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Over the last three decades, emotional intelligence (EI) has received considerable empirical attention especially in academic context. Following this line of research, the study reported in this paper investigated the relationship between trait EI and EFL learners’ second language (L2) oral performance. A sample of 102 Iranian EFL students, all between 13 and 18 years old (approximately half male and half female), performed an oral narrative task under laboratory conditions and completed the trait emotional intelligence questionnaire-adolescent short form (TEIQue-ASF), which is used to measure global trait EI. The correlational analysis of the results indicated a positive relationship between EI and learners’ L2 oral performance as measured in terms of complexity, accuracy and fluency. Those with higher degree of EI were able to produce more accurate and complex language. The relationship between EI and fluency measures, however, did not reach significance. Findings of this study point to the importance of focusing on learners’ emotions and finding strategies to foster it.
Keywords: Emotional intelligence, accuracy, complexity, fluency, language achievement
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