School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Mark A. Lamport


Adult Learners, Community College, Formal Learning Environment, Personality Type, Second Language Acquisition


Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology | Other Education


The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to describe the perceived experience of second language acquisition for adult second language learners in a formal learning environment at the Community College of Virginia (a pseudonym) and to describe how these learners perceived that their personality type either enhanced or inhibited their experience of second language acquisition. All students who were enrolled in an introductory-level Spanish course at the Community College of Virginia were invited to complete a preliminary questionnaire to determine their initial eligibility for the study. Prospective participants who met the initial eligibility requirements of the study took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Complete questionnaire to determine their personality type. A purposeful sampling procedure was used to secure six participants, each with different personality types, for an in-depth study of their perceived experience of second language acquisition. The data were collected through semi-structured interviews, open-ended journal entries, and semi-structured focus groups, and were analyzed using phenomenological reflection. The adult second language learners at the Community College of Virginia defined second language acquisition as the ability to comprehend and to produce comprehensibly in a variety of formats. These learners were apprehensive about their experience acquiring a second language, but they perceived that using their second language outside of the classroom had enhanced their experience. They also perceived that being outgoing, sociable, adaptable, and open had enhanced their experience.