The Dynamics of Individual Differences in Teaching/Learning of English as a Second/Foreign Language

Sultan H. Alharbi


The subject of individual learner differences (IDs) in English as a Second/Foreign (ESL/EFL) Language teaching and learning is an area which has been much debated and investigated. Since these differences vary according to the geographical or cultural influences of the learners, variations in results and opinions among language instructors are inevitable. However, the indubitable fact is that these differences considerably influence the ESL/EFL language learners’ performances. Individuals are different in personality styles, and these personality styles are influenced by age, cultural background and a whole lot of other factors. These IDs lead to dynamism in language acquisition. The current study thus examined three set of IDs to determine how they affect the learning style preferred by individuals. The individual differences analyzed in this study include: race, exposure to English Language, and personality type (i.e., introvert or extrovert). The study concluded that while race and exposure to English Language affected the preferred learning style significantly as expected English language acquisition, personality style, however, did not have an influence on the preferred learning style for this study sample. IDs are extremely complex, with a large number of variables. As a result, it is critical for researchers as well as English language instructors to identify the source of the problem from a psychological standpoint and consider variables that would aid in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) improvement.

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email:

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