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Individual Differences in Second Language Learning

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Cristel Hernandez

on 16 September 2013

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Transcript of Individual Differences in Second Language Learning

Individual Differences in Second Language Learning
Gabriela Amador
Isamar Arroyo
Cristel Hernandez

Learning Styles
Motivation and attitudes
Identity and ethnic group affiliation
Who is a "good language learner"?
Learner beliefs
Age of acquisition and the Critical Period Hypothesis
Questions and Comments?

Individual Differences in Second Language Learning
Li vs L2
Predicting success or failure through:

It has been observed countless times that, in the same foreign language class, some students progress rapidly while others struggle along making slow progress (Lightbown and Spada).
Questionnaires used to asses learning characteristics and find the correlation.
Difficulty measuring learning characteristics
not measurable
willingness vs. opportunity
one can cause the other
different theories
social and educational setting

IQ tests Intelligence
May be more strongly related to metalinguistic knowledge than to communicative ability.
ability to learn quickly
Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT)
Teachers should offer varied activities for the different aptitude profiles
Research on learner characteristics
1. Learners' communicative needs

2. Attitudes towards the L2 Community
Instrumental Motivation
Integrative Motivation
Choice Motivation
Executive Motivation
Motivation Retrospection
Perceptually – based LS


Cognitive LS

•Field independence
•Field dependence

Assertiveness and adventurousness
Quite observant learners
Inhibition : discourages risk – taking
Anxiety (worry, nervousness and stress)
•Presentations, exams, group work
•Temporary and specific context
•Not all anxiety is bad
•Tension motivate learners


Avoid communication with language
Self-esteem, empathy, dominance, talkativeness and responsiveness
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