Personality: Its Impact on Attitudes Toward Classroom Activities1


  • Christopher M. Ely

    1. Ball State University
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      Christopher M. Ely (Ph.D., Stanford University) is Assistant Professor of English at Ball State University, Munice, IN.

  • 1

    This article is a revised version of a paper presented at the 1986 ACTFL Annual Meeting in Dallas, Texas. The study was supported by a grant from the Office of Research, Ball State University. The cooperation and assistance of the teachers (and students) participating in the study are greatly appreciated, as are the comments of two anonymous reviewers of this article.


ABSTRACT  This study investigated the degree to which students' personality characteristics influence their attitudes toward various learning activities in the language classroom. The research study was conducted with a group of 125 students of Spanish at the university level. The hypotheses of the study were that: 1) Language Class Risktaking positively affects attitudes toward activities involving relatively free language use; 2) Language Class Sociability positively affects attitudes toward activities involving the sharing of ideas or “performing;” and 3) Language Class Risktaking and Language Class Sociability negatively affect attitudes toward highly-structured grammar practice. Multiple regression analysis provided partial confirmation of the hypotheses. The findings suggest the importance of taking personality into consideration in language instruction.