Factors affecting second language learning


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Factors affecting second language learning

  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>We use our own experience and research findings when evaluating success in the acquisition of L2 </li></ul><ul><li>All normal children are successful in the acquisition of L1, given a normal upbringing. However, rate of development varies widely among L1 learners </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction <ul><li>In L2 learning, some learners never become native like, make slow progress but some learners progress rapidly through certain stages of learning </li></ul><ul><li>Characteristics contributing to successful language learning can be classified into five main categories: motivation, aptitude, personality, intelligence and learner preferences </li></ul>
  4. 4. Research on learner characteristics <ul><li>Steps followed by researchers when trying to find out the effect of any personality factor on L2 learning: </li></ul><ul><li>Selecting a group of learners </li></ul><ul><li>2. Giving a questionnaire to them to measure the degree of the personality factor </li></ul><ul><li>3. Giving a test to them to measure their L2 proficiency </li></ul>
  5. 5. Steps followed by researchers when trying to find out the effect of any personality factor on L2 learning <ul><li>4. Scoring the test and the questionnaire </li></ul><ul><li>5. Finding a correlation on two measures </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers want to see whether learners with high scores on the proficiency test are also more likely to have high scores on the personality factor questionnaire </li></ul>
  6. 6. Difficulties with the procedure <ul><li>Observing and measuring qualities like motivation, extroversion or even intelligence is not possible </li></ul><ul><li>2. Various researchers use the same labels to describe different sets of behavioral traits </li></ul>
  7. 7. Motivation and Success in L2 Learning <ul><li>What is the problem in motivation questionnaires? (p.51) </li></ul><ul><li>What is the relationship between level of motivation and success in SLL? </li></ul><ul><li>Are learners with higher level of motivation more successful than those with lower motivation? </li></ul><ul><li>Do highly motivated students perform better on a proficiency test than those with much less motivation? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Motivation and Success in L2 Learning <ul><li>Do language proficiency tests used in different studies measure the same kind of knowledge? </li></ul><ul><li>Do learners become successful because of their motivation? </li></ul><ul><li>Does early success increase learners’ motivation? </li></ul><ul><li>Are both success and motivation affected by special attitude for language learning or favorable learning context </li></ul>
  9. 9. Intelligence <ul><li>Many studies using IQ tests and different methods of assessing LL have found that IQ scores are a good means of predicting how successful a learner is </li></ul><ul><li>Measures of intelligence may be more strongly related to certain kinds of L2 abilities than to others </li></ul>
  10. 10. Intelligence <ul><li>What happened in a study with French immersion students in Canada? </li></ul><ul><li>(Intelligence is related to the development of L2 reading, grammar, vocabulary but unrelated to oral productive skills </li></ul>
  11. 11. Intelligence <ul><li>Intelligence may be a strong factor when it comes to learning in terms of linguistic analysis and grammatical rules. However, intelligence plays a minor role in classrooms with more focus on communication and interaction </li></ul>
  12. 12. Aptitude <ul><li>Who is CJ? Does he have a special aptitude for LL? (p.53) </li></ul><ul><li>Is learning quickly an important feature of aptitude? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the most widely used aptitude tests? </li></ul><ul><li>What view are MLAT and PLAB based on? </li></ul>
  13. 13. Aptitude <ul><li>What is the effect of communicative approach to teaching in terms of aptitude? </li></ul><ul><li>What happened in a Canadian language program? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the advantage of knowing the aptitude profile of learners? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Personality <ul><li>Is success in LL correlated with extroversion? </li></ul><ul><li>Do successful learners get high scores on measures of extroversion? </li></ul><ul><li>Does inhibition affect progress in LL? </li></ul><ul><li>What did Alexander Guiora and his colleagues do? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Personality <ul><li>What other personality characteristics have been studied? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the main difficulty in researching personality characteristics? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Motivation and attitudes <ul><li>Are positive attitudes and motivation related to success in L2 learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the research indicate truely how motivation is related to learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Are learners more highly motivated because they are successful or are they successful because they are highly motivated? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Motivation and attitudes <ul><li>Motivation can be defined in terms of two factors: </li></ul><ul><li>Learners’ communicative needs </li></ul><ul><li>2. Learners’ attitudes towards the second language community </li></ul>
  18. 18. Types of Motivation <ul><li>Integrative motivation </li></ul><ul><li>(language learning for personal growth and cultural enrichment) </li></ul><ul><li>2. Instrumental motivation </li></ul><ul><li>(language learning for more immediate or practical goals) </li></ul>
  19. 19. Motivation and attitudes <ul><li>Are integrative and instrumental motivation related to success in L2 learning? </li></ul><ul><li>How can learning L2 be a source of enrichment or a source of resentment? </li></ul><ul><li>Is motivation affected by the social dynamic or power relationship between the languages? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Motivation in the classroom setting <ul><li>Ways of increasing students’ motivation in the classroom: </li></ul><ul><li>Varying the activities, tasks and materials </li></ul><ul><li>Using cooperative rather than competitive goals </li></ul>
  21. 21. Learners preferences <ul><li>Visual Learners </li></ul><ul><li>2. Aural Learners </li></ul><ul><li>3. Kinaesthetic Learners </li></ul><ul><li>4. Field independent and field dependent learners </li></ul>
  22. 22. Learners beliefs <ul><li>All learners have strong beliefs and opinions about how instruction should be delivered </li></ul><ul><li>Learners’ preferences for learning influence the kinds of strategies they choose to learn new material. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Learner beliefs <ul><li>Teachers can use this information to help learners expand their repertoire of learning strategies and thus develop greater flexibility in their ways of approaching language learning. </li></ul>