L2 Motivation and Personality as Predictors of the Second Language Proficiency: Role of the Big Five Traits and L2 Motivational Self System

Zargham Ghapanchi, Gholam Hassan Khajavy, Seyyedeh Fatemeh Asadpour


This study examined the predictability of the L2 proficiency by personality and L2 motivational self system variables among 141 Iranian EFL university students. Participants completed Transparent Bipolar Inventory (Goldberg, 1992) as a personality measure, L2 motivational self system (Papi, 2010), and a self-rated measure of second language proficiency. Regression analyses showed that extroversion and openness to experience accounted for 13% of the variance in L2 proficiency; and ideal L2 self and L2 learning experience accounted for 35% of the variance in L2 proficiency. Further, extroversion, neuroticism, conscientiousness, and openness explained 25% of the variance of in ideal L2 self; neuroticism and conscientiousness explained 24% of the variance in ought-to L2 self; and conscientiousness and extroversion explained 26% of the variance in L2 learning experience. Hierarchical regressions also showed that L2 motivation is a more powerful predictor of L2 proficiency.

Key words: Second language proficiency; Big Five traits; Ideal L2 self; Ought to L2 self; L2 learning experience; Motivation


Second language proficiency; Big Five traits; Ideal L2 self; Ought to L2 self; L2 learning experience; Motivation

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.css.1923669720110706.030


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