affective factors, EFL learning, text classification, feature selection, EFL students, higher education, affective barriers


This study aims to place EFL learners along an affective continuum via machine learning methods and present a new dataset about affective characteristics of EFL learners. In line with the purposes, written self-reports of 475 students from 5 different faculties in 3 universities in Turkey were collected and manually assigned by the researchers to one of the labels (positive, negative, or neutral). As a result, two combinations of the same dataset (AC-2 and AC-3) including different numbers of classes were used for the assessment of automatic classification approaches. Results revealed that automatic classification confirmed the manual classification to a great extent and machine learning methods could be used to classify EFL students along an affective continuum according to their affective characteristics. Maximum accuracy rate of automatic classification is 90.06% on AC-2 dataset including two classes. Similarly, on AC-3 dataset including three classes, maximum accuracy rate of classification is 71.79%. Last, the top-10 features/words obtained by feature selection methods are highly discriminative in terms of assessing student feelings for EFL learning. It could be stated that there is not an existing study in which feature selection methods and classifiers are used in the literature to automatically classify EFL learners’ feelings.

Author Biographies

Derya Uysal, Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University

Derya UYSAL is an Assistant Professor Doctor in School of Foreign Languages in Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University in Antalya, Turkey.  She teaches EFL in preparatory program and English-medium departments of the university. She got a PhD degree in curriculum and instruction. Her research interests are EFL learning and teaching, affective domain, curriculum design, development and instruction.

Alper Kürşat Uysal, Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University

Alper Kürşat UYSAL received the B.S. degree in computer engineering from Selcuk University, Turkey, in 2002, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from Anadolu University, Turkey, in 2005 and 2013, respectively. He was a Visiting Research Fellow with the ECE Department, University of Michigan Dearborn, USA, from 2016 to 2017 for 12 months. He has been an Associate Professor Doctor in the Computer Engineering Department, Alanya Alaaddin Keykubat University, Turkey since 2021. His research interests include pattern recognition, text classification, and feature selection.


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