Extraversion: The Unloved Variable in Applied Linguistic Research



The relatively small number of linguistic studies in which extraversion is focussed on as an independent variable suggests that applied linguists believe it unrelated to speech production or language learning. We argue that this suspicion is based on a misunderstanding originating in the 1970s. Reappraisal of the literature suggests that extraversion may not be a predictor of success in second language learning but does affect both L1 and L2 speech production. An analysis of the psychological literature on extraversion allowed us to formulate a number of hypotheses about the causes of linguistic variation in the speech of introverts and extraverts.