An investigation of personality and L2 oral performance

Zhengdong GAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review


This study investigates one dimension of personality, extroversion-introversion, and examines its potential impact on learner L2 oral performance. The study is innovative in that it analyzes not only the correlation between degree of extroversion and assessment scores based on analytic scoring but also the correlation between degree of extroversion and the discourse measures of accuracy, fluency and complexity commonly used as indices of L2 task performance in the L2 research. The data for this study were drawn from oral performances by 39 Cantonese-mother-tongue Form 4 (that is, Grade 9) secondary school ESL students engaging in school-based oral English assessment that has recently been implemented across secondary schools in Hong Kong. The Eysenck Personality Questionnaire was used to measure the students’ degree of extroversion. The findings indicate no significant correlations between degree of extroversion and students’ assessment scores, and between degree of extroversion and those discourse-based measures. In addition, further in-depth analysis of the discourse and interactional behavior of two students classified as an extrovert and an introvert based on their scores on the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire, suggests that in the context of group oral discussion described in this study, extroversion/introversion might impact in some way on learner discourse and interactional behavior only in the extreme cases, yet this influence seemed not reflected in the assessment scores assigned. Copyright © 2011 ACADEMY PUBLISHER Manufactured in Finland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1259-1267
JournalJournal of Language Teaching and Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


Gan, Z. (2011). An investigation of personality and L2 oral performance. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 2(6), 1259-1267.


  • L2 task performance
  • Conversation analysis
  • Extroversion-introversion
  • Speaking assessment


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