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Hartono, S.S., M.Pd.College of languages UNISSULA (COLASULA)
Ss can explain why one learner may be more successful than another though he experiences the same / similar learning program. Ss can mention and explain some individual differences which may affect the result of learning.
Two or more English learners are attending the same English class, having the same instructors and materials, doing the same activities and exercises, proceeding for the same duration of course program, and living in the same environment. In the end of the program, these learners undergo a kind of English competency assessment. But they achieve different level of competence.
How could one learner be more successful than another? What factor, other than instructors, materials, activities, environment, and sorts, may affect the result of learning?
SLA acknowledges that there are individual differences in L2 acquisition. These differences are psychological. Ellis (1985) categorizes these differences into: - personal factors - general factors.
Personal factors: Group dynamics, Attitudes to the teacher and learning materials, Individual learning techniques. General factors: Age, Intelligence, Aptitude, Cognitive Style, Motivation and Personality
Aptitude: a natural ability for learning an L2. It is believed to in part related to general intelligence, but also to be in part distinct. It is thought to predict success in learning.
• Phonemic coding ability: The ability to identify sounds of a foreign language so that they can be remembered later.• Grammatical sensitivity: the ability to recognize the grammatical functions of words in sentences.
Inductive language learning ability: the ability to identify patterns of correspondence and relations between forms and meaning. Rote learning ability: the ability to form and remember association between stimuli. This is believed to be important in vocabulary learning.
1)Early research revealed a substantial relationship between performance on language aptitude tests and performance in foreign language learning that was based on grammar translation or audiolingual methods.
2.However, performance on language aptitude tests seems irrelevant to L2 learning with the adoption of a more communicative approach to teaching.
3. Successful language learners may not be strong in all of the components of aptitude. Learners’ strengths and weaknesses in the different components may account for their ability to succeed in different types of instructional programs.
• Motivation involves the attitude and affective states that influence the degree of effort that learners make to acquire an L2.• Various kinds of motivation have been identified: Instrumental, integrative, resultative, and intrinsic (Ellis, 1997)
Learners may make efforts tolearn an L2 for some functionalreason – to pass examination, toget a better job / career, to get aplace at a university, etc.
Learners learn L2 because they areinterested in the people and culturerepresented by the target-languagegroup.
Resultatiave motivation is themotivation which is resulted fromlearning. Learners who experiencesuccess in learning may become moremotivated to learn.
The motivation that stems from inside thelearners themselves. The learner wishesto learn L2 for personal growth.
integrative and1)Both instrumental types of motivation are related to success in L2 learning. Most L2 learning situations involve a mixture of each type of motivation.2)Research strongly favors intrinsic motivation, especially for long-term retention. Intrinsically motivated learners are striving for excellence, autonomy, and self-actualization.
◦ Motivating students into the lesson. The content needs to be relevant to their age and level of ability, and the learning goals need to be challenging yet manageable and clear.◦
◦ Varying the activities, tasks, and materials to increase students’ interest levels.◦ Using cooperative rather than competitive goals to increase students’ self-confidence.
The particular approaches or techniques that learners employ to try to learn an L2. - behavioral: repeating new words aloud to help remember them. - mental: use of linguistic or situational context to infer meaning of a new word.
Cognitive strategy: the strategiesthat are involved in the analysis,synthesis, or the transformation orlearning materials. An example is‘recombination’, which involvesconstructing a meaningful sentence byrecombining known elements of theL2 in a new way.
Metacognitive strategy: strategiesinvolved in planning, monitoring andevaluating learning. For example is a‘selective’ attention, where thelearner makes a conscious decision toattend a particular kind of input.
Social/affective strategy: it involvesthe way in which learners choose tointeract with other speakers. Anexample is questioning forclarification. For example ‘asking forclarification’ (i.e. asking forrepetition, paraphrase, an example,etc.)
1. The success of learning a second / foreign language is affected by personal factors.2. Higher language aptitude results better in second language acquisition.3. Motivation (integrative, instrumental) are related to success of second language acquisition.