Through the looking glass of student perception: How foreign language students see teacher trait emotional intelligence and why it matters

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Sharona Moskowitz
Jean-Marc Dewaele

Abstract

The aim of this study is to examine how students perceive teacher trait emotional intelligence (TEI) and how those perceptions relate to students’ own self-reported attitudes and motivation. Adult students of ESL/EFL were given an online questionnaire consisting of two parts: one to provide observer-reported data on their teacher’s trait emotional intelligence and the second to measure students’ own attitudes and motivation. In total, 129 participants of 28 nationalities took part. The results showed that the perceived teacher TEI domains of teacher sociability and teacher self-control were significant predictors of student positive feelings and attitudes towards the teacher. With this paper, we make the case that observer reports of teacher TEI by students could be a valuable tool in L2 instruction by offering teachers unique insight into their own classroom behavior, thereby increasing teacher self-awareness which could lead to improved classroom practices.

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Author Biographies

Sharona Moskowitz, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

Sharona Moskowitz is a PhD candidate in applied linguistics at Birkbeck College, University of London, UK. Her research focuses on the role of student perception of teacher emotion in the foreign language learning process. She is interested in various aspects of psycholinguistics related to foreign language acquisition, as well as the complex emotional dynamics of the student-teacher relationship in the language classroom.

Contact details: Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, Birkbeck, University of London, 26 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT London, UK (smosko02@mail.bbk.ac.uk)

Jean-Marc Dewaele, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

Jean-Marc Dewaele is Professor of Applied Linguistics and Multilingualism at Birkbeck, University of London. He has published widely on individual differences in psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, pragmatic, psychological and emotional variables in second language acquisition and multilingualism. He is former president of the International Association of Multilingualism and the European Second Language Association. He is General Editor of the Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. He won the Equality and Diversity Research Award from the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (2013) and the Robert Gardner Award for Excellence in Second Language and Bilingualism Research (2016) from the International Association of Language and Social Psychology.

Contact details: Department of Applied Linguistics and Communication, Birkbeck, University of London, 26 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT London, UK (j.dewaele@bbk.ac.uk)

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