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International Journal of Research Studies in Language Learning 2012 January, Volume 1 Number 1, 33-40

A study on the relationship between
extroversion-introversion and risk-taking in the context of
second language acquisition
Zafar, Shahila
School of Social Sciences and Languages, VIT University, India (shahela.zafar@gmail.com)

Meenakshi, K.

ISSN: 2243-7754
Online ISSN: 2243-7762

School of Social Sciences and Languages, VIT University, India (k.meenakshi@vit.ac.in) Received: 14 October 2011
Available Online: 24 October 2011

Revised: 21 October 2011
DOI: 10.5861/ijrsll.2012.v1i1.42

Accepted: 22 October 2011

Abstract
Two of the most examined dimensions of personality that have an affective influence on language learning are extroversion-introversion and risk-taking. In the paper we first define and look at the different studies conducted to examine the relationship between the two factors and second language acquisition (SLA). Results show that extroverts seem to take full advantage of language-use opportunities as they tend to be sociable, and are more likely to join groups, more inclined to engage in conversations both inside and outside the classroom. However, results have also concluded that a more introverted personality may be better suited to classroom learning, especially reading and writing skills. Risk takers; who are believed to be inherently extroverts, are more likely to take their existing language system to the limit. Such learners are more likely to change and more resistant to fossilization. Language proficiency is influenced directly by classroom participation which reflects, among other things, the contributing influences of risk-taking.

Keywords: extroversion; introversion; risk taking; second language acquisition; personality

© The Authors

Zafar, S. & Meenakshi, K.

A study on the relationship between extroversion-introversion and risk-taking in the context of second language acquisition

1.

Introduction

Several possible aspects of personality have been proposed over the years. However, those of extroversion/introversion and risk-taking are most frequently examined by research in second language acquisition (SLA). Skehan (1989) considers three crucial factors of language learning. They are: Intelligence

Risk-taking ability
Extroversion/introversion
He also argues that the latter two dimensions of personality have an affective influence on language learning, and claims that risk-taking together with extroversion-introversion can be associated with language learning. In the following sections, we will first define and then take a look at the different studies conducted to examine the relationship between the two factors and SLA.

2.

Extroversion/Introversion

The notion of extroversion/ introversion stems from trait theories of personality developed in psychology. Trait theorists try to identify this in a human being’s personality that is relatively stable, and it is believed, at least partly innate. The majority of studies on the personality research in SLA have looked at the relationship between the extroversion-introversion dimension of personality and different linguistic variables. Extroversion and Introversion are used to gauge two styles. Of course, everyone is extroverted or introverted in some degree, but not in the same degree. Extrovert characters tend to be gregarious, while the introverted tend to be private. The activity of the extrovert is seen as directed towards the external world and that of the introvert inward upon himself or herself. Extroverts are sociable, like parties, have many friends and need excitement in everything they do; they are sensation-seekers and are lively and active. Extroverts are easily distracted from studying, partly as a result of their gregariousness and partly because of their weak ability to concentrate for long periods. On the other hand, introverts are quiet, prefer reading rather than meeting people and...
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