CALICO Journal, Vol 15, No 1-3 (1998)

Personality Type, Tolerance of Ambiguity, and Vocabulary Retention in CALL

Caroline Grace
Issued Date: 7 Aug 2014

Abstract


Several studies have shown a correlation between learning strategies and personality and that certain personality types have varying degrees of tolerance of ambiguity. The goal of this study is to examine the effects of lexical ambiguity in CALL (operationally defined as whether or not the CALL context provides first-language sentence-level translations as a means for verifying meaning) on beginning second language learners. Specifically, it attempts to determine whether learners' personality types--as measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator--have an effect on the retention of second language vocabulary independently of the translation issue and in an ambiguous CALL context. Analyses of vocabulary retention tests show that students of all personality types learned and retained a significant amount of vocabulary when verification of meaning was provided through the first language regardless of their tolerance for ambiguity. This case did not obtain for all types in a more ambiguous context. Findings support the need for beginning vocabulary learning software which renders meaning clearly while promoting deep processing.

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DOI: 10.1558/cj.v15i1-3.19-45

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