Factors Affecting Language
Learning Strategies Use
Faculty Of Education
What is it?
• A motivated learner can be defined as a person who
expends effort, persistent and attentive to the tasks at
hand, has goals, desires and aspirations makes
attributions concerning success or failure, is aroused
and makes use the strategies to aid achieving goals.
(Dornyei 2003, p.173)
• Doornyei (2001b) stresses the importance of raising
learners’ awareness of self-motivating strategies through
discusssion and sharing the experiences.
•The social psychological factor of motivation has been
proven to account for differential success in language
•The learners with highly motivated acquire the second language
faster and get to the greater degree.
• There are two types of motivation which are identified as
intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.
a) Intrinsic motivation – doing something as an end in itself, for
own self-sustaining pleasurable rewards of enjoyment,
interest, challenge or skill and knowledge development.
b) Extrinsic motivation – doing something as a means to some
separable outcome, such as gaining a qualification, getting a
job, pleasing the teacher or avoiding punishment (Ryan and
• Two key principles to the maintenance of motivation:
a. Motivation must emanate from the learner.
b. Learners must see themselves as agents of the processes that
shape their motivation.
• The younger people when they started learning the second language the more
native-like will be their pronunciation (Oyama ,1976).
• In other studies have shown that, although younger learners are often more
successful in the long run, adults may learn more quickly initially.
• Although consensus is far from universal, most of the evidence regarding agerelated differences in language learning would seem to indicate that, overall,
younger is better.
• When dealing with learners of differing ages, teachers need to be flexible in
their methods in order that learners may be able to learn in the way they feel
comfortable and which brings them success.
• Rubin (1975) included age as one of the factors requiring further research, and
even 30 years later, continued research into age related learner differences in
language development is vitally important in order that learners of all ages might
receive optimal support from educators.
Factors which interact with age to influence good language learning
Including – Critical/sensitive
period , Myelination, etc
Aptitude, Attitude, Gend
er, Culture, Personality
Including – Existing knowledge
Understanding of rule systems
Including – Naturalistic
• Gender socialization may be a key factor in any relative success that
males and females of any age have in language learning.
• Females have stronger connection between the left and right brain
hemispheres, meaning that they have an easier time learning the
second language than males.
• Females greater desire for social connection and greater valuation of
communicative competence lead them to utilize more social interaction
strategies (Nyikos, 1990; Oxford and Nyikos, 1989)
• Female almost invariably use more language learning strategies than
males, and make greater use of general study strategies and formal
rule-regulated practice strategies than males.
• Although females are often believed to be the good language learners
than males, research evidence for this belief has proven elusive . This
is because “gender” is one of the many important facets of social
identity, interacts with race, ethnicity, class, sexuality ability and
social status in framing good language learning experiences (Norton
and Pavlenko,2004, p. 504).
• Personality has been defined as “those aspects of an individual’s
behaviour, attitudes, beliefs, thought, actions and feelings which
are seen as typical and distinctive of that person (Richards, Platt
and Platt, 1998,p. 340).
• Personality traits such as extroversion, introversion, risktaking, independence and empathy have been the basis of
discussions and disputes relating to the topic (Ellis 1986).
• Extraversion – Introversion : Extraverts tend to focus on the outer
world of things and people whereas introverts focus more on their
inner world of internal experiences, including concepts and feelings.
• Guiora, Brannon and Dull (1972) have considered empathy to be
important in language learning.
• Krashen (1981) argued that an out-going personality contributes
to language learning and have found that introverts generally
perform better academically .
• Coleman and Klapper, 2005, extrovert appears more likely to
take advantage of social opportunities for second language
• Everyone has different and unique personalities and each
personality trait can affect our second language in different
ways (Ellis, 1986).
What is it?
• As in all school topics, learning strategies are a factor of
second language learning.
• Learning strategies defined as steps or actions taken by the
learners to improve the development of their language skills
(Gass et al 1993, p. 265).
• Different learning strategies work best for different learners
when learning a second language.
• Example, a learner may learn vocabulary through writing and
practicing the vocabulary using cue cards, whereas another
learner may only read the vocabulary and learn that way.
• The good language learner can adopt particular learning
strategies to suit them, theorists such as Bialystok, 1990, and
• Higher level learners frequently use a large number of language learning
strategies or activities consciously chosen for the purposes of regulating
their own language learning, in particular:
a. strategies to manage their own learning
b. strategies to expand their vocabulary
c. Strategies to improve their knowledge of
d. strategies involving the use of resources
e. strategies involving all language skills