The impact of college students' motivational orientations and the social dimension of emotional intelligence in their willingness to study abroad
Keywords:SLA, Spanish, Study abroad, Emotional intelligence, Altruism, Motivational orientations, Integrative
This study investigated the effect of motivational orientations and the social aspects of emotional intelligence (EI) on L2 Spanish learners’ willingness to participate in a study abroad program. The only significant result was the correlation between an integrative motivational orientation and the Altruism Scale score (N = 68, r = .290, p < .05), indicating that those learners with a higher desire to learn the L2 in order to interact with members of the target community also showed more responsiveness to others as measured by empathy, nurturance, helpfulness, and social responsibility. No additional interactions were found between the motivational orientations and the social aspects of EI. Neither the motivational orientations (integrative/instrumental) nor the social subscales of EI used correlated with the L2 learners’ participation in a short-term (three weeks to Costa Rica, N = 30) or a long-term study abroad program (a full semester to Spain, N = 13). This finding is indicative that those variables do not seem to have an influential effect or predictability on whether participants would ultimately continue their study of L2 Spanish in a foreign country or at home in the near future.