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The effects of trait emotional intelligence and sociobiographical variables on communicative anxiety and foreign language anxiety among adult multilinguals: A review and empirical investigation

By Jean-Marc Dewaele, K.V. Petrides and A. Furnham


This study considered the effects of trait emotional intelligence (trait EI; Petrides & Furnham, 2001) and sociobiographical variables (age, gender, education level, number of languages known, age of onset of acquisition, context of acquisition, frequency of use, socialization, network of interlocutors, self-perceived proficiency) on communicative anxiety (CA) in the first, and foreign language anxiety (FLA) in the second, third, and fourth languages of 464 multilingual individuals, in five different situations (speaking with friends, colleagues, strangers, on the phone, and in public). Data were collected via web-based questionnaires. Participants were divided into three groups based on their trait EI scores (low, average, high). Non-parametric statistical analyses revealed a consistent pattern of results across languages and situations. Higher levels of trait EI corresponded to significantly lower CA/FLA scores. Participants who started learning the L2 and L3 at a younger age also suffered less from FLA. Purely classroom-based language instruction was found to be linked to higher levels of FLA compared to instruction that also involved extracurricular use of the language. The knowledge of more languages, a higher frequency of use, a stronger socialization in a language, a larger network of interlocutors and a higher level of self-perceived proficiency in a language were also linked to lower levels of CA/FLA

Topics: alc
Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2008
OAI identifier:

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