Extrovert And Introvert Students In Learning English Cultural Studies Essay

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English language has become the second language in Malaysia in order surpass other developing countries and to move one step forward to achieve developed country status. Thus, this matter leads to the discovery of this study. This study aims to find the answer to the following research question: How do extrovert and introvert students differ in acquiring English as L2? This paper evaluates why and how these personalities affect the acquisition of each component in English language which is reading, listening, writing and speaking. The survey was conducted randomly among students in Mara College Banting, Selangor. A set of questionnaires containing three sections were handed out to 50 students. It is important note that the respondents were chosen regardless of their gender, ethnicity and social background. In section 1, there were 40 personality test questions which will categories the respondents into extrovert or introvert. While in section 2, it mainly asked about their ways of learning English language which consist of 4 multiple choice questions. In section 3 contain questions about the respondent's score in IELTS test result. From the results obtained, it can be concluded that students who exhibit extrovert personality acquired English as second language better than students who exhibit introvert personality. In listening and writing components, this study reveals that introverts are proven better than extroverts. While in speaking component, extrovert students surpass introvert students. Surprisingly, the study depicts that both personalities do not affect the acquisition of English language in reading component.


Malaysia is emphasizing on the usage of English inside and outside the classrooms as the government now recognized the need to master English as second language in order to compete with other developing countries. Second language acquisition is the process by which people learn a second language in addition to their native(s). The term second language is used to describe the acquisition of any language beside mother tongue. The language is often referred to as the "target language" or "L2", compared to the first language, "L1", referred to as the "source language". Second language acquisition may be abbreviated "SLA", or L2A, for "L2 acquisition". L2 acquisition started during globalization. People have evolved beyond their native language when they communicate with each other. Second language is acquired for people to obtain knowledge, education and exchange their culture worldwide. Therefore, in order to interact with other people around the world, people must learn new language apart from focusing on only their native language.

In Malaysia, Bahasa Melayu is officially stated as the first language. English language has become the second language in Malaysia in order to have contact with people from other countries. Learning English Language as a second language is not easy as it needs a lot of practice and exercises. In Malaysia, English language is also known as Malaysian English. It is a form of English used and spoken in Malaysia as second language. English is divided into 4 components which are listening, writing, speaking and reading in Malaysian school syllabus. Acquisition of second language is greatly influenced by the personality of a person. According to Carl Jung's people personality can be classified into 3 criteria which are extraversion-introversion, sensing-intuition and thinking-feeling. However, Isabel Briggs-Myers added the fourth criterion which is judging-perceiving. In this research, only one criterion will be studied which is extraversion-introversion.

Extrovert is someone who is very confident, lively, and likes social situations. They tend to be gregarious, assertive, and interested in seeking out excitement. Introverts, in contrast, is someone who tends to concentrate on their own thoughts and feelings rather than communicating with other people. They tend to be more reserved, less outgoing, but are also marked by a richer inner world. They are not necessarily loners but they tend to have smaller circles of friends and are less likely to thrive on making new social contacts. Introverts are less likely to seek stimulation from others because their own thoughts and imagination are stimulating enough. According to Jung typology test, extraversion-introversion defines the source and direction of energy expression for a person. The extravert has a source and direction of energy expression mainly in the external world while the introvert has a source of energy mainly in the internal world.

In acquiring second language, there are many factors that will affect learning. Therefore the factors that could affect learning effectiveness are vital to know. There is a relationship between personalities of a person with their effectiveness in acquiring second language. Therefore, extraversion-introversion personality of a person indeed affects the performance of their second language. Thus, this study aims to find answer to the research question "How do extrovert and introvert students differ in acquiring English as L2?"


Based on Hans Eysenck research, he believed that the autonomic nervous system determines how one reacts. When the activity of the cortex is inhibited by the brain stem, the person needs more stimulation and becomes extrovert. When the activity of the cortex is excited, there is too much stimulation and the person becomes introverted. Thus, introverts show stimulus aversion, and extravert's stimulus hunger. A problem occurs in education when learners fall at the extremes. Learning environments that are stimulating enough for extraverts are too stimulating for introverts, and vice versa. Extraverts like to talk more and tend to take action with less reflection, work better in groups than alone, good at interpreting body language and facial expressions, excel during classes with high levels of activity, respond well to praise and competition, prefer quicker, less accurate approach, good at tasks involving short-term memory, highly resistant to distraction in interference conditions involving divided attention, prefer bright colors, loud music and excitement and need a lot going on in the outer world. They are also likely to use emotions and create a sense of social presence. Therefore, it can be concluded that extroverts tend to be socially active rather than be passive people. They tend to use group work, videoconferencing class discussions, multimedia and chat rooms. Thus, these characteristic will influence their ways of learning in English and it is believed that extraverts are good in certain components in English language.

However, for introverts, they tend to exerts talk less and reflect more before acting, like to be quiet, better at reflective problem solving and tasks involving long term memory, like to work independently or with one or two other people. Prefer slower and more accurate approach, may have trouble establishing rapport with others, oriented toward inner world of ideas and feelings, prefer low sensory input and low levels of activity, excel at focusing attention for long periods of time in situations if there are no distractions and have a lot going on in their inner world. Therefore, introverts are fairly to say that they exerts characteristic that opposite with the extroverts. They tend to be more passive rather than actively social. Thus, for introverts, they will use individual work, reading and writing assignments and asynchronous computer-mediated communication. These characteristic shown by introverts are believed that they are good in certain components in English language.


Based on the research question, this research will study about Mara College Banting's students based on their personality's traits. It is often argued that extroverted person is well suited to language learning. Therefore, this study tries to explain the effect of personality on second language acquisition by investigating the relationship between personality characteristics of students which is extrovert or introvert with their performance in each component in English language. The main research question can be reconstructed to form a few sub-research questions that will surely help to understand the main purpose of this study. This study seeks answers for the following questions:

How do extrovert students perform in each English component?

How do introvert students perform in each English component?

Which type of personality is better on acquiring English language as L2?



A set of questionnaire which consists of three sections is prepared and distributed randomly among 50 students in Mara College Banting. In section 1, the questions are all about the student's personality and it consists of 40 questions. The test is conducted in order to categorize the students based on their personality which is either extrovert or introvert. The question mainly designed to determine their 'outgoingness' or in other words the sociability personality trait. The questions are in the form of multiple choice questions (MCQ) and students must choose the best options that they think they might exerts that characteristic.

Apart from that, in section 2, it mainly asked about the method for extravert or introvert students in learning the English language as L2. There are 4 questions that related to their way of studying English. As we all know, different personality will have their own skills in achieving and mastering new languages. Therefore, studying their ways of learning English is very important as to see their performance in English. The questions are also in MCQ and if there are no answers, they will have to state theirs.

In section 3, it dominantly about IELTS test result. Mara College Banting students have done their IELTS test especially the medic students. They need to take this test as to continue their studies into international universities. The test is divided into 4 categories which equivalent with English components. Each component will be scored from band 1 to 9 where band 9 is the highest band. Each band has its own assessable information. Each randomly selected candidate has to fill in their scores so that their performance in English can be classed and compared between extrovert and introvert.


4.1.1 Pie chart showing percentage of extrovert and introvert students in Mara College Banting

4.1.2 Graph bar showing the number of student versus percentage of extrovert-introvert

4.1.2 Analysis of the Distribution of Extroverts and Introverts Students

As stated in Methodology, the answered MCQ questions will be checked online and the result obtained will be processed. Pie chart 4.1.1 shown that 55% from the 50 randomly selected students are extroverts whereas the remaining percentage, 45% is introvert students. This means that 27 out of 40 students shown extrovert characteristics and 23 students shown introvert characteristics. The test conducted will give the result in percentage forms. This is then analyzed and the result is presented in graph 4.1.2. The higher percentage starting from 50% to 100% indicates that the extrovert students while percentage from 0% to 50% shown the introvert students.

4.2.1 Graph of distribution of students in listening component of English Language.

4.2.2 Analysis of Distribution of Student in Listening Component

Based on the graph 4.2.1, it is visibly shown that the lowest band for extrovert is band 5 where six students stated. While for introvert, the lowest band is band 5.5 where seven students stated to achieve this band. Band 6.5 shows the highest frequency for extrovert whereas band 7.0 shows the highest frequency for introvert. Six extrovert manage to achieve band 8.0 which is the highest band achieved by extrovert and the highest band achieved by introvert students is band 7.5 which eight students recorded.

Introvert score higher than extrovert students in listening component. This is proven where the highest frequency is band 7.0 scored for introvert students whereas the highest frequency for extrovert students is band 6.5. This great performance achieved by introvert students is influenced by their characteristic. Introvert students are excel at focusing attention for long periods of time in situations if there are no distractions. Therefore, it is no doubt that the introvert managed to score higher band in listening part compared to extrovert. For extrovert, they are difficult to focus on something for long periods of time and thus, they score lower than introvert. This is also true where the lowest band scored by extrovert is band 5.0 while introvert is only band 5.5. This shows that students that exert extrovert characteristics keen to be not being very good in listening component compared to the introvert.

4.3.1 Graph of distribution of students in reading component of English Language

4.3.2 Analysis of Distribution of Students in Reading Component

Based on graph 4.3.2, there is only marginal difference between extrovert and introvert students in reading part. It is obviously shown that the lowest band for both personalities is band 6 where seven are extrovert and nine are introvert. The highest band scored is band 9 which are extrovert and seven introvert students able to score band 8.5.

Band 7 is the topmost scored band for both types of personality which eleven extrovert students manage to attain this band and ten introvert students able to reach this band.

Therefore, early conclusion can be made that both personality does not affect the performance of students in reading component. The most likely factor that contributes to this result is the way students are taught in primary or secondary school. Respondents are students who were been learning English subject since they were in kindergarten, primary school or even in secondary school. All respondents are bilingual students and therefore, it is not surprising that the reading skill in English Language is not much affected by their personality.

4.4.1 Graph of distribution of student in writing component

4.4.2 Analysis of Distribution of Student in Writing Component

Based on the graph 4.4.1 obtained, it is clearly shown that the lowest band for both personality is at band 5 where six students recorded for both personalities. The highest band is scored by introvert students where seven students achieve band 7.5. None of extrovert students managed to score this band. Whereas band 7 is recorded to be the highest band scored by extrovert students where eight students managed to reach this band. However, introvert students showed great performance in this component where eleven students able to reach this band and therefore become the most scored band by students. For extrovert students, twelve students are able to score band 6.5 and thus become the most scored band compared to introvert students where only seven students reached this band.

The pattern portrayed in graph 4.4.1 is correlated with the characteristic of the personality itself. The result shown introvert students are proven better than extrovert students in writing component and therefore different personality does affect writing skill in English Language. Referring to the graph, it can be seen that students that exert introvert personality score overalls higher band than extrovert students. This is due to characteristic of introvert students itself. Introvert students tend to make use of written responses where practical. Introverts are more prefer to use a lot of writing skills rather than practical skills in their daily life. Besides, the idea will come from thinking alone and prefer slower but more accurate result and therefore, introverts are better in writing component than extroverts. On the other hand, extroverts are would like quick approach rather than accurate result. They do not like slower work and approaches. These characteristics seem to be the limitation to extroverts in writing component.

4.5.1 Graph of distribution of student in speaking component.

4.5.2 Analysis of Distribution of Student in Speaking Component

Based on the graph 4.5.1, band 5 is recorded to be the lowest band scored by extroverts. While for introverts, band 5.5 is the lowest band where nine students recorded at this band. Both personalities shared the same highest band which is band 7 and introvert students exceeded extrovert students by only one difference. However, for band 6.5, it is visible that extroverts exceeded introverts by a large difference which is about 4 students. Thus, band 6.5 is the most scored band for extrovert where thirteen students are able to reach this band.

At first glance, it can be seen in the graph 4.5.1 that extroverts able to score averagely higher band compared to introverts. Extrovert students are generally capable to be talkative and energized by interaction. They will not show their shyness in front of other people. Thus, they tend to take less reflection but however take more actions when communicate with other people. Furthermore, this type of personality always speaks without thinking. This makes them to practice speaking in English with other people without hesitation. Therefore, they are able to speak in English but have some grammar mistakes.

On the other hand, introvert students are more to be in quiet situation rather than hectic places. They are shy when they communicate with a person that they not close to them. Thus, they might show bad impression to the interviewer during the test. Moreover, introvert students always think before they speak in front of other people. Therefore, they are able to speak in English with a few mistakes in grammar.

4.6.1 Graph of overall band of students

4.6.2 Analysis of Overall Band of Students

Based on the graph 4.6.1, it is clearly shown that the least overall band scored by both types of personality is band 6 where eight students scored this band. Furthermore, band 7.5 is the highest overall band achieved by both types of personality where six students are able to reach this band. For band 6.5 and 7.0, there is only a marginal difference between both personalities. But band 7.0 shows that more extrovert students managed to achieve this band

compared to introvert students. However, for band 6.5, introvert students scored more than introvert students with only one difference.


This study is exploratory in nature and since the number of students surveyed (50) is quite small, the result does not represent all students in general. Hence, it is difficult to make strong conclusions. In addition, biasness might happen during the surveys where the students did not answer according to their first instinct or they might not to be honest when answering the questionnaire. They might create their own IELTS score and the personality questions. Therefore, the result and data obtained might not be true and accurate. Thus, in future studies, improvement have to be made on the methodology especially in order to increase the confident and accuracy of the data.

The method use in classification of the students is also one of the limitations of this study. The personality test which is Jung Typology Test has 5 ranges of answer from very inaccurate to very accurate and the middle answer means the statement is around 50% accurate. The students may not answer the questions properly and honestly or they are answering the questions in the way that they think would be the ideal answer. If these happen, it may lead to inaccuracy in the data obtained.

Besides that, one of the personalities groups besides extravert and introvert is ambivert. Ambiversion is a term used to describe people who fall more or less directly in the middle and exhibit tendencies of both groups. In this study, ambivert students are still will be classified either in extravert or introvert. Since the personality test will give the answer in percentage form, they will classify as introvert if they score less than 50% and vice versa. Hence, future studies should take into account this limitation so that ambivert students will be classified as other groups of personalities.


From the analysis, it can be concluded that extravert students acquired English Language as second language better than introvert students. Different groups of personalities do affect the performance in listening component. Introvert students tend to be better compared to extravert students. This is due to the fact that introvert students tend to be highly focused on attention for long periods of time. Besides that, extravert students have highly resistant to distraction in interference conditions involving divided attention. This explains why introvert students acquire better English Language in listening component.

Furthermore, different types of personality does not effect in acquiring English Language in reading components. Since both personalities are exposed to English Language since there were young. Therefore, they might have the same knowledge about English words and grammar. This explains why groups of personality do not affect the acquiring of English Language in reading component.

Introvert students is proven to be better than extravert students in writing component. Thus, different groups of personalities do affect writing component in English Language. This is due to the fact that introverts are likely using more writing skills rather than practical skills in their daily life and therefore they get used in writing assignment. Besides that, they tend to focus on accurate result than faster work. On the other hand, extravert students prefer quick approach but less accurate result. Because of outgoingness of extravert, introverts are better in writing component.

Different groups of personalities also do affect speaking component in English Language. It is clearly shown that extravert students are better than introvert students. This maybe because of the characteristic of extravert itself. Extravert students tend to be talkative and not hesitate to communicate to other people. Hence, they have good practice of English compared to introvert students that are more quite and careful when talking with other people. This explains why extravert students are better than introvert in speaking component.

Therefore, extravert students can be considered to be better than introvert students in acquiring English Language as second language. This is proven based on the overall band of students. Both groups of personalities scored the same quantity for band 6.0 and 7.5. On the other hand, band 7.0 showed that the quantity of extravert students exceeded introvert students and vice versa for band 6.5. Band 7.0 showed that the students are good users which they have operational command of the language, though with occasional inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings in some situations. Generally handles complex language well and understands detailed reasoning of English Language while band 6.5 shows that the students are competent users which they have generally effective command of the language despite some inaccuracies, inappropriacies and misunderstandings. They can use and understand fairly complex language, particularly in familiar situations.