Confidence, Motivation & Emotional Intelligence: An exploratory Investigation into Female Emirati EFL Students who Self-Coach to Success
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
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Education is, at least, the endeavor to get people to do things they could not previously do, to understand things they did not previously understand, and perhaps, to become the people they did not expect to become. - Sockett, 1998, p. 195 In today’s fast-paced technology driven knowledge-based society, students in the Gulf and abroad, are expected to remain engaged while playing a more invested role in becoming independent, mature learners, no matter what their personal or educational challenges are. It is quite common for students to abandon their EFL studies due to a lack of motivation and/or confidence. There has been extensive research undertaken to better understand how motivation and confidence affect EFL/ESL learners, yet little attention has been paid to a more recent area of educational research in emotional intelligence (EI) and how self-coaching may also contribute to a tertiary EFL/ESL learners’ ability to succeed. It is not unreasonable to hypothesize that everyday occurrences encountered in their personal and academic life may very well, at times, have a detrimental effect on students’ confidence and motivation, and therefore impede their ability to reach set goals. This study explores the possible correlations between the three main constructs, confidence, motivation and EI while investigating female Emirati tertiary EFL students at Zayed University in the U.A.E. and their interest towards self-coaching to reach their academic and personal goals. This exploratory longitudinal interpretive study used a mixed-method approach to gather data generated from a survey (CMEII) constructed and piloted for this study and completed by 199 female Emirati tertiary EFL participants measuring motivation, confidence and EI. In addition, student journals, interviews and progress reports retrieved from CMEI workshops also informed the research questions pertaining to these aforementioned constructs. Results suggest that there is a correlation between confidence, motivation and EI. These results would indicate that when the level of motivation increases, so does the level of confidence in speaking English. Motivation to self-direct in English is positively correlated with problem solving, higher life-satisfaction and confidence levels. Surprisingly the higher the academic anxiety, the more students want to self-direct. Furthermore it was found that students participating in this study found self-coaching methods extremely helpful in supporting them in reaching both their personal and academic goals. The implications of this exploratory study into confidence, motivation and emotional intelligence has laid the foundation for future research in this area. By creating and piloting the first Confidence, Motivation and Emotional Intelligence survey instrument (CMEII) designed for the ESL/EFL learning environment, a primary obstacle has been traversed. The CMEII research instrument and results of this study will no doubt help bring light and understanding to how self-coaching and self-direction can support female EFL students in reaching their personal and academic goals in the U.A.E and abroad.
EdD in TESOL