The Role of Grit Among Polish EFL Majors: A Comparative Study of 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-Year University Students


  • Joanna Zawodniak University of Zielona Góra
  • Mirosław Pawlak Adam Mickiewicz University, Kalisz, Poland State University of Applied Sciences, Konin, Poland
  • Mariusz Kruk University of Zielona Góra, Poland


grit, domain-general grit, L2 grit, perseverance of effort, consistency of interest


The foreign and second language (L2) learning process is shaped by a constellation of individual difference (ID) factors, some of which (e.g., age, anxiety, motivation, aptitude, learning styles, language learning strategies) have long been investigated by specialists, whereas others have only recently attracted their attention. One of such underexplored variables is grit, usually referred to as a personality trait predictive of success and supportive of various important skills including, among others, cooperation and creative thinking. Given the vital role that this ID factor might play in the L2 classroom, the present paper reports a mixed-methods study which addressed the following issues: (1) the level of grit experienced by 99 Polish university BA students majoring in English, (2) the differences in this respect between 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-year students, and (3) possible manifestations and dynamics of grit in learning English as a foreign language (EFL). Grit was measured using the Polish version of Teimouri et al.’s (2020) language-specific grit scale and a semi-structured interview. One-way ANOVA was employed to quantitatively compare the means of the respondents enrolled in different levels of a BA program, whereas a four-stage procedure (Dörnyei, 2007) was adopted to analyze the qualitative data. The results demonstrated a relatively high level of grit among all the respondents and statistically significant differences for one of its components, that is, consistency of interest in learning the target language between 1st- and 2nd- as well as 1st- and 3rd-year students. This particular subconstruct of grit was found to be mediated by such factors as learning styles and strategies, emotions, weariness or personality. In addition, grit was shown to be linked to participants’ identification of their L2 learning weaknesses and the ability to eliminate them.



How to Cite

Zawodniak, J., Pawlak, M., & Kruk, M. (2021). The Role of Grit Among Polish EFL Majors: A Comparative Study of 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-Year University Students. JOURNAL FOR THE PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE LEARNING, 3(2), 118-132. Retrieved from