The Relation between Linguistic Skills, Personality Traits, and Language Anxiety


This study examines the relation between linguistic skills, personality types, and language anxiety amongst eighty Israeli Grade 11 students whose mother tongue is Hebrew and who are learning English as a second language. The participants were administered various tests measuring their basic linguistic skills in Hebrew as their first language (L1), including phonological and morphological awareness, working memory, rapid naming—and a series of language tests: vocabulary, word and text reading, pseudo-word reading, and spelling. They were also administered tests in English as a foreign language (EFL): vocabulary, word recognition, letter identification, text reading, and pseudo-word reading. All the participants completed an anxiety questionnaire with respect to both language sets, together with a personality questionnaire based on the Big Five model. The findings demonstrated a significant positive correlation between all the L1 and EFL linguistic skills. A significant negative correlation was obtained between the linguistic skills in both languages and anxiety towards English and Hebrew. The participants also exhibited similar levels of anxiety towards both languages. The results further identified the contribution made by personality types—neuroticism in particular—to the prediction of language anxiety and EFL success. All the findings are discussed in light of the literature, suggestions being made for future research possibilities.

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Abu-Rabia, S. , Peleg, Y. & Shakkour, W. (2014). The Relation between Linguistic Skills, Personality Traits, and Language Anxiety. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 4, 118-141. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2014.41011.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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