Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Investigating the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Writing Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency among Graduate Students of Tefl

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Investigating the Relationship between Emotional Intelligence and Writing Complexity, Accuracy, and Fluency among Graduate Students of Tefl

Article excerpt


Emotional intelligence (EI) is regarded as one of the most important parts of individual personality that enhances the chance of success in life, school and work (Salovey, Mayer, & Caruso, 2006). Bar-On (2006) provided a theoretical basis to evaluate different aspects of EI. BarOn (2006, p.14) defined EI as "a cross-section of interrelated emotional and social competencies, skills and facilitators that determine how effectively we understand and express ourselves, understand others and relate with them, and cope with daily demands".

Bar-On's (2006) model of EI consists of the following components: a) the capability to understand, perceive and express emotions and feelings b) the capability to recognize and understand other's emotions and relate with them c) the capability to handle, adapt, modify and solve problems of oneself and others d) the capability to regulate, control and manage emotions and feelings e) the capability to be positive and self-motivated.

As learning an L2 is an intellectually complex process, EI may have a positive relationship with L2 learning (Ehrman, Leaver, & Oxford, 2003). In effect, several barriers in L2 learning can be removed by considering learners' emotions, and consequently, L2 learning can be facilitated (Tsuboya, 1998).

One of the demanding skills for L2 learners is writing (Barkaoui, 2007). The role of writing skill especially in academic context is growing in recent years. The reason of interest in writing is due to publishing research internationally, and it means publishing in English (Leki, 2001).

L2 writing can be analyzed and assessed in terms of notions of complexity, accuracy, and fluency (CAF) which are three important dimensions of L2 performance (Skehan, 1998). CAF provide significant criteria for assessment of the EFL learners' performance in oral and written activities (Housen & Kuiken, 2009). Moreover, CAF are distinct components of L2 performance which can be separately measured (Housen & Kuiken, 2009). Each component of CAF is important in L2 performance and more attention to one of them may have a negative influence on the other components in L2 learning process (Skehan, 2009).

Complexity, as the first component of CAF, is defined as "a dynamic property of learner's interlanguage system at large or as a more stable property of individual linguistic elements that make up inter-language system" (Housen & Kuiken, 2009, p. 5). There are two kinds of complexity; lexical complexity and syntactic complexity. Lexical complexity refers to total number of complex words in a text and "syntactic complexity is characterized by lexical complexity and a clause with any type of non-canonical words order" (Ghonsooly & Shalchy, 2013, p. 149).

Accuracy is the oldest and commonly notion which is used to measure L2 proficiency. Housen and Kuiken (2009, p. 3) stated that accuracy is the most consistent component of CAF and refers to "degree of deviation from the norm" that it means identifying errors. In other words, learners produce accurate language when they control L2 grammar features in their performance (Housen & Kuiken, 2009). A range of measures are used to assess L2 production accuracy in applied linguistics, for example, the proportion of error free clauses (Skehan, 2009); the correct verb forms (the percentage of accurately used verbs in the task) (Ellis &Yuan, 2004); and the number of errors per 100 words (Mehnert, 1998).

Fluency refers to the number of syllables and words and pauses in a text (Housen & Kuiken, 2009). Concerning fluency, a range of measures are available to assess fluency in learner's performance; first, breakdown fluency by number and length of pausing; second, repair fluency by number of repetition, reformulation, false starts, and replacements; third, measured by rate of syllables per minute.

To the best of the researchers' knowledge, in spite of a growing body of research investigating the relationship between EI and L2 learning, few studies have been conducted on examining the relationship between EI and L2 writing, and there is a paucity of research on the relationship between EI and writing CAF. …

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