Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 5 May 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



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M. S. Thirumalai


A Study on Emotional Skills and Adjustment towards First and
Second Language Learning and Academic Achievement

Smita Sinha, Ph.D.


A comparative study of the performances of Orissa Secondary board examination results show that while many good students score good marks in science and mathematics, they perform poorly in language papers. While some feel subjects like science and mathematics have more market values and hence they concentrate more on these subjects, others feel languages taught in school are difficult to learn and hence neglect studying them.

Students from the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are impacted worse by of these kinds of attitudinal and adjustment problems towards first and second language learning.

Problems with the Learning of the Dominant Language of the State

Although Oriya is the official language of Orissa, there are many regional dialects and the vast number of tribal languages spoken in the state. For most tribal students, Oriya becomes a difficult language to learn. Even an Oriya student speaking a regional dialect finds it difficult to write standard literary Oriya language in school. Moreover, many children also feel they have the right to learn their mother tongues and pursue their education using their mother tongues. So, they may develop a negative attitude towards standard Oriya or English and suffer adjustment problems. These attitudes get reflected in their achievements.

Study of Emotional Intelligence

Study of emotional intelligence has received greater attention in recent years (Law, Wong and Song, 2004). A definition of this kind of intelligence, according to Salovery and Mayor (1990), is the subject of social intelligence that involves the ability to monitor one's own and others' feelings and emotions, to discriminate among them and to use this information to guide one's thinking and actions (p. 189).

This definition was followed by many other proposals (e.g., Bar-on, 1997, Davies, Stankov and Robert 1998, Mayor, Caruso and Salovery (2000a)) which contained only minor differences.

The common elements of all of the definitions, were as follows: an ability to understand one's own, or others' emotions or feelings, the ability to express one's own emotions or feelings, and the ability to regulate or control one's own emotion or feeling.

Assessment of Emotional Intelligence

To enable an assessment of emotional intelligence, a variety of scales corresponding to these definitions were also developed. For example, Mayor, Caruso and Salovery (2000b) developed the multi-factor emotional intelligence scale with corresponds to the definition proposed by Salovery and Mayor (1990). Taksic (2000), who developed the emotional intelligence skills and competence questionnaire (ESCQ), also followed the definitions of Salovery and Mayor (1990).

The ESCQ has three subscales; the ability to perceive and understand emotion, the ability to express and label emotion and the ability to manage and regulate emotion. Emotional skills are also related to self-esteem.

The openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness are important subscales of adjustment to language learning situations. Adjustment is an adaptive process, which includes reaction to a variety of demands or pressures upon an individual. So, different people adjust differently to similar learning situation.

A person with positive attitude towards a language adjusts emotionally, socially and educationally better and achieves better academically.

Coleman (1960) explained that effective adjustment means that an individual copes with the problems in such a way so as to maintain his integrity and well being. Need achievement is defined as a desire for attaining some specific standard of excellence. Good (1959) defined academic achievement as the knowledge attained or skills developed in the school subjects, usually designated by test scores or marks in the school subjects or by test scores assigned by teacher. Basically it affects cognitive, affective and cognitive aspects of behaviour of the student.

It is difficult for people to reach at the same level in all three dimensions at a time. Some may be at a somewhat higher level in one domain and at a somewhat lower level in other domains.

Rogers (1977) emphasized that larger the gap between an individual's self concept and reality, poorer the adjustment of individual becomes. Batterson (1988) reported that student's self concept and the way others see him were positively related with the school achievements. Many students fall short of realizing their full capacities because of lack of adjustments. Proper adjustment is very significant for achievement.

Some Indian Studies

Khanna (1987) found that socio-economic status was positively related with global scholastic achievement. Deutsch (1960) revealed that poor academic performance of the socially deprived children is the cumulative result of a large number of interfering, obstructing and handicapping factors in their personalities, home, school and society.

Sachidananda (1974) reported that lack of stimulation, encouragement and motivation at home and shyness, manifested by low participation in the school activities and feeling of inferiority serve as important constraints for backward people.

Ushasri (1980) revealed that though there was no difference between socially advantaged and socially disadvantaged in their mental abilities but socially disadvantaged group was inferior in academic achievement. Academic achievement was significantly influencing scholastic achievement.

Mehta (1996) reported that school performance of SC and ST was significantly lower than non-backward boys. But the difference between SC and ST boys was not significant. He found that subjects with higher degree of conflict, anxiety and frustration showed significantly poorer adjustment. Well adjusted students enjoy a sense of inner harmony because they develop a feeling of self-satisfaction. They show maturity in social behaviour, which is characterized by their attitude to people with different social, religious and socio-economic background leading to better adjustment in life.

The emotional and academic adjustment to first and second language papers in school exams are crucial as these exam papers are presented to the students using the media of instruction. Hence the total academic achievement depends on the proficiency in the language of instruction and examination.

The Objective of the Present Study

The objective of the present study is to make a comparative study of SC, ST and non-backward class high school boys on emotional skill and adjustment towards first and second language learning and academic achievement.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Effect of Temporal Variations on Phoneme Identification Skills in Children and Adults - Comparative Study | Indianness in R. K. Narayan's Novel - The Man-Eater of Malgudi | English Vocabulary Learning Strategies Manipulated by the Students of Azad University, District 5: A Gender-oriented Study | The Impact and Relevance of Hedda Gabler in Modern Days | Search for Identity and Self in Indian Poetry in English by Women Writers | Teaching English in Minority Institutions | The Sociolinguistics and Cultural Considerations of English-Arabic Translation of Political News | Attitudinal Factor in Second Language Acquisition - An Illustrative Example from a Class in University | A Study on Emotional Skills and Adjustment towards First and Second Language Learning and Academic Achievement | Nonverbal Communication in Tamil Novels - A Book in Tamil | The Effect of Proficiency on Multilingualism, Error Finding, Social Class and Attitude in Multilingual Pre-University Mysore Students | A Review of Muzafar Desmond Tate's The Malaysian Indians: History, Problems and Future | HOME PAGE of May 2009 Issue | HOME PAGE | CONTACT EDITOR

Smita Sinha, Ph.D.
Department of Linguistics
Berhampur University
Berhampur 760 007
Orissa, India

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