and sustaining that long-term process. Interview data from gifted L2 learners illustrate how this works in terms of emotion regulation, upholding attention to accuracy, while also sustaining their deep investment in the target language. Chapter 5 makes clear that gifted language learners navigate their individual challenge through a balance of social, emotional, and cognitive support systems, none of which stand apart from nature or nurture.