Transforming the EMPATHICS Model Into a Workable E4MC Model of Language Learner Well-Being


  • Fakieh Alrabai King Khalid University
  • Jean-Marc Dewaele University of London


well-being, language learning, empathy, emotions, character strengths


This paper presents a critical analysis of the EMPATHICS model of language learner well-being proposed by Oxford (2016) as a prerequisite first step to validate this model. The analysis was guided by the theories in the field of language learning and teaching as well as by some elaborations and suggestions originally made by Rebecca Oxford herself. The massive overlap between the dimensions in the EMPATHICS and the absence of operationalization in the literature indicate that the model is acronym-driven rather than theory-based. A thorough revision of the model is needed to eliminate overlap between the dimensions. We argue that empathy, emotions, emotional intelligence, engagement, motivation, and character strengths of language learners (E4MC) lie at the heart of the EMPATHICS model and that all the other dimensions are theoretically interrelated with these more limited number of dimensions. A revised, trimmed-down E4MC model of language learner well-being would allow the operationalization of the construct and could lead to the future development of an instrument that could be further validated.



How to Cite

Alrabai, F., & Dewaele, J.-M. (2023). Transforming the EMPATHICS Model Into a Workable E4MC Model of Language Learner Well-Being. JOURNAL FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING, 5(1), 1-14. Retrieved from



Theoretical Articles