L2 Learners’ Affect and Pragmatic Performance: A Focus on Emotional Intelligence and Gender Dimensions

Document Type: Research Article


Shahrekord University


Research on L2 learners’ success at development and appropriate use of pragmatic ability and knowledge has mostly approached the issue from a cognitive or social perspective, and less attention has been devoted to the problem from the equally important emotional or individual-psychological lenses. This study sought to explore, first, the interplay between Iranian advanced EFL learners’ pragmatic performance and the different dimensions of their emotional intelligence (EI) and, second, the possible influence of gender on this association. A sample of 80 (32 males and 48 females) advanced M.A. TEFL students from 2 Iranian universities constituted the participants of the study. The Bar-On’s EQ-i measure of EI and Liu’s (2006) Test of Pragmatic Performance were administered to the participants. Results of the descriptive statistics indicated that the participants performed better in intrapersonal, interpersonal, and adaptability skills consecutively. Pearson product-moment correlational results revealed that there were 3 medium positive correlations between the participants’ pragmatic performance and their intrapersonal, interpersonal, and EI dimensions, as well as 2 small positive correlations between the participants’ pragmatic performance and their adaptability and stress management abilities. Results also indicated that the females with more EI and intrapersonal skills performed better on the pragmatics test than the males. Findings suggest that pragmatic development and performance are intricately linked to learner affect, subjectivity, and emotions, and that this interplay, in turn, is not immune to gender influence. Theoretical and pedagogical implications are discussed