Changes in Personality and Oral Competence after Studying English Abroad
Keywords: Personality, extraversion, conscientiousness, emotional stability, study abroad
Meiji University, Tokyo
Omar Karlin is a non-tenured Assistant Professor at Meiji University in Tokyo. He obtained his M.Ed in TESOL from Temple University, and is currently a Ph.D candidate at Temple’s Doctor of Education program. His research interests include how personality affects second language acquisition for study abroad students.
A total of 29 university students of varying proficiency from a university near Tokyo went abroad to Australia for one month to study English. Students were enrolled at a university-administered English program in which they attended three hours of class per day, and were hosted by a family during their stay in Australia. All students completed a personality survey before and after their study-abroad experience, and a 10-15 minute phone interview when they returned. Personality survey results were analyzed using Winsteps to obtain a person measure of personality for each student. Results indicated that after just a month abroad, there was an increase in the personality measures extraversion, conscientiousness, and emotional stability. Interviews were transcribed and entered into the software LIWC2007, which analyzed word categories. Paired sample t-tests were conducted using the pre-departure personality measures of students and post-return word count (interview) results. The results of the t-tests indicated that only those high in extraversion had a significant advantage in oral competence.
Category: Teaching Articles