Emotional intelligence and language learning

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Ngày đăng: 10/06/2018, 10:15

Khái quát về sự liên hệ giữa Trí tuệ cảm xúc và dạy học ngôn ngữ. Từ tài liệu, độc giả sẽ có cái nhìn đầy đủ hơn về sự ảnh hưởng của yếu tố cảm xúc tới khả năng học tập ngôn ngữ mới, từ đó đưa ra những giải pháp học tập cần thiết, hỗ trợ học tập ngôn ngữ mới. Emotional Intelligence and Language Learning Đỗ Thị Dung Introduction Variation in general abilities of human beings gave birth to the concept of intelligence Since 1990, when for the first time emotional intelligence was introduced, it has become a buzzword in many fields including education, management studies, and artificial intelligences In the context of foreign language learning, it has been applied in educational institutions for language competence Learners vary enormously in how successful they are in learning a second language All people acknowledge that some individuals learn a second language easily while some others with more difficulty Among many factors contributing to second language learning success, including motivation, attitude or personality types, it seems that one important factor which accounts for success in language learning is the degree of intelligence that individuals possess Research has demonstrated that EQ more than IQ accounts for success in life and education (Goleman, 1995; Salovey & Mayer, 1990) Much research findings suggests that emotional intelligence is important for working settings (Carmeli, 2003), and classroom (Petrides, Frederickson, and Furnham, 2004), and enhances performance in interviewing (Fox & Spector, 2000), cognitive tasks (Shuttes, Schuetplez, & Malouff, 2001), and contextual performance (Carmeli, 2003) Emotional Intelligence The concept of emotional intelligence (EI) was first put forwards by Payne (1986) Then, this concept developed formally by two pioneers in the field of psychology, Salovey and Mayer (1990) Mayer and Salovey (1997) defined emotional intelligence as “the abilities to accurately perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotion and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth” EI discusses emotional, social, personal and survival aspects of intelligence and its major concern is to help individual understand one another EI helps to comprehend the ways to adapt and cope with the immediate surroundings in order to be more successful in various situations; i.e., better the understanding of the situation, more the chance of success Hence, it helps to predict success In other words, to measure EI is to measure the ability of a person to get along in the world Cognitive intelligence alone is not the key to determine and predict success because many less cognitively intelligence individuals are more prosperous and successful as comparing to many cognitive intelligent people (Bar-on, 2004) The word emotional in EI distinguishes it from any other kinds of intelligences, especially cognitive intelligence Mayer, Salovey and Caruso (2002) argue that EI is a bunch of concepts: Intelligence involves the idea of most important ability to abstract reasoning, the field of emotions gives notion that emotions are cues which represent meanings of associated relationship such as fear represents threats and happiness is related to acceptance Similarly, the idea that some emotions are universal has been conceived by classifying basic emotional expression in human beings and other species through extensive studies (p.6) Bar-on (2004) defines EI as an array of non-cognitive capabilities, competencies, and skills that influence one’s ability to succeed in coping with situational demands and pressures The adjective “emotional” means intelligence to emotion related knowledge and abilities used in life that separates its functioning from cognitive intelligence He also takes success as a set goal of a person for which one struggles to accomplish Goleman and Cherniss presented the idea of emotional competence which is “a learned ability grounded in ET” (2001, p.28) It is the ability to understand, manage, express and use emotions EI affects the ability to learn practical emotional competencies and develops emotional literacy necessary for satisfied better quality life and overral happiness Goleman (2000) has provided twenty competencies nested in four clusters of general EI abilities which can be learned and applied in everyday life Similarly, Singh(2003) considers psychological perspective of EI as abilitiy of a person to be emotionally competent; to gain emotionally maturity and have emotional sensitivity It is an essential social skill of relationship management In the same vein, Bar-on (2007) argues that people who are emotionally intelligent are likely to be better in some parts of life when compared to people who are less emotionally intelligent than them After conducting his research on more than 23000 people, he concluded that emotional intelligence has a considerable effect on individual’s performance Brackett and Salovey (2004) study also reflected that there is a correlation between EI and psychological health It has been observed that learner feel more relaxed when the educational environment takes care of their emotions into consideration If this qualitive atmosphere exists in the learning environment steadily, then it will be better for the students’ not only personal but also academic development (Panju, 2008) Learning consists of the following factors: interests, attention, memorization, schema, and motivation Different types of fears motivate learners such as fear of punishment, failuare, career-loss, teacher, and in case of failure humiliation in friends and family These fears generate stress that makes association of learning with pain Whereas, factors of EI such as self-awareness, managing emotions, empathy, cooperation, communication and resolving conflicts are vital not only for teaching – learning process but also for lifelong learning and success Emotional Intelligence in Foreign Language Learning Bar-on (2004, p.15), in the context of EI, defines the term success as “the end-product of that which one strives to achieve and accomplish as such, it is very subjective and potentially socially influenced.” For example getting admission in a “good” school and abtaining “high” grades is success for someone Regarding academic success Bar-on (2004, p.132) cites the study of Amanda Swart who administered EQ-I to 448 students at the University of Pretoria and concluded that academically successful students had significantly higher EQ-I scores Learning to manage feelings and relationships develop a kind of EI that helps individuals to be successful Goleman (1995) regards EI responsible for success in almost every aspect of person’s life Students who think positively can concentrate for a long time and attain academic achievement without any difficulty; such students are self – motivated, capable and display strong personality traits Goleman considers EI as a set of crucial abilities for effective living and emphasizes teaching of its basics in school According to Cherniss, Goleman and Emmerling (1998), early life plays key role in shaping or destroying emotional competency skills of an individual There is a significant correlation between specific EI skills and academic success of students Children who consistently get emotional coaching from their parents experience better physical health, more positive feelings and score higher in academics as compare to those children who not get such guidance Chang (2008) argues that EI may be improved at any stage of life Due to the fact that emotions can be learned and controlled, teachers may help the students improve themselves accordingly through strategies like role-play, problem-solving, critical thinking and conflict management With the increasing attention in various educational fields, a high level of interest across language teaching and learning also developed, as there are some studies conducted to investigate the relationship between emotional intelligence and language performance The extent to which emotional intelligence can be implemented and used to improve language teaching and learning needs consideration One question that can be asked is, are intelligent people more successful at learning languages? When learning languages, the interaction between the teacher and learner is important for both communication and the physiological aspects between the two An important factor in learning languages is the ability to be emotionally intelligent by showing the capacity to recognize, employ, comprehend, and manage emotions These characteristics are much more important than simply being intelligent Every genius is not guaranteed to become successful in life, and vice versa; the possession of a high IQ rating is not the sole indicator when it comes to being successful in all fields (Goleman, 1995) It is even claimed that emotional intelligence is a more important key to success, and not to cognitive intelligence, more accurately predicts success in school The importance of emotional intelligence is often ignored However, students learning a foreign language look for and need emotional intelligence, between the teacher and themselves and whether in the classroom or at a more personal level Beginners need and ask for tolerance and patience as well as an understanding from their teachers and fellow classmates Sometimes, the views of the teacher can make a student behave badly in the classroom, a behavior that was created by the teachers’ own doing In the world of teaching English as a foreign language, emotional intelligence is still not widely known, used, or studied although increased efforts to popularise this term have occurred in the past two decades As previous stated, emotional intelligence involves the innate ability of a person and can be improved by external factors such as the environment and experience As area of study, emotion and intelligence are tied together because emotion is viewed to contribute to the ability to think intelligently Therefore, the capacity for empathy and the consideration of other people’s emotions would be the components of a balanced and emotionally intelligent person People who are lacking in these skills will be at a disadvantage and will suffer socially and emotionally It can be said that emotional intelligence will help well-being, creativity, and for people to be better students (Goleman, 1995) Mayer and Salovey suggested the following ideas for using emotional intelligence with education in the classroom: (a) express feelings instead of ordering the students to stop when they misbehave, (b) take responsibility for feelings isntead of imposing them onesidely on your students (c) be much more aware of feelings than the feelings of the students, (d) try to understand the reasons behind students’ behavior before forming an opinion about them, (e) find ways of voluntary cooperation instead of making demands of students and (f) help students to express themselves openly and to solve any problems they may have For foreign language teaching and other educational fields that usually include interpersonal communication, emotional intelligence is benificial Since language classes are based on communication, it should be recognized that empathy is an important basic element of effective communication It seems as though developing emotional intelligence in education systems would be beneficial, because emotional intelligence can increase effective communication and learning in the classroom It is also necessary that both foreign language teachers and students cooperate to improve emotional intelligence and to create a more effective language learning atmosphere; the sharing of cultures and ideologies can be then happen successfully Increasing abilities in foreign language teaching can be through the creation of an atmosphere of communication and personal sharing EI and achievement in foreign language learning has some direct and indirect links with support for the direct link For instance, it is thought that emotions can either increase or suppress attention, which has an effect on the learning and retaining of information (Sylwester, 1998) Thus, it can be said that emotions can affect one’s learning either positively or negatively It was abserved that negatively tended to be a hindrance in students’ thoughts while writing (Kearney, 1998), while Boud, Keogh, and Walker (1985) noted that the positive thinking and emotions greatly improved the retention of new information and learning by keeping attention during the task EI will promote good study behavior, and make the learning experience more effective Morover, the attitudes of an educational place can motivate every one involved, with positive thinking causing positive results Elliot (2003) suggested that encouragement was a factor in the outcome and study engaged would develop positive attitudes towards learning Emotional intelligence can be quite practical in the classroom When students are underperforming, teachers can find a way to promote emotionally inteligent as afterwards The students’ foreign language achievements will be enhanced, as they will be able to improve on their intrapersonal and interpersonal relations and skills Emotional intelligence is among one of the variables that further shapes a student’s language learning context, although academic achievement is also a matter of cognitive ability EI also creates effective family encouragement, study atmosphere, and English achievement EI seems like a concept worth investing in Those with high emotional intelligence are at a great advantage Evidence shows that underlying emotional capabilities are the roots of ethical strances in life (Goleman, 1995) Goleman feels that a new version or perception of education would be to educate the student wholly, both in mind and heart Sucaramana(2004) looked at the relationship between different variables that could affect English achievement in Thai students The findings shows that emotional intelligence had a direct effect through study habits, participation, effort, and encouragement by family and peers It would be beneficial if teachers were aware of their own emotions and emotional intelligence in addition to that of the students Emotional intelligence stimulates learning in many ways and improves language retentions Also, it is suggested that emotional intelligence can fill in the missing parts when acquiring a language, where students have difficulty using or applying the learned language, so that teaching can be conducted in a more efficient way It would be a ideal that teachers have emotional intelligence so that they could not only facilitate a positive atmosphere in classroom but also influence students to enhance their own emotional intelligence Teachers have to handle emotions in a social setting and adjust their own mannarisms and actions accordingly to be as effective as possible People have emotional intelligence naturally, but if the teacher has low emotional intelligence, the development of student emotional intelligence would be minimal An emotionally intelligent teacher is necessary to have an emotionally intelligent classroom atmosphere A teacher with low emotional intelligence will not radiate emotional intelligence to their students or influence them to raise their own emotional intelligence Is it possible for a teacher to give sound advice and to control a classroom with bad behavior if the teacher has not developed emotional intelligence and cannot control his/her own feelings? Not only should students be aware of this ability, but so should teachers The roles of teachers’ emotional intelligence in increasing language teaching abilities can be achieved On the other hand, the role of students’ EI is that students who have emotional intelligence will learn languages better than students who not Learning different languages helps to serve an individual’s ability to communicate with others Due to this, people with higher emotional intelligence levels are seen to be more successful when learning a language Taking care of the emotional intelligence of the student is equally important for the teacher It is important for language teachers to not only be trained in their subject matter but to also be able to read the emotional signs and body language of the students in order to make their learning experience as positive as possible A teacher should also know how to effectively handle troublesome students using emotional intelligence, while keeping in touch with his/her own mood and temper To improve the students’ behavior, the teacher should express feelings about the bad behavior instead of giving orders 4-Conclusions The relationship between foreign language learning and emotional competencies is not surpirsing, given the nature of English classes in English foreign language learning Learning a second language seems to be difficult, demanding and full of stress and pressure for learners (Krashen, 1981), especially for adults, because learners have to speak in another language which is not their mother tongue, make lots of mistakes and may face setbacks English is considered a foreign language in Vietnam because it is spoken only in class In Vietnam, students, before getting into university, study General English for 12 years in school, and then pursue their English studies in English for Specific Purpose course at the university It is prestigious to learn English in Vietnam and to acquire a native-like accent, because people put more premium on learning English Besides, many jobs in Vietnam requires a good command of English Due to the aforementioned reasons, English language teachers in Vietnam are perfectionists, demanding the correct use of the languges, putting much pressure on students to apply English accurately and appropriately English classes generally create a kind of threatening environment in Vietnam; students’ errors are corrected immediately in a direct way Students generally suffer from error phobia, meaning that they not write or speak until they think they are perfect Therefore, it seems to be natural that emotional factors, especially intrapersonal competencies and stress management abilities, can be of great importance in this context of learning ... language learning and emotional competencies is not surpirsing, given the nature of English classes in English foreign language learning Learning a second language seems to be difficult, demanding... emotional intelligence can be implemented and used to improve language teaching and learning needs consideration One question that can be asked is, are intelligent people more successful at learning. .. language look for and need emotional intelligence, between the teacher and themselves and whether in the classroom or at a more personal level Beginners need and ask for tolerance and patience as
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