English Teachers in Vietnam and the Relationship Between their Resilience and Emotional Intelligence

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International Journal of Research and Innovation in Applied Science (IJRIAS) |Volume VIII, Issue III, March 2023|ISSN 2454-6194

English Teachers in Vietnam and the Relationship Between their Resilience and Emotional Intelligence

Dr. Frederick Edward T. Fabella1, Mary Grace Relacion Ramos2
1FEU Roosevelt Graduate School, Cainta, Rizal, Philippines
2Dong Nai University, Vietnam
Received: 26 February 2023; Revised: 08 March 2023; Accepted: 10 March 2023; Published: 05 April 2023

IJRISS Call for paper

Abstract: – Various studies have demonstrated the importance of emotional intelligence (EI) and resilience as abilities that teachers should possess in order to be effective. It has even been shown that there is a significant positive connection between EI and resilience. This study aimed to investigate the levels of emotional intelligence and resilience of English teachers in Vietnam. It further sought to confirm the connection between EI and resilience. Through snowball sampling, 11 Filipino and 16 Vietnamese English teachers were selected to be the respondents of this study. The Schutte emotional intelligence test was used to measure the respondents’ EI while the Brief Resiliency Scale was utilized to measure their resilience. The findings showed that 40.74% of all the respondents had moderate EI scores while 59.26% had high EI scores. In addition, the results found that the Vietnamese, the females and those without a romantic partner had higher EI. However, these differences were not statistically significant. In terms of resilience, 7.4% of all the respondents had low resilience scores, 70.27% had moderate resilience scores while 22.22% had high resilience scores. The results showed further that the Vietnamese, the males and the respondents with a romantic partner had higher resilience. However, these differences were not statistically significant. A low positive relationship between the respondents’ EI and resilience scale scores was found but this relationship was not statistically significant. The findings of this study were unable to confirm the connection between EI and resilience among the respondents.

Keywords: emotional intelligence, Brief Resiliency Scale, English teachers, Vietnam

I. Introduction

Over 43,000 died from COVID-19 in Vietnam1. In addition, the shutdown of schools created disruptions in Vietnamese education2. The Culture and Education Committee of the National Assembly of Vietnam reported that the pandemic had a severe impact on the education sector. Students could not physically go to school for several months. Many schools had to close. And teaching had to undergo measures to maintain the quality of learning activities3.
But as the situation is slowly reverting back to pre-pandemic conditions, the interrupted education and increased use of online and distance learning has amplified educational inequalities among Vietnamese students. 93% of teachers in remote provinces of Vietnam did not have access to modern technology in their schools prior to the pandemic. Teachers were therefore frequently left to implement the unprecedented shift to online learning with almost no experience or skill in using technology such as video conferencing and social media for teaching4.

One way by which Vietnamese hope to enhance career prospects and thereby improve their economic lives is to learn English. This is consistent with the country’s end goal of achieving progressive globalization and integration5. Knowing English has become an advantageous job qualification especially for the current young generation6. And due to this demand, language schools across the country are aggressively hiring English teachers. One reason for this is that numerous foreign teachers left Vietnam when schools closed due to the pandemic. And to quickly address the shortage of English teachers, many schools offer large salaries7.
However, as with any profession, teaching has its own challenges. In addition to their work responsibilities, teachers will inevitably face incidents with problematic student groups as well as the ever-present cases of bullying. The emotional management of problematic groups starts with the management of the teacher’s own emotions8. This is where a teacher’s emotional intelligence enters the picture. Many studies have shown several benefits when teachers possess emotional intelligence such as improved professional performance, more effective teaching and learning process, better students’ academic performance, higher job satisfaction, decrease in stress and burnout and enhanced interpersonal relationships at school9.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) includes the capacity to identify one’s own emotions; the ability to harness those emotions and to apply them productively and the skill to manage emotions10. It is believed that the emotional bond between the teacher and the student is significant as it stays forever. Teachers with high EI have been shown to demonstrate the ability to motivate their students better and recognize their students’ behavioral and psychological wellbeing. Furthermore, they are more sensitive towards their students’ aberrant behaviors and are better able to handle various issues young students are facing11.