هوش هیجانی و ارتباط آن با اضطراب دانشجویان زبان انگلیسی

نوع مقاله: علمی پژوهشی

نویسندگان

1 Assitant professor of English Department, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.

2 M. A. in TEFL

چکیده

پژوهش‌های فراوانی پیرامون اضطراب در کلاس‌های زبان انگلیسی و نیز در مورد هوش هیجانی افراد در موقعیت‌های مختلف به انجام رسیده است. هدف اصلی این تحقیق، بررسی این موضوع بود که آیا ارتباط خاصی بین مهارت‌های هوش هیجانی (مانند مهارت‌های  بین فردی ، درون فردی و مدیریت استرس) و میزان اضطراب زبان آموزان ایرانی وجود دارد یا نه. افراد مورد تحقیق شامل 152 نفر از دانشجویان دختر و پسر زبان انگلیسی (ترم اول و دوم) از دانشگاه آزاد اسلامی واحد تبریز بودند که بصورت اتفاقی انتخاب شدند. به منظور تعیین سطح اضطراب در کلاس‌های زبان و مهارت‌های هوش هیجانی ،محقق دو پرسشنامه آزمون اضطراب کلاس زبان  (حورویتزHorwitz ) و آزمون هوش هیجانی (بارنBar-on ) را بکار برد. براساس یافته‌های این پژوهش، بطور کلی بین اضطراب یادگیری زبان و مهارت‌های هوش هیجانی، ارتباط معنی‌دار وجود دارد. مطابق نتایج این تحقیق، همبستگی منفی میان اضطراب و تمامی زیر مهارت‌های انتخابی هوش هیجانی (به غیر از روابط بین شخصی) وجود دارد. این تحقیق نشان داد که تفاوت نمرات میانگین اضطراب بین دانشجویان دختر و پسر معنی‌دار نمی‌باشد. همچنین براساس یافته‌های این پژوهش، تفاوت نمرات میانگین هوش هیجانی در میان دانشجویان دختر و پسر به جز مهارت‌های مدیریت استرس، خود شکوفایی و تحمل استرس که در آنها تفاوت معنی‌دار بوده است در سایر موارد معنی‌دار نمی‌باشد.
 

کلیدواژه‌ها


عنوان مقاله [English]

Emotional Intelligence and Its Relevance to Foreign Language Students Anxiety

نویسندگان [English]

  • Saeideh Ahangari 1
  • Afshin Taghizadeh 2
چکیده [English]

Many studies have been conducted on anxiety in EFL classroom settings and also on individuals' Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills in a variety of situations. The major purpose of this study was to assess if there were any specific relationships between Iranian EFL learners’ EI skills (such as interpersonal, intrapersonal and stress –management) and their anxiety level. Participants of the study were 152 EFL college students, both males and females, who were selected randomly among freshmen and sophomores in Islamic Azad University -Tabriz. The researcher utilized two questionnaires to collect the required data in order to determine the level of foreign language classroom anxiety and emotional intelligence skills. The first questionnaire was Horwitz's foreign language classroom anxiety scale (FLCAS) and the second one was Bar-on's Emotional Intelligence test. Based on the quantitative findings of this study, it was found that there exited a significant correlation between foreign language learning anxiety and emotional intelligence skills in total. It was also found there were significant negative correlations among all the selected sub skills of EI in this study, except between interpersonal relationships and anxiety. It was also noted that the difference of anxiety mean scores between EFL male and female participants was not significant. Based on results of this study, the difference of EI mean scores between EFL males and females was not significant, except the sub skills "stress-management, self-actualization and stress – tolerance", in which there was a significant EI difference means scores. 

کلیدواژه‌ها [English]

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Anxiety
  • stress management
  • interpersonal skill
  • intrapersonal skill

Emotional Intelligence and Its Relevance to Foreign Language

Students¢ Anxiety

 

Saeideh Ahangari (Ph. D.)[1]

Reception Date:   27 Jan 2011

Accept Date: 17 June 2012

 

Afshin Taghizadeh[2]

 
   

 

 

 

 

Abstract

Many studies have been conducted on anxiety in EFL classroom settings and also on individuals' Emotional Intelligence (EI) skills in a variety of situations. The major purpose of this study was to assess if there were any specific relationships between Iranian EFL learners’ EI skills (such as interpersonal, intrapersonal and stress –management) and their anxiety level. Participants of the study were 152 EFL college students, both males and females, who were selected randomly among freshmen and sophomores in Islamic Azad University -Tabriz. The researcher utilized two questionnaires to collect the required data in order to determine the level of foreign language classroom anxiety and emotional intelligence skills. The first questionnaire was Horwitz's foreign language classroom anxiety scale (FLCAS) and the second one was Bar-on's Emotional Intelligence test. Based on the quantitative findings of this study, it was found that there exited a significant correlation between foreign language learning anxiety and emotional intelligence skills in total. It was also found there were significant negative correlations among all the selected sub skills of EI in this study, except between interpersonal relationships and anxiety. It was also noted that the difference of anxiety mean scores between EFL male and female participants was not significant. Based on results of this study, the difference of EI mean scores between EFL males and females was not significant, except the sub skills "stress-management, self-actualization and stress – tolerance", in which there was a significant EI difference means scores.

 

Key words: emotional intelligence, anxiety, stress management, interpersonal skill, intrapersonal skill

Introduction

Learning a second language is a long and complex process and as Schmitt (2002) points out we are nowhere near to being able to comprehend it in its entirety. Your whole person is affected as you struggle to reach beyond the confines of your first language and into a new language, a new culture, a new way of thinking, feeling and acting (Brown, 2000). According to Burden & Williams (2002), the process of education, as language teaching and learning, is one of the most important and complex of all human endeavors. The successful educator must be one who understands the complexities of the teaching-learning process and can draw upon this knowledge to act in ways which empowers learners both within and beyond the classroom situations. (Burden & Williams 2002).                    

Burden & Williams (2002) believe that as part of the process of education, teachers should maintain a continuous process of personal reflection, within which they become aware of the personal and cultural values and beliefs that underpin their own and other people’s actions. Psychological factors play a significant role in language learning. Positive emotions can facilitate the language learning process and improve learners’ language performance, while negative emotions will bring barriers to language learning and reduce learners’ learning capacity (Meng & Wang, 2006).

Horwitz (2001) proposed that a specific anxiety called foreign language anxiety was responsible for students' uncomfortable experiences in language classes and offered an instrument, the foreign language classroom anxiety scale (FLCAS), to measure this anxiety. According to Horwitz (2001), the findings concerning anxiety and language achievement have been relatively uniform, indicating a consistent moderate negative relationship between these two variables.

If teachers are concerned with helping students develop their second language ability, they may also want to address and improve students' Emotional Intelligence skills. Emotional Intelligence is different from the traditional view of cognitive intelligence (Chau, 2003). The concept of Emotional Intelligence and its impact on learning second or foreign language is relatively new. The term was first proposed in 1990 by Peter Salovey and John Mayer, and refers to the ability to recognize and regulate emotions in oneself and in others (Goleman, 1995). It is conceptualized as a confluence of learned abilities resulting in wise behavior, high achievement, and mental health (Nelson & Low, 2003). Although most researchers have attempted to understand some aspects of Emotional Intelligence and its impact on foreign or second language learning, others have focused on the effects of stress management and self-esteem on Emotional Intelligence and that through appropriate Emotional Intelligence skills one can apply his or her judgment and reasoning to deal with anxious situations.

 

            Since the publication of the best selling book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman (1995), the topic of Emotional Intelligence has witnessed unparalleled interest (cited in Stys & Brown, 2004). Programs seeking to increase Emotional Intelligence have been implemented in numerous settings, and courses on developing one’s Emotional Intelligence skills have been introduced in universities and even in elementary schools throughout the United States (Stys & Brown, 2004).

 As is the case with all constructs (i.e. intelligence or personality), several schools of thought exist which aim to most accurately describe and measure the notion of Emotional Intelligence. At the most general level, Emotional Intelligence (E.I.) refers to the ability to recognize and regulate emotions in ourselves and others (Goleman, 2001).    Mayer & Salovey (1990), who originally used the term "Emotional Intelligence" in his published writings, initially defined emotional intelligence as “a form of intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions” (p.186).

Later, Mayer & Salovey, (1990) revised their definition of Emotional Intelligence; the current characterization now being the most widely accepted. Emotional Intelligence was thus defined as the ability to perceive emotion, integrate emotions to facilitate thought, understand emotions, and to regulate emotions to promote personal growth. Another prominent researcher of the Emotional Intelligence construct is Reuven

Bar-On,  the originator of the term "Emotional Quotient" (EQ). Possessing a slightly different outlook, he defines Emotional Intelligence as being concerned with understanding oneself and others, relating to people, and adapting to and coping with the immediate surroundings to be more successful in dealing with environmental demands (Bar-On, 1997). Regardless of the discrepancies between definitions of Emotional Intelligence, it is clear that what is being referred to is distinct from standard intelligence, or (I.Q).

According to Nelson & Low (2003), emotionally intelligent behavior is wise behavior. To behave wisely requires the synergistic effect of the emotional mind with the cognitive mind. Thinking and feeling are not totally independent processes, and emotionally intelligent behavior requires a harmony of the two minds. Emotional Intelligence, as Nelson & Low (2003) maintain, is a series of interrelated skills and competencies of interpersonal skills (e.g. assertiveness in communication), self-management skills (as time management, goal achievement, commitment ethic, and personal responsibility), and the intrapersonal skills of self -efficacy and stress management.

 As mentioned earlier, anxiety plays an important role in second language learning. It is believed that EI also contributes to individual’s academic learning, the climate of schools and organizations, career pursuits, interpersonal relationships, and lifetime achievement (Low & Nelson; Mayer & Cobb, cited in Chau, 2003).

         The main purpose of the present study was to investigate the perceived levels of anxiety, if any, experienced by a randomly selected sample of Iranian EFL learners in Islamic Azad University- Tabriz and to explore the link between foreign language anxiety and Emotional Intelligence skills. To achieve this purpose, the following research questions were raised:

1. Does the level of anxiety differ among Iranian male and female EFL college students?

2. Does the level of Emotional Intelligence skills differ among Iranian male and female EFL college students?

3.  Are there any significant relationships between foreign language anxiety and Emotional Intelligence skills for Iranian college students? If so, what are they?

 

Method

This study presents a descriptive and survey- based study which tried to explore the relationship between foreign language classroom anxiety and Emotional Intelligence skills in the interpersonal, stress-management, and intrapersonal levels among IranianEFLCollege students.

 

Participants

The study was held at Islamic Azad university of Tabriz. All the participants had studied English as a foreign language in high school and Junior-High school. Their age range was between 20-30.Their major was "English teaching" and most of their purposes were to be English teachers after graduation. The sample size of the population in this study was about 152.

 

Instrumentation

The researcher in this study used two well-known instruments in order to determine whether foreign language anxiety has any correlation with students' skills of Emotional Intelligence. The first instrument was foreign language classroom anxiety scale (FLCAS) which has been prepared by Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope (1986). (FLCAS) is a Likert –type scale which contains thirty-three statements about foreign language learning and the students' anxiety in language classroom. The minimum score is 33 and the maximum score is 165 points. In this scale each item was given five points wherever it indicated anxiety and one point when it didn’t. In the case that some items were negatively worded, they were scored reversely. According to (Horwitz, 1986) , this instrument has a relatively high validity and reliability in terms of its alpha coefficient (.93) and its test –retest coefficient (.83) (as cited in Chau ,2003,p.40) .

The next questionnaire used in this study was Bar-on’s Emotional Intelligence Skills test (1980-1997). According to Bar-on (1988), the Likert- type questionnaire was designed by Bar-on in 1980 emerging from the question why are some of the people more successful than the others? (As cited in Samouie et al., 2001). It comprises 90 items about different skills of EI. The minimum score of this scale is 90 and the maximum score is 90× 5=450. Facing with some of the items which are negatively worded, the researcher applied the reversed scores.

The test was performed upon 3831 subjects from 5 countries (Argentina, Germany, India, Nigeria, and South Africa) among whom 48.8 % were males and 51.2% were females (Samouie, 2001). The reliability of the test based on Corenbach alpha was 74% for males and 93% for females in total (Samouie, 2001).

Bar-on's EI test  measures one's Emotional Intelligence from various domains: Emotional Self-Awareness (ES), Assertiveness (AS), Self-Regard (SR), Self-Actualization (SA), Independence (IN), Interpersonal Relationship (RE), Flexibility (FL), Stress Tolerance (ST), Impulse Control (IC), Optimism (OP) and  Problem Solving, etc. However, the researcher in this research concentrated on some selected variables of Emotional Intelligence as following:

   (1) Intrapersonal skills, (Self Regard, Emotional Self-Awareness, Assertiveness, Independence, Self-Actualization).

(2) Interpersonal skills (Empathy, Social Responsibility, Interpersonal Relationship).

(3) Stress management skills (Stress Tolerance, Impulse Control).

The purpose was to research the relevant issues of the selected subcategories of Emotional Intelligence with foreign language students' anxiety in Islamic Azad University in Tabriz. 

 

 

 

 

Procedure

Identifying Iranian EFL students' anxiety and its relevant links and correlations with their Emotional Intelligence skills was the major purpose of this study. The instruments in this research were two self-report questionnaires, which were administered to one hundred and fifty two Iranian EFL college students who were in the first and second terms of their study. In order to remove any language problems in Bar-on's EI test, the present researcher provided the Persian version of the English items in the questionnaire.

For the purposes of this study, an overall language anxiety level and Emotional Intelligence skills were presented followed by gender comparison. The collected data were grouped by gender and level of foreign language anxiety. Based on the FLCAS results, males and females were scored according to the categories of high, average, and low anxiety. The selected subskills of Emotional Intelligence were reported in terms of their internal correlation and external correlation with foreign language classroom anxiety. Finally, comparisons were made between high anxiety males and low anxiety males. The most enhanced or the less developed Emotional Intelligence skills between the high anxiety males and low anxiety males were compared. The same methodology was applied to females. The Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient, r, was employed to examine the comparative association of two variables: foreign language anxiety and Emotional Intelligence skills. The collected data was organized for analysis with regard to the original research questions.

 

Design

The researcher in this study did a descriptive, survey-based research to see whether there was any correlation between the two independent variables (anxiety and Emotional Intelligence skills) or not. To do so, the level of anxiety and the level of EI in total were extracted. The levels of each selected subcategories of Emotional Intelligence, that is, interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills and stress- management skills were obtained, too.

Data analysis

In order to investigate the relationship of foreign language anxiety to Emotional Intelligence skills in Iranian EFL college settings, the researcher used a descriptive analysis of the quantitative data.

 To answer the first question, foreign language anxiety of the selected subject population was measured by using the Horwitz, Horwitz, and Cope’s  (FLCAS) scale.

Research Question (1): Does level of anxiety differ among male and female Iranian EFL college students?

 

Table 1. Descriptive statistics for anxiety by gender

 

 

Gender

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Anxiety

Female

104

47. 4796

15. 21810

1. 49226

Male

27

47. 1942

14. 04908

2. 70375

 

  Female mean score is (47.47) and male anxiety mean is (47.19) according to this Table and the conclusion is that there existed no difference between male and female mean scores among Iranian foreign language students.


Table (2). Independent Samples Test for the anxiety by gender

Independent Samples Test

 

 

 

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances

t-test for Equality of Means

F

Sig.

T

Df

Sig.
(2-tailed)

Mean Difference

Std. Error Difference

 

 

Anxiety

Equal variances assumed

.354

.553

.088

129

.930

.2854

3.23768

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

.092

43.240

.927

.2854

3.08822

 

 

As Table 2 shows, the difference between the anxiety level of male and female subjects was not significant (t = .088, p= .93). As (p) value was less than .05, it means that there was not a meaningful difference between the anxiety level of the male and female EFL learners in this study.

 

Research Question (2): Does level of Emotional Intelligence skills differ among Iranian male and female EFL college students?

We extracted the levels of EI skills based on Bar-on’s test for each skill separately. The scores helped us to understand the level of their EI.

 

Table (3). Bar-On's total EI test means by gender

 

SEX

Mean

N

Std. Deviation

Female

60.3414

120

11.91548

Male

63.9300

31

10.30645

Total

61.0782

151

11.66173

 

According to the data results in Table (3), Female mean score of EI is (60.34) with the standard deviation of (11.91) and male EI mean score is (63.93) with standard deviation being (10.30). The minimum score is 37.62 and the maximum is 92.01. It also indicates that the skewness value is (sk. = 0.231) ,which means that the Skewness is positive and that the majority of students have lower score than mean score. On the other hand, the kurtosis value is (ku. = -.331), indicating that the peakness is negative.

The analysis of data is discussed in the following sections in accordance with the results of Tables (4) and (5).

 

Table (4). Group Statistics

 

Group Statistics

 

 

 

SEX

N

Mean

Std. Deviation

Std. Error Mean

Interpersonal

Female

120

59.7743

14.21233

1.29740

Male

31

62.2648

12.37118

2.22193

Intrapersonal

Female

120

79.2708

9.60423

.87674

Male

31

79.1219

9.00448

1.61725

stress-management

Female

120

41.9792

21.30018

1.94443

Male

31

50.4032

18.00543

3.23387

Emotional self awareness

Female

120

63.5764

16.82779

1.53616

Male

31

63.8441

14.64815

2.63089

Assertiveness

Female

120

53.9583

20.55380

1.87630

Male

31

54.4355

15.69882

2.81959

Self actualization

Female

120

62.7431

17.80346

1.62523

Male

31

70.0269

15.89969

2.85567

Independence

Female

120

58.8194

17.28698

1.57808

Male

31

60.7527

17.40630

3.12626

Interpersonal  relationships

Female

120

74.2014

15.87121

1.44884

Male

31

72.7151

14.46734

2.59841

Social responsibility

Female

120

81.9792

11.70016

1.06807

Male

31

85.3495

10.36772

1.86210

Empathy

Female

120

81.6319

11.95101

1.09097

Male

31

79.3011

11.30818

2.03101

Stress tolerance

Female

120

41.5972

21.94834

2.00360

Male

31

52.8226

18.39595

3.30401

Impulse control

Female

120

42.3611

25.53886

2.33137

Male

31

47.9839

21.96564

3.94515

Self regard

Female

120

63.2292

19.22475

1.75497

 

Male

31

68.6828

15.69645

2.81917

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table (5). Independent Samples Test

 

 

 

Levene's Test for Equality of Variances

t-test for Equality of Means

 

F

Sig.

T

df

Sig.
 (2-tailed)

Mean

Difference

Std.

 Error Difference

 
 

Interpersonal

Equal variances assumed

1.164

.282

-.892

149

.374

-2.4905

2.79268

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-.968

52.408

.338

-2.4905

2.57298

 

Intrapersonal

Equal variances assumed

.324

.570

.078

149

.938

.1490

1.91128

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

.081

49.154

.936

.1490

1.83962

 

Stress-Management

Equal variances assumed

1.349

.247

-2.022

149

.045

-8.4241

4.16627

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-2.232

53.839

.030

-8.4241

3.77342

 

Emotional Self-Awareness

Equal variances assumed

.538

.465

-.081

149

.936

-.2677

3.30662

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-.088

52.407

.930

-.2677

3.04653

 

Assertiveness

Equal variances assumed

2.066

.153

-.120

149

.904

-.4772

3.96355

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-.141

59.510

.888

-.4772

3.38683

 

Self-Actualization

Equal variances assumed

.145

.704

-2.073

149

.040

-7.2838

3.51306

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-2.217

51.227

.031

-7.2838

3.28576

 

Independence

Equal variances assumed

.098

.754

-.554

149

.580

-1.9332

3.48771

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-.552

46.475

.584

-1.9332

3.50198

 

Interpersonal Relationships

Equal variances assumed

1.624

.205

.473

149

.637

1.4863

3.14272

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

.500

50.328

.620

1.4863

2.97504

 

Responsibility

Equal variances assumed

.370

.544

-1.462

149

.146

-3.3703

2.30573

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-1.570

51.580

.123

-3.3703

2.14667

 

Empathy

Equal variances assumed

.122

.728

.978

149

.329

2.3309

2.38230

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

1.011

48.786

.317

2.3309

2.30548

 

Stress Tolerance

Equal variances assumed

3.062

.082

-2.618

149

.010

-11.2254

4.28751

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-2.905

54.271

.005

-11.2254

3.86405

 

Impulse Control

Equal variances assumed

.974

.325

-1.123

149

.263

-5.6228

5.00877

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-1.227

52.983

.225

-5.6228

4.58252

 

Self regard

Equal variances assumed

1.686

.196

-1.458

149

.147

-5.4536

3.74102

 

Equal variances not assumed

 

 

-1.642

55.650

.106

-5.4536

3.32079

 

 

 

                                                                                   

 

Stress-management

Pearson Correlation

-.367(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

N

132

 

As it is shown in Table 5, none of the Emotional Intelligence subskills shows significant difference between male and female subjects, except for the stress management, self-actualization and stress tolerance.  

 stress-management, (p = 0.045), self-actualization (p =0.040) and stress- tolerance (p =0.010) in which p< .05.   So the difference mean score between males and females is significant. However, in the remaining variables the amount of (p) is more than (0.05), (p> .05). That is the difference mean score between males and females is not significant.

 

 Research Question 3

Are there any significant relationships between foreign language anxiety and Emotional Intelligence skills for Iranian college students? If so, what are they?

 

Table 6. Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (r)

Between EI and anxiety

 

 

N

Total EI

Sig.(2-tailed)

Anxiety

132

-.485

 

0.000

 

 

EFL Learning Anxiety and EI in total:

            Regarding the facts that anxiety and EI are measured in a quantitative interval scale, we applied Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (r).  According to Table (6) it is seen that (r) between two variables is (r=-.458) with the level of significant (p=0.000). As we have p< 0.05, so there exists a negative correlation between anxiety and total E

Table 7. Pearson product moment correlation coefficient (r) between (anxiety and EI in total), plus (anxiety and EI sub skills) separately:

 

Independence

Pearson Correlation

-.294(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.001

N

132

Stress tolerance

Pearson Correlation

-.482(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

N

132

Self actualization

Pearson Correlation

-.362(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

N

132

Emot ional

self awareness

Pearson Correlation

-.316(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

N

132

Interpersonal

Relationships

Pearson Correlation

-.171

Sig. (2-tailed)

.050

N

132

Self-regard

Pearson Correlation

-.404(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

N

132

Impulse control

Pearson Correlation

-.198(*)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.023

N

132

Responsibility

Pearson Correlation

-.228(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.008

N

132

Empathy

Pearson Correlation

-.201(*)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.021

N

132

Assertiveness

Pearson Correlation

-.349(**)

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

N

132

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, there are significant negative correlations among all selected subskills and anxiety except "Interpersonal Relationships and Anxiety".

Discussion

         The position advocated in this study is that learners’ potential is hampered by anxiety and its associated reductions in self-esteem, risk taking and competitiveness. Educators should help anxious students cope with existing anxiety-provoking situations and endeavor to make the learning context less stressful. Creating a low-anxiety classroom atmosphere is clearly an important prerequisite to language learning success. Therefore, teachers need to encourage students to recognize their language learning fears and situations that provoke anxiety for them.

  This research studied two variables and attempted to examine how their correlations are likely predominant in foreign language learning. The two variables were foreign language learning anxiety and some selected Emotional Intelligence skills (interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills and stress- management skills).

  The first question explored Iranian students' foreign language anxiety level. The results indicate that Iranian subjects of this study seem to have some degree of language anxiety in learning a foreign language. However, there wasn’t a significant difference between male and female subjects regarding their level of anxiety.

  Further more, in second question the purpose was to explore the level of EI skills among Iranian EFL subjects. According to the results of the present study, the level of EI skills in Iranian EFL students' context is low, but none of the Emotional Intelligence subskills shows significant difference between male and female subjects, except for the stress management, self-actualizationandstress tolerance.    

        By the third research question, we attempted to discover whether or not there was a significant relationship between foreign language anxiety and Emotional Intelligence skills. Based on the findings of this study, EI skills correlate significantly with foreign language anxiety. The selected skills of EI in this study are Intrapersonal skills, (Self Regard, Emotional Self-Awareness, Assertiveness, Independence, Self-Actualization), (2) Interpersonal skills (Empathy, Social Responsibility, Interpersonal Relationship) and (3) Stress management skills (Stress Tolerance, Impulse Control). The results of this study suggest that male participants demonstrate a higher level of stress tolerance, self-actualization and stress –management. Furthermore, difference mean scores among other selected subskills are not significant by gender.  The data analysis in general revealed that students who held less control of their Emotional Intelligence skills had higher level of anxiety. However, those who were equipped with EI skills had more control on their anxiety. Considered to be an important affective variable, anxiety has been found to correlate with English-learning achievement among different groups of people in various contexts.

      In order to explore high school students’ English learning anxiety in Chinese EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms, Zhao Na (2007) surveyed 115 students (56 males and 59 females) from a high school in Shandong Province, China. The mean score of the study (M=2.9310) indicated that students indeed had comparatively high anxiety in English learning. In their study the results of t-test indicated that there were significant differences between males and females’ level of anxiety in English classes (p=0.026, at the level of 0.05). The result is not in line with the findings of the present study. As the present study didn’t show any significant difference between males and females’ anxiety levels.

       Kataya, S. and Awasthi, E. (2005) conducted a study on 150 students (75 males and 75 females) in Government Model Senior Secondary Schools of Chandigarh, India.

The purpose of the study was to find about the gender differences in emotional intelligence among the students. The results revealed that majority of males and females and the total sample had good level of emotional intelligence (females score= 64%, males score = 61.33% and total sample = 62.66%) and that female students had higher level of emotional intelligence than that of males. However, the results of a t-test (t=1.31, p= 0.10) showed that the difference didn’t reach a significant level. In accord with the authors of this study, the findings of this study may not be conclusive but suggestive of trend.  The obtained results are in line with the findings of the present study in which the difference mean score between males and females in emotional intelligence is not significant.

      Given the recent interest by researchers in the emotional intelligence (EI) construct, it is worthy of considering it as an outstanding tool in different situations. In line with the findings of this study, the study by Montes-Berges et al. (2007) with nursing students has also shown that emotional intelligence is a skill that minimizes the negative anxiety consequences. The study conducted by Oginska- Bulik, N. (2005) was aimed to explore the relationship between emotional intelligence and perceived stress in the workplace and health-related consequences in human service workers. The results confirmed the essential, but not very strong, role of emotional intelligence in perceiving occupational stress and relieving employees of negative health outcomes. They concluded that the ability to effectively deal with emotions and emotional information in the workplace assisted employees in coping with occupational stress therefore; it should be developed in stress- managing trainings. Chau, (2003) tried to find out whether there was a relationship between foreign language anxiety and emotional intelligence for Taiwanese college students or not. Significant correlations were found from the subjects’ EI total scores

(r=- .45) and their anxiety areas (r=.36) at the level of (.01). The obtained results indicated that there was significant relationship between these two variables which is in line with the findings of the present research.

           It goes without saying that the current study requires much more survey and research work, especially in Iran.  Based on the findings of this study, emotional skills are significant factors in the process of language learning. So designing specific programs in college settings to improve and develop those skills is strongly recommended. These skills need to be developed to facilitate the students' capacity for learning a foreign language. It is also recommended that curricula or any educational purposes should be based on the relationship between EI and language learning anxiety in particularly academic settings.

      It would be essential to mention that due to the dearth of research work in the field of emotional intelligence, the researchers may come across some limitations of getting sufficient literature work.

     The obtained results will be beneficial for instructors, students, psychologists, and all those who are interested in this field to gain better insight about this vital element of success. 

                      

                                           

References

 

Bar-On, R. (1997). The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i): Technical manual. Toronto. Canada: Multi-Health Systems. Inc.

Brown, H.D. (2000). Principles of language learning and teaching (4th ed.). White Plains, NY: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

Burden, R.L &Williams, M.(2002). Psychology for language teachers. A social constructivist approach (5th ed.). Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.

Chau, Ch-T. (2003). Foreign language anxiety and Emotional Intelligence: A study of EFL students in Taiwan. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M university-Kingsville.

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence . New York: Bantam Books. Retrieved December 08, 2007,from http:// www.eiconsortium.org

Horwitz, K.E. (1986). Preliminary Evidence For The Reliability And Validity Of A Foreign Language Anxiety Scale. TESL Quarterly, 20,559-562.

Horwitz, K.E. (2001). Language Anxiety and Achievement. Annual  Review of Applied Linguistics. Vol.21, Pp.112-126. Cambridge university press.

Katayal, S.  and Awasthi, E.  (2005). Gender differences in Emotional Intelligence in Chandigarh, India. J. Hum. Ecol. , 17(2): 153-155 (2005).

Mayer, J. D. & Salovey, P. (1990). Emotional Intelligence. Imagination, cognition  and   personality. pp.185-211.

Meng, X &.Wang, Q. (2006). Psychological Factors and Teachers' Language.

             US-China Foreign Language. Vol. 4, pp.70-73. No.5 (Serial No. 32).

             Harbin Institute of Technology.

Montes-Berges, B. and Augusto, J. M. (2007). Exploring the relationship between perceived emotional intelligence, coping, social support and mental health in nursing students, Journal of psychiatric mental health Nursing, Vol. 14(2), 163-71.

Nelson, D. & Low, G. (2003). Emotional Intelligence and College Success: A Research-Based Assessment and Intervention Model. Javelina Emotional Intelligence (EI) Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Oginska-Bulik, N. (2005). Emotional intelligence in the workplace: exploring its effects on occupational stress and health outcomes in human service workers. International Journal Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Vol. 18(2):167-75.

Samouie et al., (2001). Tehran Sina Research Institute.

Schmitt, N. (2002). An introduction to applied linguistics.Arnold Publishers.   Co-publisher: Oxford University Press Inc.

Stys ,Y. & Brown, Sh. L. (2004).A Review of the Emotional Intelligence             literature and implications for corrections. Research Branch              correctional Service of Canada.

Zhao Na, (2007). A study of high school students’ English learning anxiety .The Asian   EFL journal, vol.9 number 3.



[1] - Assitant professor of English Department, Tabriz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tabriz, Iran.

[2] - M. A. in TEFL

Bar-On, R. (1997). The Emotional Quotient Inventory (EQ-i): Technical manual. Toronto. Canada: Multi-Health Systems. Inc.

Brown, H.D. (2000). Principles of language learning and teaching (4th ed.). White Plains, NY: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

Burden, R.L &Williams, M.(2002). Psychology for language teachers. A social constructivist approach (5th ed.). Cambridge: CambridgeUniversity Press.

Chau, Ch-T. (2003). Foreign language anxiety and Emotional Intelligence: A study of EFL students in Taiwan. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M university-Kingsville.

Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional Intelligence . New York: Bantam Books. Retrieved December 08, 2007,from http:// www.eiconsortium.org

Horwitz, K.E. (1986). Preliminary Evidence For The Reliability And Validity Of A Foreign Language Anxiety Scale. TESL Quarterly, 20,559-562.

Horwitz, K.E. (2001). Language Anxiety and Achievement. Annual  Review of Applied Linguistics. Vol.21, Pp.112-126. Cambridge university press.

Katayal, S.  and Awasthi, E.  (2005). Gender differences in Emotional Intelligence in Chandigarh, India. J. Hum. Ecol. , 17(2): 153-155 (2005).

Mayer, J. D. & Salovey, P. (1990). Emotional Intelligence. Imagination, cognition  and   personality. pp.185-211.

Meng, X &.Wang, Q. (2006). Psychological Factors and Teachers' Language.

             US-China Foreign Language. Vol. 4, pp.70-73. No.5 (Serial No. 32).

             Harbin Institute of Technology.

Montes-Berges, B. and Augusto, J. M. (2007). Exploring the relationship between perceived emotional intelligence, coping, social support and mental health in nursing students, Journal of psychiatric mental health Nursing, Vol. 14(2), 163-71.

Nelson, D. & Low, G. (2003). Emotional Intelligence and College Success: A Research-Based Assessment and Intervention Model. Javelina Emotional Intelligence (EI) Program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Oginska-Bulik, N. (2005). Emotional intelligence in the workplace: exploring its effects on occupational stress and health outcomes in human service workers. International Journal Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health, Vol. 18(2):167-75.

Samouie et al., (2001). Tehran Sina Research Institute.

Schmitt, N. (2002). An introduction to applied linguistics.Arnold Publishers.   Co-publisher: Oxford University Press Inc.

Stys ,Y. & Brown, Sh. L. (2004).A Review of the Emotional Intelligence             literature and implications for corrections. Research Branch              correctional Service of Canada.

Zhao Na, (2007). A study of high school students’ English learning anxiety .The Asian   EFL journal, vol.9 number 3.