Personality Development by means of Investment in L2 and its impact on EFL Proficiency: A survey of Iranian MA EFL students

Document Type: Research Paper


School of Iternational Relations Department of International Languages


Norton’s (1995) Investment Hypothesis in L2 learning that L2 learners who cherish and foresee a richer personality for themselves in their L2 context would thrive more diligently and consequently would both enrich their personality and achieve a higher proficiency in their new language was investigated in this study in the community of Iranian EFL students. The integration and mutual role between language and culture and their subsequent influence on the personality and EFL proficiency of 72 Iranian MA EFL students at Allameh Tabataba’i University were investigated. Personality features, confined to Multicultural Personality Traits (cultural empathy, open-mindedness, social initiative, emotional stability, and flexibility), were measured by using Multicultural Personality Questionnaire (MPQ) and an actual TOEFL was used to measure the participants’ EFL proficiency. Then the relationships between their MPTs and EFL proficiency were analyzed. It was found that when all participants were taken as EFL students, the correlation between their MPTs and EFL proficiency was not a high correlation, but when they were relatively classified into high, mid and low-proficiency groups, strong positive correlation between high-proficiency EFL students’ MPTs and their EFL proficiency was witnessed (r = .62), whereas the low-proficiency EFL students’ data indicated a very low correlation. The findings of this study confirmed the hypothesis that EFL students with a greater investment in their L2 as a means to develop an enriched personality had also achieved higher EFL proficiency.