Examining Spanish EFL Pre-service Teachers’ Emotional Intelligence

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This article examines the construct of “Emotional Intelligence” (emotionality, self-control, well-being, sociability, self-motivation, adaptability) of English as Foreign Language (EFL) pre-service primary teachers while doing their school practices at the University of Granada (Spain). In order to achieve this objective, we have administered the instrument “Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire–short form” or TEIQue-sf, created by Petrides and Furnham, on eighty-eight student teachers. The focus of our study is centred on the connections between the dependent variable (emotional intelligence) and the independent variables (gender, birthplace, parents’ profession, school area and type, and motivation toward obtaining a teaching degree). In general terms, the mean data out of the six subscales from the instrument highlight that the relationships with colleagues as well as the adaptability to the school context are fundamental in developing emotional intelligence and teacher well-being. Surprisingly, the results indicate that participants with teaching backgrounds—those whose parents are also teachers—do not experience additional well-being, emotional intelligence, or self-control. Moreover, the results shed light on the importance of motivation toward obtaining the degree and by extension, to the teaching profession. Vocational pre-service language teachers will also increase their emotional intelligence and promote teamwork, hence reducing isolation feelings and burnout.