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3 INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN SECOND LANGUAGE LEARNING

Intelligence

The kind of ability measured by traditional IQ tests may be a strong predicator when it comes to
learning that involves language analysis and rule learning. This kind of intelligence may play a less
important role in a classroom wheren the instrucion focuses more on communication and
interaction.
Gardner's proposed that individuals have multiple intelligences. He includes abilities in the areas of
music, interpersonal relations, and athletics as well as the verbal intelligence.

Aptitude

Ability to learn quickly. Test to measure aptitude measure the ability to 1. identify and memorize
new sounds, 2. understand the functions of particular wors in sentences, 3. figure out grammatical
rules from language samples and 4. remember new words.

Learning styles

Individual's natural, habitual and preferred way of absorving, processing and retaining new info and
skills. Visual learners, aural learners or kinaesthetic learners. Field independent or field dependent
according whether they tend to separate details from the general background or tend to see things
more holistically.

Personality

Although extroversion is thought to be linked with success in second language acquisition, it has
been found that many successful learners do not get high socres on measures of extroversion.
Inhibition discourages risk-taking.
Anxiety is more likely to be dynamic and dependent on particular situations and circumstances.
Certain amount of tension can have a positive effect and even facilitate learning. It can provide the
right combination of motivation and focus to suceed on it.

Motivation and attitudes

Positive motivation is associated with a willingness to keep learning. Motivation has been defined
in terms of two factors: on the one hand, learners communicative needs and on the other hand, their
attitues towards the second language community. Gardner and Lambert coined the terms
Instrumental Motivation (language leaarning for more immediate or practical goals) and Integrative
motivation (language learning for personal growth and cultural enrichment).
Dornyei developed a process-oriented model of motivation that consists of three phases. Choice
motivation refers to getting started and to setting goals, executive motivation is about carrying
out the necessary tasks to maintain motivation and motivation retrospection refers to students'
reaction to their performance.
Some areas where education research has reported increased levels of motivation in relation to
pedagogical practices are: Motivating students into the lesson, Varying the activities, tasks and
materials, Using co-operative rather than competitive goals.

Identity and ethnic group affiliation

Learner Belief Age