Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Extroversion/introversion and Breadth of Vocabulary Knowledge

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Extroversion/introversion and Breadth of Vocabulary Knowledge

Article excerpt


This research is broadly concerned with the differences among language learners. In fact, it is an endeavor to unravel the enigma of vocabulary teaching in EFL environment by scrutinizing the effect of the personality factors of extroversion/introversion on the learners' breadth of vocabulary knowledge. Furthermore, it tries to investigate the relationship between the learners' passive and productive levels of vocabulary knowledge. The research participants constituted 94 juniors from the Islamic Azad University, Roudehen Branch. They were administered four types of tests: The 1000 frequency level, the passive version of the Vocabulary Levels Test, the productive version of the Vocabulary Levels Test, and the Eysenck extroversion/introversion questionnaire respectively. The t-test analysis of the study indicated that extroverts outperformed their introverted counterparts in both fields of passive and productive vocabulary. In addition, the results of the correlational analyses between the participants' passive and productive vocabulary at different levels and as a whole were indicative of the idea that growth in passive vocabulary does not necessarily lead to growth in the learners' active vocabulary.

KEYWORSS: Extroversion, Introversion, Active vocabulary, Passive Vocabulary, Eysenck


We use language for communication, and so naturally one key issue in lexical studies is how much vocabulary is necessary to enable this communication. In fact, the answer depends on one's learning goals. "If one wishes to achieve native-like proficiency, then presumably it is necessary to have a vocabulary size similar to native speakers" (Schmitt, 2010, p.6). Fortunately, foreign language learners do not need to obtain native-like vocabulary. However, they need to possess a rich size of vocabulary to satisfy the various forms of communication in English. Schmitt (2010) reported that 8,000-9,000 word families are required to read a wide variety of texts without having difficulty in understanding novel words. In fact, a good reason supporting the significance of lexical acquisition and vocabulary breadth is the oft-repeated observation that learners carry around dictionaries and not books related to the other sub-skills like grammar. The upshot is that English language learners need to possess a large size of lexical items to operate effectively and functionally across a variety of domains.

According to Alderson, 2005 (cited in Schmitt, 2010, p. 5), "the size of one's vocabulary is relevant to one's performance on any language test, in other words, that language ability is to quite a large extent a function of vocabulary size." Augustin Liach (2011, p.19) believes that "in LI and L2 acquisition, vocabulary represents the onset of language development and plays a central part in it. Therefore, finding out how vocabulary acquisition proceeds is of extreme relevance to the field of SLA." Additionally, Chacon-Beltran, Abello-Contesse, and Torreblanca-Lopez (2010) stated the fact that vocabulary has suffered a lower status in comparison with the other fields of L2 acquisition, primarily grammar. One reason for such a blatant negligence was the apparent dominance of structuralism, language teaching methods and approaches depicting language as a closed system of manageable grammar rules rather than an open-ended system, referred to as vocabulary.

According to Schmitt (2010), we have a galaxy of empirical investigations regarding vocabulary acquisition and its significance since the blossoming of research which Meara initially noted in 1987. However, in recent years there has been an increasing awareness of the necessity in second language research to examine personality factors that have an undeniable effect on language learning and teaching. Affective factors have received some attention, but there has been a neglect of certain traits within the typology of personality factors. Affective/temperament traits as personality indicators like extroversion-introversion have been researched in different areas of SLA (e. …

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