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An Investigation into Emotional Intelligence, Foreign Language Anxiety and Empathy through a Cognitive-Affective Course in an EFL Context

Ali Rouhani (Allameh Tabatabaii/Shahrekord)


 

Abstract

Emotional intelligence, as concerned with how an individual recognizes and regulates his or her emotions, has been in limelight quite recently. The present study seeks to fill a small gap in the literature on emotional intelligence, together with foreign language anxiety and empathy. To this end, short literary readings are used in a cognitive-affective reading-based course to see how emotional intelligence, foreign language anxiety and empathy are affected. Mayer, Salovey and Caruso (2002) Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT), Cooper's (1996/1997) EQ-Map, Horwitz, Horwitz and Cope's (1986) Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Test (FLCAS) and Caruso and Mayer's (1998) Multi-Dimensional Emotional Empathy Scale (MDEES) were administered to 70 Iranian EFL undergraduate students in a pretest posttest quasi-experimental design. MANOVA and ANCOVA were conducted. The results revealed that the cognitive-affective reading-based course in which literary readings were used significantly improved the subjects' emotional intelligence scores from the MSCEIT measure as well as empathy (MDEES) scores, but significantly decreased their foreign language anxiety (FLCAS) scores. The pedagogical implications for learners, teachers, educators and materials developers are presented.


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