Investigating the Relationship Between L2 Learners’ Metaphorical Competence and Emotional Intelligence

Document Type : Original Article

Author

English Department, Faculty of Letters & Humanities, Shahrekord University, Shahrekord, Iran

Abstract

Being a successful L2 learner/communicator involves the ability to apply not only linguistic and communicative competences, but also metaphorical competence and fundamental cognitive abilities like emotional intelligence (EI). In fact, EI can act as a predictor of one's success in life. Furthermore, because metaphors are the main means of helping to understand abstract concepts and to act upon abstract interpretations, L2 teachers, being aware of their learners’ EI profiles, should make them aware of their L2 metaphorical competence of the conceptual world. In spite of the importance given to L2 learners’ metaphorical comprehension/usage and their individual differences, almost no systematic attempt investigated the issue. This study scrutinized L2 learners’ EI profiles to underline the leading and the least common type of EI among 126 upper-intermediate L2 learners (51 males and 75 females). First, Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was computed to investigate the relationship between the participants’ metaphorical competence and their EI. Second, standard multiple regression analysis was run to see the best predictors of the participants’ metaphorical competence level. The results demonstrated that, first, there was a medium positive correlation between the participants’ metaphorical competence and their EI. Second, the participants’ EI and gender were the 2 predictors of their metaphorical competence level, but EI was a stronger predictor than gender. The findings have implications for L2 pedagogy, suggesting the incorporation of an account of L2 learners’ metaphorical competence development and a report of their individual differences such as a profile consisting of their EI into L2 teachers’ class agendas.

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