Personality types and languages learning strategies: Chameleons changing colours

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System, ISSN: 0346-251X, Vol: 41, Issue: 3, Page: 598-608

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Liyanage, Indika; Bartlett, Brendan
Elsevier BV
Arts and Humanities; Social Sciences; Education
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article description
This exploration of associations between the reported Language Learning Strategy (LLS) preferences of learners of English as a Second Language (ESL) and their personality types is positioned within the contention that the two are generally related. Our findings unequivocally support the existence of this relationship. Moreover, they also provide a platform from which to understand the contribution to learning a second language of two very commonly cited personality traits, introversion/extroversion and neuroticism. However, they also provide the basis for the important caution that the association between personality types and LLS is quite volatile. We have found that it is variation rather than unwavering stability that features in how personality traits apply as predictive of ESL learners' specific LLS preferences. Such prediction is specified even further by the particular contexts of ESL learning where the LLS are applied, for example for listening or speaking and whether this occurs inside or outside a classroom. The implications of these findings for ESL teaching and learning are discussed as is the explanatory power of the chameleon metaphor.