Emotional Intelligence in Language Instruction in Oman: The Missing Link?

Chandrika Balasubramanian*, Rahma Al-Mahrooqi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The field of English Language Teaching (ELT) has long sought to identify traits of good language learners, in an effort to teach these traits to less successful language learners (Rubin, 1975). Emotional Intelligence has recently come to the forefront of research on language learning and teaching, and is now increasingly recognized as an important predictor of success in academic achievement in general, and success in learning a language (Goleman, 1995; Rastegar and Karami, 2013; Sucaromana, 2012). Recent years have seen a proliferation of research linking Emotional Intelligence to success in the English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL) classrooms. Hence researchers have recommended explicit Emotional Intelligence instruction in language classrooms. With the importance of English in today's globalized world, and the greater need to communicate in English, fostering a student's communicative ability is important, particularly in an EFL context like Oman. The Government of Oman has invested heavily in English language instruction, but unfortunately, the investment has not paid off. While there exists a substantial volume of research identifying possible reasons for students' inadequate grasp of English even after years of language instruction both at the school and university levels, research linking emotional skills and language learning success in Oman is lacking. This article investigates whether a lack of Emotional Intelligence skills could be one of the reasons for the failure of students to achieve competence in English. Results from questionnaires of multiple choice and open-ended questions distributed to 60 university students at a large public university in the Sultanate of Oman show that a lack of Emotional Intelligence impacts a student's ability to learn. The authors conclude that directly focusing on Emotional Intelligence skills in Omani university classrooms could result in improving students' overall achievement both at university in general, and in English specifically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-160
Number of pages16
JournalRELC Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1 2016


  • EFL
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Oman
  • language instruction
  • university-level

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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