Published online by Cambridge University Press: 10 June 2021
Chapter 3, Personality Dimensions in GLL, analyzes personality as significant for the gifted language learner’s approach to the target language and culture.
As one approaches highly advanced levels in L2, certain thresholds must be crossed in order to be “heard” as native-like. At this stage perhaps more than any other, the L2 user’s traits open (or close) the door to continued advancement. Social initiative associated with extraversion and positive emotionality can forge new interpersonal connections that push fluency forward. Likewise, flexibility associated with openness may encourage experimenting with metacognitive strategies that improve pronunciation. Openness indicates an appreciation for new experiences and a depth of curiosity that could support a fuller acquisition of idiomatic language with its unique, nuanced cultural meanings. Additional significant traits discussed here include conscientiousness and agreeableness/empathy.
Chapter 3’s aim is twofold: to narrow down which traits hold greatest value for GLL, and to better understand their import from a process-oriented, contextualized perspective. Specific measures and methods are discussed in terms of their promise for future understandings of social engagement, cultural adaptation, and ultimate attainment in the target language.