Motivation and Personality in Language Aptitude

  • Nejra RizvanovićEmail author
Part of the English Language Education book series (ELED, volume 16)


Since individual differences (ID) have gained increasing popularity in second language acquisition (SLA) research, their five main areas of research, namely personality, aptitude, motivation, learning styles and learning strategies have crystallized. This section explores the relationship between two of these factors, personality and motivation, and foreign language aptitude (FLA). Previous research has shown a link between (1) openness and successful language attainment, (2) extraversion and higher fluency, and (3) empathy and pronunciation, among many others. In order to unveil possible relationships between FLA and personality and motivation, the LLAMA language aptitude testing battery and four questionnaires are used in this study: the Empathy Quotient by E.J. Lawrence, the Four Temperaments Test by Eric Jorgenson, the Big5 Personality Model, as well as a modified version of the BisBas personality scale which measures motivation. Results show that extrinsic motivation correlates negatively with LLAMA E and LLAMA compound scores, which suggests a superior status of intrinsic motivation in language acquisition. With regard to temperament, phlegmatics performed better in LLAMA B, E and D. Moreover, males had a higher mean than females in the compound LLAMA score, with a striking difference in LLAMA F (grammatical inferencing). The great amount of variety in scores reveals the significance of affective factors such as personality, motivation and empathy in the language learning process.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, MEi:CogSci ProgrammeUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria

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