Individual differences in adult second language learning: a cognitive perspective

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

What makes some people more successful language learners than others? Scholars and practitioners of adult second language learning traditionally have cast the issue of individual differences in terms of such constructs as aptitude, motivation, learning strategies, learning styles, meta-linguistic awareness, and personality traits (e.g., extraversion), as well as a range of other social and affective variables (Ehrman, Leaver & Oxford, 2003). These are complex constructs that often lack a clear description of the underlying mechanisms. In this short overview we will take a cognitive perspective and link individual differences in adult L2 learning to individual differences in cognitive abilities. Examining cognitive factors that are predictive of L2-learning success can help to illuminate the mechanisms that underlie the learning process. At the same time, recognising and understanding the links between cognitive abilities and language learning may help teachers and learners to adjust their teaching methods and the learning environment in ways that are beneficial to individual learners. Although we are still far from being able to make specific evidence-based recommendations, reviewing what is known about cognitive predictors of successful language learning may be a useful start.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-22
Number of pages8
JournalScottish Languages Review
Volume23
Issue numberSpring 2011
StatePublished - 2011

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language
individual
adult
cognitive ability
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perspective
leaver
cognitive factors
learning success
aptitude
personality traits
learning strategy
teaching method
learning process
learning environment
motivation
linguistics
teacher
understanding

Cite this

Kempe, Vera / Individual differences in adult second language learning: a cognitive perspective.

In: Scottish Languages Review, Vol. 23, No. Spring 2011, 2011, p. 15-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Individual differences in adult second language learning: a cognitive perspective. / Kempe, Vera.

In: Scottish Languages Review, Vol. 23, No. Spring 2011, 2011, p. 15-22.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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