The Entwined Effects of Attitude, Motivation and Gender on EFL Learning: A Correlation Study

Hamad S. Aldosari


Foreign language learners vary on a number of dimensions to do with personality, motivation, gender, aptitude, and age. The aim of this paper is to illustrate and summarize the relationship between personality and foreign language learning. Using a correlation study, findings indicated that females are better language learners being more motivated than men are, and having more positive attitudes towards language learning than male students.


Personality factors; Affect; Gender; Motivation; Attitude; EFL

Full Text:



Abu-Rabia, S. (1996a). Attitudes and cultural background and their relationship to reading comprehension in a second language: A comparison of three different social contexts. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 6, 81-107.

Abu-Rabia, S. (1996b). Factors affecting the learning of English as a foreign language. Journal of Social Psychology, 136, 589-95.

Abu-Rabia, S., & Feuerveger, G. (1996). Toward understanding the second language of Arab students in Israel and Canada: The relationship of attitudes and cultural background to reading comprehension. Canadian Modern Language Review, 52, 359-85.

Ajzen, I. (1988). Attitudes, personality, and behavior. Chicago: Dorsey Press.

Ajzen, I., & Fishben, M. (1980). Understanding attitude and predicting social behavior. Englwood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Alrabai, F. (2010). The use of motivational strategies in the Saudi EFL classroom. Unpublished Ph.D. University of Newcastle.

Baker, S., & McIntyre, D. (2000). The role of gender and immersion in communication and second language orientations. Language Learning, 50, 311-41.

Byram, M. (2000). Assessing Intercultural Competence in Language Teaching. Sprogforum, 18(6), 8-13.

Coleman, J.A. (1996). Studying language: A survey of British European students. London: CILT.

Corbin, S., & Chiachiere, J. (1997). Attitudes toward and achievement in foreign language study. Educational Research Quarterly, 21(1), 3-13.

Corbin, S., et al. (1991). Motivation: Reopening the research agenda. Language Learning, 41, 469-512.

Dörnyei, Z. (1994a). Motivation and motivating in foreign language classroom. Modern Language Journal, 78, 273-84.

Dörnyei, Z. (1998). Motivation in second and foreign language learning. Language Teaching, 31,117-35.

Dörnyei, Z. (1994b). Understanding L2 motivation: On with the challenge! Modern Language Journal, 78, 515-213.

Dörnyei, Z., & Csizér, K. (2002). Some dynamics of language attitudes and motivation: Results of a longitudinal national survey. Applied Linguistics, 23(4), 421-462.

Dörnyei, Z., et al. (1996). Hungarian school children’s motivation to learn foreign languages: a comparison of five target languages. Novelty, 3, 6-12.

Ehrman, E., & Dörnyei, Z. (1998). Interpersonal dynamics in the second language classroom. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Freed, F. (1995). Language and gender. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 15, 3-22.

Gardner, R. C. (1985). Social psychology and second language learning: The role of attitude and motivation. London: Edward Arnold.

Gardner, R. C., & Lambert, W. (1972). Motivational variables in second language acquisition. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 13, 266-272.

Laine, E. J. (1995). Learning second national languages: A research report. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

Lo Castro, V. (2000). Individual differences in second language acquisition Attitudes, learner subjectivity, and L2 pragmatic norms. System, 29, 69-89.

Locke, A. (1996). Motivation through conscious goal-setting. Applied and Preventive Psychology, 5, 117-24.

Ludwig, J. (1983). Attitudes and expectations: A profile of female and male students of college French, German, and Spanish. The Modern Language Journal, 67(3), 216-27.

Makrami, B. (2010). Motivation and attitude of Saudi University’s learners of English for specific purposes (Unpublished doctoral disseration). University of Kansas. USA

Oxford, R., et al. (1993). Japanese by satellite: effect of motivation, language learning styles and strategies, gender, Course level, and previous language learning experience on Japanese language achievement. Foreign Language Annals, 26(3), 359-371.

Rahimpour, M. (1990, April 15-21). Attitudes and foreign language learning. Paper presented at the 9th world conference of applied linguistics, Thessaloniki-Halkidiki, Greece.

Suleiman, F. (1993). A study of Arab students’ motivation and attitudes for learning English as a foreign language (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Arizona State University, Arizona: USA.

Sung, H., & Padilla, M. (1998). Student motivation, parental attitudes, and involvement in the learning of Asian languages in elementary and secondary schools. Modern Language Journal, 82(2), 205-216.

Tannen, D. (1994). Gender and discourse. London: Oxford University Press.

Thot, D. (1996). Personal fulfillment and foreign language study: Making the match. Retrieved from ED405036

Vanderick, S. (2000). The need for more research on female language learners in the classroom. Temple University Working Papers in Applied Linguistics, 7, 11-25.

Williams, M., & Burden, R. (1997). Psychology for language teaching. Cambridge: CUP.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


Online Submission


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:;;

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://; Http://;;

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture