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Lesson 8
Lesson overview
Chapters 8 & 9 of the textbook
Keywords: Individual differences, language
aptitude, motivation, learning strategies
Individual differences in L2 acquisition
There are individual differences in L2 acquisition.
Affective factors such as learners’ personalities
can influence the degree of anxiety they
experience and their readiness to take risks in
learning and using an L2.
Individual differences in L2 acquisition
Language aptitude
(Aptitude: Someone's aptitude for a
particular kind of work or activity is their
ability to learn it quickly and to do it well.)
Some believe that language aptitude is
partly related to general intelligence but also
partially separate.
Individual differences in L2 acquisition
John Carroll identified a number of components of
language aptitude.
These are:
• Phonemic coding ability: The ability to identify
the sounds of a foreign language. This ability is
also related to the ability to handle sound symbol
• 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 form
and meaning.
Individual differences in L2 acquisition
• Rote learning ability: The ability to form
and remember associations between
stimuli. It is believed to improve in
vocabulary learning.
Individual differences in L2 acquisition
It involves the attitudes and affective states
that influence the degree of effort that
learners make to learn an L2.
There are different types of motivation.
• Instrumental motivation: In some learning
contexts, an instrumental motivation
seems to be the major force determining
success in L2 learning.
• Integrative motivation: In other learning
contexts, an integrative motivation does
not seem to be so important.
• Resultative motivation: Some research
suggest that motivation is the cause of L2
However, it is also possible that motivation
is the result of learning.
Specifically, learners who experience
success in learning can become more or
less motivated to learn.
• Intrinsic motivation:
These four types of motivation should be
considered as complementary and not
different or oppositional.
Learning strategies
Learning strategies are the particular approaches
or techniques that learners use to try to learn.
They can be behavioural or mental.
There are different kinds of learning strategies.
1.Cognitive strategies: those strategies involved in
the analysis, synthesis or transformation of
learning materials.
An example of cognitive strategy is recombination.
2. Metacognitive strategies: are those involved in
planning, monitoring, and evaluating learning.
An example of metacognitive strategy is selective
Social or affective strategies concern the ways in
which learners choose to interact with other
An example of them is questioning for clarification.