A study published recently in Frontiers in Psychology explored whether emotional intelligence and classroom motivation in foreign language classrooms can be improved by positive psychology intervention.
This study was conducted in two classes from a high school in China. The two classes, taught by the same English teacher, were randomly assigned as the intervention group consisting of 56 students and the control group consisting of 52 students For the intervention group, a six-week emotional intelligence intervention was implemented, consisting of one hour of ARGUER training of emotional intelligence each week, along with keeping a weekday diary, and reflection. Themes of the six sessions of ARGUER training were:
- Awareness of feelings and emotions in self and others
- Recognizing emotions in self and others
- Generating positive emotions that facilitate thinking
- Understanding causes and consequences of emotions in self and others
- Expressing emotions appropriately
- Regulating emotions in self and others effectively
Students’ weekday diaries also included the positive psychology based “Three Activities”, namely identifying three good things, savoring positive experience, and developing optimism regarding English learning. The results of the pre- and post-intervention assessments are as follows:
- Compared to students from the control group, significant increases in emotional intelligence and foreign language enjoyment were found among students from the intervention group.
- Moreover, students from the intervention group also showed a significant decrease in foreign language anxiety as compared to the students from the control group.
The teachers agreed that the emotional intelligence intervention improved students’ empathy and language learning motivation.
Source: Li, C., & Xu, J. (2019). Trait emotional intelligence and classroom emotions: A positive psychology investigation and intervention among Chinese EFL learners. Frontiers in Psychology. Advanced online publication. Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02453.