Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

On the Correlation among Iranian Efl Learners' Emotional Intelligence, Self Esteem, and Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

On the Correlation among Iranian Efl Learners' Emotional Intelligence, Self Esteem, and Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Language acquisition/ learning is one of the most impressive and fascinating aspects of human development. Many researchers in EFL setting believe that learners in EFL classrooms have certain characteristics that will lead to more or less successful language learning. All normal children, given a normal upbringing, are successful in acquiring their first language. But as for foreign language, their success varies greatly. So there must be such characteristics that make this great difference. Personality characteristics are among the factors which are generally considered to be pertinent to language learning (Miller, 1991; Barrick & Mount, 1993; Erdheim, Wang & Zickar, 2006). Personality characteristics within a person can help in some way to the success of language learning. Self-esteem is one of the important facets. Self-esteem is probably the most important aspect of any human behavior. Malinowski (1923) stated that all human beings have a need for phatic communion - which is related to finding acceptance in expressing that self in relation to other val uable people.

It is a fact that self-concept is a multidimensional concept, and it may have an important implication for foreign language learner researchers. Merce (2011) holds that it is possible that learner's self-concept in one language is not necessarily indicative of his/her self-concept in another language. Therefore, in order to focus on these possibly distinct self-concepts, research into the construct has to be language specific (Merce, 2011).As an important affective factors, self-esteem certainly has an impact on success or failure in the learning process. Some important aspects of foreign language learning are certainly related to the issue of EFL learners' sense of himself or herself. Learners' motivations and achievement, and the balance bet ween the two factors have to be mentioned in this context. James (1890) defined self-esteem as a ratio of achievement measured against aspirations within areas of particular importance. Research has shown that a student who feels good about himself or herself is more likely to succeed. Holly (1987) compiled a summary of many studies and pointed out that most indicated that self-esteem is the result rather than the cause of academic achievement. In addition, Covington, M. (1989) from the University of California carried out an extensive review of the research on the relationship between self-esteem and achievement, concluding that ''selfesteem can be modified through direct instruction and that such instruction can lead to achievement gains''. As Brown (1994) says, good teachers succeed "because they give optimal attention to linguistic goals and to the personhood of their students." Although some studies have examined the role of motivation and some personality factors of the EFL learners, there is still a lack of research on foreign language situation in which anxiety of college language learners in Iranian EFL context, their self -esteem and emotional intelligence were studied simultaneously. The primary purpose of the present study is, therefore, to investigate the correlation among emotional intelligence, self-esteem and foreign language classroom anxiety among Iranian EFL college students.

2. Review of Literature

2.1. Emotional Intelligence

One factor which is considered an important one and even the most important factor is EFL learners' intelligence. According to Bar-On (2004), emotional intelligence can be defined as "an array of non -cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one's ability to succeed in the coping with environmental demands and pressures" (p.111). Bar-On (1988) was the first researcher who coined the term emotional quotient (EQ) as a counterpart to Intelligence Quotient (IQ), that is, to cognitive ability. According to Bar -On (2004) emotional intelligence and skills develop and increase over time, change throughout life, are process - oriented, and can be improved through training. …

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