The role of intellectual humility in foreign language enjoyment and foreign language classroom anxiety

Sharona Moskowitz
Birkbeck College, University of London
Jean-Marc Dewaele
Birkbeck College, University of London
Keywords: Intellectual humility, foreign language learning, enjoyment, anxiety


Intellectual humility (IH) involves a certain degree of selflessness and an accurate view of one’s own worth and abilities. To date, IH has not been explicitly researched as a variable in the study of foreign language (FL) learning. The present mixed-methods study aims to explore possible links between FL learners’ IH and their foreign language enjoyment (FLE) and foreign language classroom anxiety (FLCA). The survey was administered online entirely in Spanish and respondents were 163 adult Spanish L1 speakers enrolled in an EFL course at any level of proficiency. The research instrument was adapted from three established constructs: the CIHS (Comprehensive Intellectual Humility Scale) (Krumrei-Mancuso & Rouse, 2016), the FLE Short Form (Botes, Dewaele & Greiff, 2020) and the FLCA Short form scale (Dewaele & MacIntyre, 2014). Feedback on three open-ended questions provided qualitative data. Results show that IH has a mixed and complex relationship with FLE and FLCA, with some IH domains negatively predicting FLE and both positively and negatively predicting FLCA. The current research is an attempt to widen the range of psychological factors that might affect FL classroom emotions.