The Relationship between Shyness and Young Language Learners’ Language Achievement

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of English Language and Literature, Ayatollah Amoli Branch, Islamic Azad University, Amol, Iran

2 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of English language and Literature, Ayatollah Amoli Branch, Islamic Azad University, Amol, Iran



The study sought to investigate the interplay between shyness and young language learners’ (YLL) language achievement (LA). To undertake this study, 40 intermediate YLL comprising 20 males and 20 females took part in the study. They were homogenized in terms of language proficiency via the Oxford Placement Test (OPT) and a shyness questionnaire (SQ). First, the participants were asked to take the OPT. Next, they were required to fill out the SQ. The findings showed that non-shy YLLs performed better on the placement test than the shy YLLs. More precisely, there was a negative relationship between shyness and English LA. The findings also attested that there was no significant relationship between the gender (i.e., shy and non-shy YLL) and their LA. The findings may have both theoretical and pedagogical implications. From a theoretical underpinning, foreign LA can lead to a better understanding of the complex nature of the construct of shyness. From a pedagogical aspect, language teachers may employ different strategies to tackle YLLs' shyness with the hope to promote LA.


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