This study examines the relation between linguistic
skills, personality types, and language anxiety amongst eighty Israeli Grade 11
students whose mother tongue is Hebrew and who are learning English as a second
language. The participants were administered various tests measuring their basic
linguistic skills in Hebrew as their first language (L1), including
phonological and morphological awareness,
working memory, rapid naming—and a series of language tests: vocabulary, word
and text reading, pseudo-word reading, and spelling. They were also
administered tests in English as a foreign language (EFL): vocabulary, word
recognition, letter identification, text reading, and pseudo-word reading. All
the participants completed an anxiety questionnaire with respect to both
language sets, together with a personality questionnaire based on the Big Five
model. The findings demonstrated a significant positive correlation between all
the L1 and EFL linguistic skills. A significant negative correlation was obtained between the linguistic skills in both languages and anxiety towards English and Hebrew. The participants also
exhibited similar levels of anxiety towards both languages. The results further
identified the contribution made by personality types—neuroticism in particular—to the prediction of language
anxiety and EFL success. All the findings are discussed in light of the
literature, suggestions being made for future research possibilities.
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