How Do Productive Skills of L2 Learning Require EI?
Research shows that L2 learners with higher Emotional Intelligence (EI), referring to their ability to manage their emotions, are capable of making better decisions, communicating more effectively, and experiencing less stress (Caruso, 2000; Mayer et. al., 2000; Pishghadam, 2009). The aim of this study was to determine how the productive skills of L2 learning would require EI. More particularly, the focus was on writing skill, as it is such a productive skill that is more objectively and reliably measurable. The participants included 92 male and female B.A. students of English Literature at University of Mazandaran, aged 19-25. They took the OPT made by Allan (1992), based on which they were distributed into two groups. They also took an EI test (SSEIT) developed by Schutte et al. (1998). Moreover, each participant wrote an expository and an argumentative essay; rated based on the Multiple-Trait scoring scheme developed by Hyland (2003). Eventually, the statistical analysis by SPSS showed that more-proficient group was more emotionally intelligent, and the other way around. The correlation coefficient between the less-proficient group's EI and their expository writing analyzed by Pearson Correlation by SPSS showed a moderate correlation between them (r = 0.49, n = 48, α = 0.01). As for the relationship between more-proficient group’s EI and their expository writing scores, there was no significant relationship seen between them
(r = 0.14, n = 44). Furthermore, there was a moderate correlation (r = 0.47, n = 48, α = 0.01) between the less-proficient group's EI and their argumentative writing scores. Finally, there was a moderate correlation between the more-proficient group's EI and their argumentative writing scores (r = 0.41, n = 44, α = 0.01). The conclusion of the results indicated that since EI has to do with emotions, performance in those areas of L2 that require negotiation of emotions, as in argumentative writing, involved EI. On the other hand, in expository writing, due to its impersonal and objective nature, EI was of no significant relationship, or a much lower correlation than argumentative writing. The findings imply that understanding and managing their own emotions and being aware of and responsive to others’ emotions would contribute to the L2 productive skills, particularly writing, as well as motivation and self-actualization of both university professors of L2 writing and their students. Future research may be conducted regarding the effects of gender or cultural background on L2 learners' EI.