Personality Theory and TESOL

M. Fadi Al Shalabi*, Mohammad Ali Salmani Nodoushan**
*Staff member and the Director of the Department of International and Cultural Relations at Damascus University, Syria.
**Assistant Professor of TEFL at the English Department of University of Zanjan, Iran.
Periodicity:May - July'2009


In this paper, it is argued, based on evidence from psychological literature, that there are three major approcahes to the study of personality, namely (a) situationism, (b) interactionism, and (c) constructivism. It is also noticed that these approached have resulted in the emergence of three major types of personality theories: (1) type theories, (2) trait theories, and (3) factor theories. In connection to TESOL, it is argued that extroversion/introversion and risk-taking are the most important personality factors. It is also argued that such personality factors as tolerance of ambiguity, empathy, self-esteem, inhibition, and intelligence have also been addressed by TESOL research, but that the two most important factors are extroversion/introversion and risk-taking.


Personality, Rsik-taking, Extraversion, TESOL, Introversion.

How to Cite this Article?

M. Fadi Al Shalabi and Dr. Mohammad Ali Salmani Nodoushan (2009). Personality Theory and TESOL. i-manager’s Journal on Educational Psychology, 3(1), 14-22.


[1]. Allport, G. W., & Odbert, H. S. (1963). Trait names: A psycho-lexical study. Psychological Monographs, 47 (2), 2-11.
[2]. Bandura, A. (1977). Social Learning Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
[3]. Bloom, B. J. (1984). The 2 sigma problem: the search for methods of instruction as effective as one-to-one tutoring. Educational Researcher, 13, 4-16.
[4]. Busch, D. (1982). Introversion-extroversion and the EFL proficiency of Japanese students. Language Learning, 32, 109-132.
[5]. Cattell, R. B., & Child, D. (1975). Motivation and dynamic structure. London: Holt, Reinhart, & Winston.
[6]. Chapelle, C., & Roberts, C. (1986). Ambiguity tolerance and field-independence as predictors of proficiency in English as a second language. Language Learning, 36, 27-45.
[7]. Child, I. L. (1968). Personality in Culture. In E. F. Borgatta and W. W. Lambert (Eds.), Handbook of personality theory and research. Chicago: Rand McNally.
[8]. Ellis, R. (1994). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
[9]. Ely, C. (1986). An analysis of discomfort, risktaking, sociability, and motivation in the L2 classroom. Language Learning, 36, 1-25.
[10]. Eysenck, H. J. (1952). The scientific study of personality. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
[11]. Eysenck, M. W. (1994). Individual differences: Normal and abnormal. East Sussex: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
[12]. Eysenck, S, & Chan, J.(1982). A comparative study of personality in adults and children:Hong Kong vs. England. Personality and Individual Differences, 3, 153-160.
[13]. Gardner, R., & Lambert, W. (1972). Attitudes and motivation in second language learning. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House
[14]. Guiora, A., Lane, H., & Bosworth, L. (1967). An explanation of some personality variables in authentic pronunciation in a second language. In Lane and Zale (Eds.).
[15]. Guiora, A., Beit-Hallahmi, B., Brannon, R., Dull, C., & Scovel, T. (1972). The effects of experimentally induced changes in ego states on pronunciation ability in a second language: An exploratory study. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 13, 421-8.
[16]. Guiora, A., Acton, W., Erard, R., & Strickland, F. (1980). The effects of benzodiazepine (valium) on permeability of language ego boundaries. Language Learning, 30, 351-63.
[17]. Hampson, S. E. (1994). The construction of personality. In Individual differences and personality. Hampson, S. E. and A. M. Colman (Eds). Essex: Longman.
[18]. Hampson, S. E. (1997). The social psychology of personality. In Cooper, C & V. Varma (Eds.). Processes in individual differences. London: Routledge.
[19]. Heyde, A. (1979). The relationship between selfesteem and oral production of a second language. Unpublished PhD thesis, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.
[20]. Heyde, A. (1991). The relationship between selfesteem and oral production of a second language. Unpublished PhD thesis, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. Cited in Larsen-Freeman and Long (Eds.).
[21]. Hirschberg, N. A. (1978). Correct treatment of traits. In H. London (Ed.), Personality: A new look at metatheories. New York: Macmillan.
[22]. James, W. (1980). Principles of psychology. New York: Holt.
[23]. McClelland, D. C. (1961). The achieving society. Princeton, NJ: Nan Nostrand.
[24]. Mischel, W. (1968). Personality and assessment. New York: Wiley.
[25]. Naiman, N., Frohlich, M., Stern, H. H., &, Todesco, A. (1978). The good language learner. Toronto: The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
[26]. Shackleton, V., & Fletcher, C. (1984). Individual differences: Theories and applications. London: Methuen & Co.
[27]. Skehan, P. (1989). Individual differences in second language learning. London: Edward Arnold.
[28]. Strong, M. (1983). Social styles and second language acquisition of Spanish - speaking kindergarteners. TESOL Quarterly, 17, 241-258.
[29]. Sullivan, H. S. (1953). The interpersonal theory of psychiatry. New York: Norton.
[30]. Weimer, M. G. (1989). Who's doing the work? The Teaching Professor, 3 (2).
[31]. Wright, D. S., Taylor, A., Davies, D. R., Sluckin, W., Lee, S. G. M., & Reason, J. T. (1970). Introducing psychology. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Purchase Instant Access

Single Article

North Americas,UK,
Middle East,Europe
India Rest of world
Pdf 35 35 200 20
Online 35 35 200 15
Pdf & Online 35 35 400 25

If you have access to this article please login to view the article or kindly login to purchase the article
Options for accessing this content:
  • If you would like institutional access to this content, please recommend the title to your librarian.
    Library Recommendation Form
  • If you already have i-manager's user account: Login above and proceed to purchase the article.
  • New Users: Please register, then proceed to purchase the article.