Individual Differences in Language Learning Success: The Effects of Personality
Dr. Alastair Sharp.
A great deal of research effort has been put into determining what ingredients are necessary for language learning success. The emphasis on methodological choices has often diverted attention away from affective issues and individual differences.
This paper will examine how the personality of the learner plays an important part in the reaction to the methods, style and approach of teachers. Relevant aspects of the personalities of 112 Hong Kong university students were assessed using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This provides information on four bipolar scales based on Jungian psychology: extroversion-introversion, sensing-intuition, thinking-feeling and judging-perceiving. Student awareness of how an understanding of personality type can affect motivation, learning strategy choice, approach to tasks, decision making and reaction to teaching styles and methods will be discussed. Examples will also be given to illustrate the importance of awareness on the part of the teacher to these personality variations. The MBTI results collected in Hong Kong will then be compared with a range of results obtained elsewhere to consider if any cultural/ national differences are observable.
Dr. Alastair Sharp (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China)
Associate Professor in Applied Linguistics
Currently lecturing and researching in Applied Linguistics at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. Previous positions in universities and schools in Malawi, Brunei, Oman, Zambia and Nigeria.
(Virtual Presentation, English)