An experiment was undertaken to investigate the relationship between instruction style and student performance. Instruction style was modelled as a multidimensional approachability construct comprising degrees of immediacy and structure. The capacity for an instructor to manipulate perceived approachability is unequivocally demonstrated. The results also revealed an association between student learning outcomes and instruction style. Performance was positively associated with the presence of an instructor vis-à-vis no instructor, and also the degree of instructor approachability. Results also confirmed performance to be positively associated with students' ability, negatively associated with students' anxiety, but not associated with gender or several other control factors. The importance of task motivation as an important link between instruction style and students' performance was explored and some tentative propositions offered. Students' motivation varied with instruction style, with higher motivation observed with higher instructor approachability.