Apptitude As An Individual Difference In SlaPresentation Transcript
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES APTITUDE M.Sajid us Salam M.Phil Linguistics The Islamia University Bahawalpur [email_address]
Carroll (1981) defined aptitude as
Capacity for learning a task which depends on some combination of more or less enduring characteristics of the learner.
The concept of language aptitude is related to the broader concept of human abilities, covering a variety of cognitive –based learner differences.
Aptitude, Ability and Intelligence
Ability and Aptitude
Language aptitude means exactly the same as language ability and is typically meant to denote language learning ability.
Intelligence usually has a broader meaning, referring to a general sort of aptitude that is not limited to a specific performance area but is transferable to many sort of performance.
Research done between 1920-1930
John Caroll and Stanley Sapon’s
Paul Pimsleur’s PLAB(1966)
Post Caroll Aptitude Research
Language Aptitude Research From the beginnings to the 1990’s 1920-1930 PLAB MLAT Post Caroll research APTITUDE
Spolsky (1995) explains that in the 1920’s and 1930’s the U.S. school curriculum language learning Failure became too common. The educational authoritative commissioned the design of prognosis tests to identify prospective causalities. Between 1925-1930 many such tests were organized. Generalizations Were made through these tests about the learners likely performance in a real language learning programme. These tests had no firm theoretical background but their design was based on two approaches 1-analytical 2-synthetic Research Done Between 1920-1930
Analytical and Synthetic Approaches
Analytic approach involves constructing the task specific to cognitive abilities.These tasks are in the students first language and usually concerns some aspects of verbal intelligence.
The synthetic approach involves devising mini learning tasks that the students have to carry out as part of the test taking process. Generalizations about their language abilities are made based on their achievements in learning certain aspects of an artificial or a rare existing L2.
Skehan’s view (1980) Memory Ability Auditory Ability Linguistic Ability
Modern Language Aptitude Test 1959 Number Learning Phonetic Script Spelling Clues Words in Sentences Paired Association Carroll and Sapon’s Research
Pimsleur Language Aptitude Battery 1966 Grade point Interest in foreign Vocabulary Language Sound Sound-Symbol average language learning Analysis Discrimination Association
SOME TRADITIONAL ISSUUES REGARDING LANGUAGE APTITUDE RESEARCH
What does a language aptitude test determine?
L1 versus L2 aptitude
Language aptitude and age
Language aptitude and intelligence
Language aptitude, teaching methods, and learning situations
The purpose of language aptitude testing
WHAT DOES LANGUAGE APTITUDE MEASURE
Language aptitude tests does not measure whether an individual can learn a foreign language. It predicts the rate of progress under optimal conditions of motivation, opportunity to learn and quality of instruction.
L1 versus L2 aptitude
Skehan administered a foreign language aptitude test in 1980’s to 13 to 14 years old children whose first language development had been investigated a decade earlier as part of Well’s Bristol Language Project. He found a significant positive association between the participants’ first language development and their aptitude scores.This led Skehan to conclude that aptitude for foreign language was to some extent a residue of first language learning ability.
LANGUAGE APTITUDE AND AGE
Does language aptitude changes with age?
Is this change positive or negative?
Skehan' s Bristol-lined research suggests stability as evidenced by the significant correlations between related measures taken more than ten years apart.
On the other hand a more recent research by Harley and Hart(1997) on grade 7 and grade 11 immersion school children shows a different picture. With younger children, the stronger correlations were found with the memory component, whereas with older learners the language analysis had the highest explanatory power
LANGUAGE APTITUDE AND INTELLIGENCE
Instead of a clear-cut relationship between the two higher order factors, there may exist a complex pattern of interrelationship between their constituent components.Some cognitive factors might play a role in language learning capacity while others might be irrelevant.
Researches conducted by Gardner(1985) and Skehan(1986) also confirmed the partial separation and partial relatedness of intelligence and language aptitude.
LANGUAGE APTITUDE TEACHING METHODS AND LEARNING SITUATIONS
In the 1970’s and 1980’s scholars and practitioners agreed that aptitude is concerned with audio lingual method of teaching and has got nothing to do with the communicative language teaching.
Ehrman and Oxford(1995) launched a research project. The result confirmed that despite the communicative changes in teaching methodology, the MLAT continues to correlate with overall learning success at more or less the same level as it does in the audio lingual training.
THE PURPOSE OF LANGUAGE APTITUDE TESTING
Helpful in different researches
Helpful in selection procedure
Allocation of resources
Tailoring instructions to the learners’ aptitude level