Emotional Intelligence Growth Through Volunteering with Language Teaching Associations
As language teaching professionals, we often have opportunities to volunteer with professional associations in our field. This chapter explores the idea that in addition to giving to their organizations, volunteers also gain through such service—by serving on committees, task forces, and association boards. Such benefits include the development of leadership skills that people may not have the opportunity to hone at their own institutions, and the excitement of working with like-minded individuals from around the nation or world. Using Goleman’s (1998) model of emotional intelligence, some research literature, and examples from our own experience, we discuss the development of emotional intelligence through volunteer service in language teacher associations. This model includes three intrapersonal components (self-awareness, self-regulation, and motivation) and two interpersonal components (empathy and social skills). Through both research and personal experience, we posit that volunteer service in language teacher associations (LTAs) fosters the development of emotional intelligence, which in turn, creates more efficient and more effective leaders.
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