Document Type : Research article


1 Associate Professor, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Qom, Qom, Iran

2 English Department, University of Qom, Qom, IranMA Graduate, Department of English Language and Literature, University of Qom, Qom, Iran


The study was an attempt to discover any possible correlation between EFL teachers' burnout and their emotional and cultural intelligence. Furthermore, it aimed at finding out which variable, emotional or cultural intelligence, could be a better predictor of teacher burnout. The study also delved into the possible relationship of gender and Iraqi EFL teachers' burnout and investigated which gender was more affected by burnout. Finally, male and female Iraqi teachers were compared and contrasted with regard to emotional intelligence and cultural intelligence. To this end, three questionnaires- (1) Maslach Burnout Inventory–Educators' Survey (MBI-ES), (2) the Cultural Intelligence Scale (CQS) developed by Van Dyne et al. (2008), and (3) Wang and Law Emotional Intelligence Scale (WLEIS)- were submitted to more than 200 teachers either in person or via email or an already-generated Google Doc link of the three questionnaires. Some teachers remained reluctant to share their responses and refused to fill out the questionnaires, but 164 Iraqi EFL teachers completed all the three questionnaires. The results demonstrated that Iraqi EFL teachers' burnout and their emotional and cultural intelligence correlated significantly but negatively. Both emotional and cultural intelligence could significantly and almost similarly predict teacher burnout. Moreover, teacher burnout and gender were significantly correlated and Iraqi EFL female teachers were more susceptible and vulnerable to teacher burnout. The study implies that emotionally and culturally-aware teachers might be able to take precautionary measures to either mitigate or curb teacher burnout.


  1. Bağçeci, B., & Hamamci, Z. (2012). An investigation into the relationship between burnout and coping strategies among teachers in Turkey. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(12), 67-72.
  2. Bar-On, R. (2001). Emotional intelligence and self-actualization. In J. Ciarrochi, J. Forgas, & J. D. Mayer (Eds.), Emotional intelligence in everyday life: A scientific inquiry (pp. 82-97). Psychology Press.
  3. Brislin, R., Worthley, R., & Macnab, B. (2006). Cultural intelligence: Understanding behaviors that serve people's goals. Group & Organization Management, 31(1), 40-55.
  4. Cano-Garcia, F. J., Padilla-Munoz, E. M., & Carrasco-Ortiz, M. A. (2005). Personality and contextual variables in teacher burnout. Personality and Individual Differences, 38(4), 929-940.
  5. Earley, P. C., & Ang, S. (2003). Cultural intelligence: Individual interactions across cultures. Stanford University Press.
  6. Earley, P. C., & Peterson, R. S. (2004). The elusive cultural chameleon: Cultural intelligence as a new approach to intercultural training for the global manager. Academy of Management Learning & Education, 3(1), 100-115.
  7. Esmaili, R., Khojaste, L., & Kafipour, R. (2018). The relationship between emotional intelligence and burnout among EFL teachers teaching at private institutions. Social Sciences and Humanities, 26(3), 1595-1616.
  8. Fardinpour, F., & Masoomi, M. (2014). Personality traits as predictor of EFL teachers’ burnout. International Journal of Language Learning and Applied Linguistics World. (IJLLALW),7(3), 504-512.
  9. Farooq, M., U. (2014). Emotional intelligence and language competence: A case study of the English language learners at Taif University English language center. Studies in Literature and Language, 8(1), 6-9.
  10. Field, A. (2018). Discovering statistics using IBM SPSS: Statistics for statistics. SAGE Publications.
  11. Freudenberger, H., J. (1974). Staff burnout. Journal of Social Issues, 30(1), 159-165.
  12. Ghonsooly, B., Sharififar, M., Sistani, S. R., & Ghahari, S. (2013). Cultural intelligence in foreign language learning contexts. Cultus, 47(6), 47-68.
  13. Gold, Y., & Roth, R. A. (1993). Teachers managing stress and preventing burnout: The professional health solution. Routledge.
  14. Goleman, D. (1995). Emotional intelligence. Bantam books.
  15. Hogan, R. L., & McKnight, M. A. (2007). Exploring burnout among university instructors: An initial investigation. Internet and Higher Education, 10(2),117-124.
  16. Kelidbari, H. R. R., Dizgah, M. R., & Jourshari, P. R. (2012), The relationship between cultural intelligence and job performance of operational staff in Ports. Journal of Basic and Applied Scientific Research, 2(6), 6133-6138.,%202(6)6133-6138,%202012.pdf
  17. Koçoğlu, Z. (2011). Emotional intelligence and teacher efficacy: A study of Turkish EFL pre-service teachers. Teacher Development, 15(4), 471-484.
  18. Kremenitzer, J. P., & Miller, R. (2008). Are you a highly qualified, emotionally intelligent early childhood educator? Young Children, 63(4), 106-112.
  19. Jennings, P.A., & Greenberg, M. T. (2009). The prosocial classroom: Teacher social and emotional competence in relation to student and classroom outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 79(1), 491-525.
  20. MacNab, B., & Worthley, R. (2012). Individual characteristics as predictors of cultural intelligence development: The relevance of self-efficacy. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 36(1), 62-71. 10.1016/j.ijintrel.2010.12.001
  21. Marashi, H., & Zaferanchi, Z. (2010). The relationship between EFL teachers’ emotional intelligence and their effectiveness in managing young learners’ classrooms. Journal of English Language Studies, 1(4), 85-11.
  22. Maslach, C. (1982). Burnout: The cost of caring. Prentice-Hall.
  23. Maslach, C., & Schaufeli, W. B. (1993). Historical and conceptual development of burnout. In W. B. Schaufeli, C. Maslach, & T. Marek (Eds.), Series in applied psychology: Social issues and questions. Professional burnout: Recent developments in theory and research (pp. 1-16). Taylor & Francis.
  24. Mayer, J. D., & Salovey, P. (1997). What is emotional intelligence? In P. Salovey & D. Sluyter (Eds.), Emotional development and emotional intelligence: Educational implications (pp. 3-31). Basic Books.
  25. Mayer, J. D., Salovey, P., & Caruso, D. R. (2004). Emotional intelligence: Theory, findings, and implications. Psychological Inquiry, 15(3), 197-215.
  26. Mérida-López, S., & Extremera, N. (2017). Emotional intelligence and teacher burnout: A systematic review. International Journal of Educational Research, 85(5), 121-130.
  27. Mohammad Hosseinpur, R., & Sarbandi Farahani, M. (2017). Cultural intelligence, cultural identity, and EFL learners' use of politeness strategies. Journal of Modern Research in English Language Studies, 4(4), 27-45.
  28. Payne, W. L. (1985). A study of emotion: Developing emotional intelligence; self-integration; relating to fear, pain and desire [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. The Union for Experimenting Colleges and Universities, Ohio.
  29. Petrides, K. V., Mikolajczak, M., Mavroveli, S., Sanchez-Ruiz, M. J., Furnham, A., & Pérez-González, J. C. (2016). Developments in trait emotional intelligence research. Emotion Review, 8(4),335-341.
  30. Petrides, K. V., Pita, R., & Kokkinaki, F. (2007). The location of trait emotional intelligence in personality factor space. British Journal of Psychology, 98(2), 273-289.
  31. Pines, A., & Aronson, E. (1988). Career burnout: Causes and cures. The Free Press.
  32. Pishghadam, R. (2009). A quantitative analysis of the relationship between emotional intelligence and foreign language learning. Electronic Journal of Foreign Language Teaching, 6(1), 31-41.
  33. Salehzade, M., & Lashkarian, A. (2015). The relationship between emotional intelligence and verbal intelligence in Iranian EFL learners. International Journal of Educational Investigations, 2(6), 88-95.
  34. Schaufeli, W. B. (2003). Past performance and future perspectives of burnout research. South African Journal of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 29(4), 1-15.
  35. Shahmohamadi, F., & Hasanzadeh, R. (2011). Emotional intelligence and its predictive power in Iranian foreign language learners’ language achievement [Paper presentation]. International Conference on Social Science and Humanity, ACSIT Press, Singapore.
  36. Shau, K., Yu, W., & Ji, Z. (2013). An exploration of Chinese EFL students' emotional intelligence and foreign language anxiety. The Modern Language Journal, 97(4), 917-922.
  37. Tomic, W., Evers, G., & Brouwers, A. (2004). Existential fulfillment and teacher burnout. European Psychotherapy, 5(1), 65-73.
  38. Triandis, H. (2005). Cultural intelligence in organizations. Group & Organization Management, 31(1), 20-26.
  39. Van Dyne, L., Ang, S., & Koh, C. (2008). Development and validation of the CQS. In S. Ang & L. Van Dyne. (Eds.), Handbook of cultural intelligence: Theory, measurements, and applications (pp. 16-40). M. E. Sharpe.
  40. Van Dyne, L., Ang, S., & Koh, C. (2009). Cultural intelligence: Measurement and scale development. In M. A. Moodian (Ed) Contemporary leadership and Intercultural competence: Exploring the cross-cultural dynamics within organizations (pp. 233-254). Sage.
  41. Van Dyne, L., Ang, S., & Livermore, D. (2010). Cultural intelligence: A pathway for leading in a rapidly globalizing world. In K. Hannum, B. B. McFeeters, & L. Booysen (Eds.), Leading across differences (pp. 131-138). Pfeiffer.
  42. Van Dyne, L., Ang, S., Ng, K. Y., Rockstuhl, T., Tan, M. L., & Koh, C. (2012). Sub-dimensions of the four factor model of cultural intelligence: Expanding the conceptualization and measurement of cultural intelligence. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 6(4), 295-313.
  43. Van Dyne, L., Ang, S., & Nielsen, T. (2007). Cultural intelligence. International Encyclopedia of Organization Studies, 1, 345-350.
  44. Wallace, J. E., & Brinkerhoff, M. B. (1991). The measurement of burnout revisited. Journal Social Service Research, 14(5), 85-11.