Document Type : Original Article


1 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Foreign Languages, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran

2 Department of Foreign Languages, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran


This study examined the relationship between EFL teachers’ emotional intelligence, critical thinking, and reflectivity and their language learning as well as teaching beliefs. It investigated how well each of the variables can predict EFL teachers’ language learning beliefs and its respective levels. Accordingly, four questionnaires were given to 130 EFL teachers, and the elicited data were analyzed via correlational and multiple/multivariate regression analyses. Results revealed that 18% of teachers’ beliefs was significantly explained by the triplex unity. Critical thinking and emotional intelligence had significant contributions of 25% and 19%, respectively. The collective contributions of the three variables were only significant to three of the five dependent levels, i.e. 8% to language nature, 17% to motivation and expectation, and 22% to learning and communication. Accordingly, some pedagogical implications were elucidated.


Aghayar, S., & Sharifi, D. P. (2008). Organizational emotional intelligence. Tehran: Sepahan Publications.
Akbari, R. (2007). Reflection on reflection: A critical appraisal of reflective practice in L2 teacher education. System, 35, 192-207.
Akbari, R., Behzadpoor, F., & Dadvand, B. (2010). Development of English language teaching reflection inventory. System, 38, 2, 211-227.
Amiryousefi, M. (2015). Iranian EFL teachers and practitioners' beliefs about vocabulary learning and teaching. International Journal of Research Studies in Language Learning,   5 (2). doi: 10.5861/ijrsll .2015.1237.
Atkins, P., & Stough, C. (2005). Does emotional intelligence change with age? Paper presented at the Society for Research in Adult Development annual conference, Atlanta, GA.
Barchard, K., & Hakstian, A. R. (2004). The nature and measurement of emotional intelligence abilities: Basic dimensions and their relationships with other cognitive ability and personality variables. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 64 (3), 437-462.
Bar-On, R. (2006). The Bar-On model of emotional-social intelligence (ESI). Psicothema, 18, 13–25.
Bartlett, L. (1990). Teacher development through reflective teaching. In J.C. Richards and D. Nunan (Eds), Second Language Teacher Education (pp. 2002-214). New York: Cambridge University.
Berman, S. (1991). Thinking in context: Teaching for open mindedness and critical understanding. In A. Costa (Ed.), Developing minds: A resource book for teaching thinking. Alexandria, VA: Educators for social responsibility.
Birjandi, P., & Bagherkazemi, M. (2010). The relationship between Iranian EFL teachers' critical thinking ability and their professional success. English Language Teaching, 3 (2), 135-145.
Bodenheimer, T., & Handley, M. A. (2009). Goal-setting for behavior change in primary care: An exploration and status report. Patient and Educational Counselling, 174-180.  http://dx.doi .org/10.1016/j.pec.2009.06.001.
Brackett, M. A., & Katulak, N. (2007). The emotionally intelligent classroom: Skill-based training for teachers and students. In J. Ciarrochi & J. D. Mayer (Eds.), Improving emotional intelligence: A practitioner's guide (pp. 2-27). New York: Psychology Press/Taylor & Francis.
Brackett, M. A., & Salovey, P. (2004). Measuring emotional intelligence as a mental ability with the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test. In G. Geher (Ed.), Measurement of Emotional Intelligence (pp.179-194). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
Brookfield, S. (1987). Developing critical thinking. Milton Keynes, SRHE and Open University Press.
Cekmecelioglu, H. G., Gunsel, A., & Ulutas, T. (2012). Effects of emotional intelligence on job satisfaction: An empirical study on call center employees. Social and Behavioral Sciences, 58, 363 – 369.
Chance, P. (1986). Thinking in the classroom: A survey of programs. New York: Teachers College, Columbia University.
Chung, E. (2004). Goal Setting as a Motivational tool in Student’s Self-regulated Learning. Educational Research Quarterly, 27 (3), 3-9.
Davidson, B., & Dunham, R. (1997). Assessing EFL student progress in critical thinking with the Ennis-Weir Critical Thinking Essay Test. JALT Journal, 19 (1), 43-57.
Day, A. L., & Carroll, S. A. (2004). Using an ability-based measure of emotional intelligence to predict individual performance, group performance, and group citizenship behaviors. Personality and Individual Differences, 36 (6), 1443- 1458.
Dewey, J. (1933). How we think: A restatement of the relations of reflective thinking to the educative process. Boston: D.C. Heath.
Ekebergh, M. (2007). Life-world based reflection and learning: A contribution to the reflective practice in nursing and nursing education. Reflective Practice, 8 (3), 331-343. /14623940701424835. 
Ennis, R. (1996). Critical thinking. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Extremera, N., & Fernandez-Berrocal, P. (2005). Perceived emotional intelligence and life satisfaction: Predictive and incremental validity using the Trait Meta-Mood Scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 39, 937–48.
Facione, N. C., & Facione, P. A. (1996). Externalizing the critical thinking in knowledge development and critical judgment. Nursing Outlook, 44(3), 129- 136.
Facione, P. A. (2010). Critical thinking: What it is and why it counts? Retrieved from http://www. insightassessment .com/pdf_files/what & why2006.pdf.
Fahim, M., Bagherkazemi, M., & Alemi, M. (2010). The relationship between test takers’ critical thinking ability and their performance on the reading section of TOEFL. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 1(6), 830-837.
Farrell, T. S. C. (2008). Reflective language teaching: From research to practice (pp. 1-4). London: Continuum Press.
Gentry, W. A., Weber, T. J., & Sadri, G. (2007). Empathy in the workplace: A tool for effective leadership. A Center for Creative Leadership White Paper. Retrieved from
Ghanizadeh, A. (2011). An investigation into the relationship between self-regulation and critical thinking among Iranian EFL teachers. Journal of Technology of Education, 5 (3), 213-221.
Ghanizadeh, A., & Moafian, F. (2010). The role of EFL teachers' emotional intelligence in their success. ELT Journal, 64 (4), 424-435.
Gibbs, G. (1988). Learning by doing: A guide to teaching and learning methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit, Oxford Polytechnic.
Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. Bantam Books, Inc.
Goleman D., Boyatzis R., & McKee A. (2002). The emotional reality of teams. Journal of Organizational Excellence, 21 (2), pp 55-65.
Goleman, D. (2004). What Makes a Leader? Harvard Business Review, 82 (1), 82-91.
Green, M. (2001). Successful tutoring: Good practice for managers and tutors. Learning and Skills. Development Agency: London.
Greene, J. C. (2007). Mixed methods in social inquiry. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Griffiths, V. (2000).The Reflective dimension in teacher education. International Journal of Educational Research, 33 (5), 539-555.
Hajjarian, R. (2008). The relationship between critical thinking ability of Iranian EFL students and their performance on open and closed reading tasks (Master's thesis). Islamic Azad University of Tehran, Science and Research Campus, Tehran, Iran.
Javadi, F., & Khatib, M. (2014). On the relationship between reflective teaching and teachers’ burnout, international journal of research studies in language learning, 3 (4), 85-96.
Halpern, D. F. (1998). Teaching critical thinking for transfer across domains: Dispositions, skills, structure training, and metacognitive monitoring. American Psychologist, 53, 449–455.
Halpern, D. F. (2003). Thought and knowledge: An introduction to critical thinking. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Harter, J. K., Schmidt, F. L., & Keyes, C. L. M. (2002). Well-being in the workplace and its relationship to business outcomes: A review of the Gallup studies. In Keyes & Haidt (Eds.), Flourishing: the positive person and the good life (pp. 205-224). American Psychological Assn, Washington D.C.
Huitt, W. (1998). Critical thinking: An overview. Educational psychology interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from
Jarvis, M. (2005). The psychology of effective learning and teaching. London: Nelson Thornes Ltd.
Katyal, S., & Awasthi, E. (2005). Gender differences in emotional intelligence among adolescents of Chandigarh. Journal of Human Ecology, 17 (2), 153-155.
Kealey, B. T., Holland, J., & Watson. M. (2005). Preliminary evidence on the association between critical thinking and performance in principles of accounting. Issues in Accounting Education, 20 (1), 33–49.
Knowles, Z., Gilbourne, D., & Tomlinson, V. (2007). Reflections on the application of reflective practice for supervision in applied sport psychology.  Sport Psychology, 21 (1), 109-122.
Korthagen, F.A.J. (2001). Linking practice and theory: The Pedagogy of realistic teacher education. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJ.
Kumaravadivelu, B. (2006). Understanding language teaching: From method to postmethod. Routledge: New York.
Kurland, D. (2000). Critical reading vs. critical thinking. Retrieved from criticalreadingthinkingtoc.htm.
Lee, H. J. (2005). Understanding and assessing pre-service teachers' reflective thinking. Teaching and Teacher Education, 21, 699-715. /j.tate.2005.05.007.
Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (1990). A theory of goal setting and task performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
MacBride, R., & Bonnette, R. (1995). Teacher and at-risk students' cognitions during open-ended activities: Structuring the learning environment for critical thinking. Teaching and Teacher Education, 11(4), 373-388.
Mahmoodi, M. H., & Ghaslani, R. (2013). Relationship among Iranian EFL teachers’ emotional intelligence, reflectivity and burnout. Iranian Journal of Applied Language Studies, 6 (1), 89-116.
Mahmoodi, M. H., Izadi., N., & Dehghannezhad, M. (2016). An investigation into the relationship among EFL teachers’ reflection, classroom management orientations, and perceptions of language learning strategies and students’ L2 achievement. Applied Research on English Language, 4 (2), 25-42.
Mayer, J., & Salovey, P. (1997). What is emotional intelligence? In Salovey, P. and Sluyter, D. (Eds), Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Implications for Educators, Basic Books, New York, NY, pp. 3-31.
Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. (2004). Emotional intelligence: Theory, findings, and implications. Psychological Inquiry, 15, 197-215.
Mayer, J.D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. (2005). Competing models of emotional intelligence, in Sternberg, R.J. (Ed.), Handbook of Human Intelligence, (2nd ed., Cambridge, New York, NY.
Mellalieu, S. D., Hanton, S., & O’Brien, M. (2006). The effects of goal setting on rugby performance. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 39, 257-261.
Meyers, C. (1986). Teaching students to think critically. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Milrood, R. (1999). A Module for English language teacher trainers. British Council: Moscow.
Moon, J. (2004). A handbook of reflective and experiential learning. London: Routledge Falmer.
Moon, J. (2008). Critical thinking: An exploration of theory and practice. London: Routledge.
Murensky, C. L. (2000). The relationship between emotional intelligence, personality, critical thinking ability, and organizational leadership performance at upper levels of management (Doctoral dissertation). George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.
Newman, J., & Crespo, M. (2008). Performance profiling in tennis. ITF Coaching and Sport Science Review, 15 (44), 12-16.
Paton, M. (2008). Reflective journals and critical thinking. In J. van Rij-Heyligers (Ed.), Intercultural communications across university settings—Myths and Realities “refereed proceedings of the 6th Communication Skills in University Education Conference” (pp. 201-209). Pearson Education New Zealand, Rosedale, New Zealand.
Paul, R. (1987). Dialogical thinking – critical thought essential to the acquisition of rational knowledge and passions. In J. Baron & R. Sternberg (Eds.), Teaching thinking skills (pp. 127–148). New York: F. W. Freeman.
Pennycook, A. (1994). The cultural politics of English as an international language. London: Longman.
Penrose, A., Perry, C., & Bell, I. (2007). Emotional intelligence and teacher self-efficacy: The contribution of teacher status and length of experience. Issues in Educational Research, 17(1), 107–126.
Perez, M. L. (2011). Teaching emotional self-awareness through inquiry-based education. Early Childhood Research and Practice, 13 (2), 1-10.
Perry, C., Ball, I., & Stacey, E. (2004). Emotional intelligence and teaching situations: Development of a new measure. Issues in Educational Research, 14(1), 29-43.
Petrides, K. V., & Furnham, A. (2003). Trait emotional intelligence: Behavioral validation in two studies of emotion recognition and reactivity to mood induction. European Journal of Personality, 17, 39-57.
Petrides, K. V., Furnham, A., & Frederickson, N. (2004). Emotional intelligence. The Psychologist, 17, 574-577.
Petrides, K. V., Sangareau, Y., Furnham, A., & Frederickson, N. (2006). Trait emotional intelligence and children’s peer relations at school. Social Development, 15, 537-547. /10.1111/j.1467-9507.2006.00355.x.
Radhakrishnan, C. (2009). Critical thinking and practical strategies to promote it in classroom. Retrieved September 23, 2010 from http://chettourhorizons
Rouhani, A. (2008). An investigation into emotional intelligence, foreign language anxiety and empathy through a cognitive-affective course in an EFL context. Linguistik Online, 34(2).
Salovey, P., & Mayer, J. D. (1990). Emotional intelligence. Imagination, Cognition and Personality, 9, 185-211. DUGG-P24E-52WK-6CDG.
Scriven, M., & Paul, R. (2004). Defining critical thinking. Retrieved from aboutCT/definingCT.shtml.
Stedman, N. L. P., &. Andenoro, A. C. (2007). Identification of relationships between emotional intelligence skill & critical thinking disposition in undergraduate leadership students. Journal of Leadership Education, 6 (1), 190-208.
Steeg, S. (2016). A case study of teacher reflection: Examining teacher participation in a video-based professional learning community, Journal of Language and Literacy Education, 1 (1), 55-64.
Sutton, R. E., & Wheatley, K. F. (2003). Teachers' emotions and teaching: A review of the literature and directions for future research. Educational Psychology Review, 15(4), 327–358.
Thelwell, R., Lane, A. M., Weston, N. J. V., & Greenlees, I. A. (2008). Examining relationships between emotional intelligence and coaching efficacy. International Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, 6, 224-235. /1612197X.2008.9671863.
Thompson, C. (2002). Teaching critical thinking in EAP courses in Australia. TESOL Journal, 11(4), 15-20.
Van Rooy, D. L., & Viswesvaran, C. (2004). Emotional intelligence: A meta-analytic investigation of predictive validity and nomological net. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 65, 71-95. /10.1016/S0001-8791(03)00076-9.
Watson, G. B., & Glaser, E. M. (2002). Critical thinking appraisal. UK. London: The Psychological Corporation.
Wright, I. (2002). Is that right? Critical thinking and the social world of the young learner. Toronto: Pippin Publishing.
Zeidner, M., Matthews, G., & Roberts, R. D. (2004). Emotional intelligence in the workplace: A critical review. Applied Psychology: An International Review, 53, 371-399. 1464-0597.2004.00176.x.
Zimmerman, B. J., & Martinez-Pons, M. (1986). Development of a structured interview for assessing student use of self-regulated learning strategies. American Educational Research Journal, 23, 614-628.