International Academic Journal of Social Sciences

  • ISSN 2454-3918

The Relationship among Iranian EFL Learners’ Motivation, Personality Traits, and Ambiguity Tolerance

Amir Reza Nemat Tabrizi and Soroor Hassanzadeh

Abstract: The present study investigated the relationship among intermediate Iranian EFL learners’ motivation, personality traits, and ambiguity tolerance. The participants were 120 intermediate EFL learners (60 male & 60 female) which were selected from Zabansara Institute in Mahabad, based on their results on the Nelson English Language Proficiency Test (Fowler & Coe, 1976). After the selection of the participants,three quesionnaries of NEO Five-Factor Inventory (Costa & McCrae1992), The Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaire (Pintrich & De Groot, 1990), and The Second Language Tolerance of Ambiguity Scale (Ely, 1995) were administered to the participants. After employing the Pearson Product-Moment Correlation test, the results of the study indicated that: a) there was a significant negative correlation between the learners’ motivation and Neuroticism; b) there were significant positive correlations between the learners’ motivation scores and their Agreeableness, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience scores; c) there was a significant positive correlation between the learners’ motivation and ambiguity tolerance; d) there was a significant negative correlation between the learners’ ambiguity tolerance and Neuroticism; and e) there were significant positive correlations between the EFL learners’ ambiguity tolerance and their Agreeableness, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, and Openness to Experience scores. It was suggested that, the results of the present study may have both theoretical and practical implications for the field of second language acquisition. Theoretically, the results can lead to a redefinition of the role of individual learner differences in the process of second language acquisition in foreign language contexts. Practically, the results can help syllabus designers to prepare more appropriate materials which are compatible with the language learners’ personality traits, and increase their motivation in language classrooms. Moreover, the results can help language teachers to recognize their learners’ cognitive styles including their tolerance of ambiguity and design appropriate tasks for them.

Keywords: Ambiguity Tolerance, Individual Learner Differences, Motivation, Personality Traits.

Page: 175-197

Volume 3, Issue 2, 2016