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1. This student lacks of what Van Lier (1996) defines as intrinsic motivation due to the

fact that he does not possess psychological needs produced by the same individual, by

his social interaction or by his cultural patterns (social milieu as called by Smith, 1972).

There is no clear objective for the learner to visualize a reason why he has to acquire

or learn the second language and this makes a series of steps within the same learning

process not to take place.

On the other hand, his vision of the teacher is first of a motivator and facilitator of

knowledge who he, as a learner, can depend on. It is the teacher’s mission to make the

learner rewarded by his achievement or his attempts to achieve the target language.

The teacher is to create a positive learning environment where the student is eager to

learn and where there is flexibility to make choices. The teacher must make the

learning meaningful to the learner.

2. This learner owns a cognitive style acknowledged as field independent according to

Ellis (1985). By using grammar, the learner is showing analysis, attention to details,

and mastering of exercises, drills, and other focused activities. Because of this

particularity, the learner feels more self-confident handling with structures he feels he

can have under control by means of exercising rather than tolerating the ambiguity

caused by more dependent field activities. Following Carroll and Sapon’s MLAT, this

learner exhibits grammatical sensitivity.

By denying or underestimating the value of groupwork, the learner might suggest a

high level of anxiety provided by personality factors or by a threatening learning

environment. The importance of taking this variable, studied by Arnold and Brown

(1999), into consideration provides a perspective on the learner as an individual and as

someone who is partaker in a socio-cultural situation.

Finally, the motivation is of the instrumental type. The learner is only interested in a

mastery of the language rules that can ease his achievement of a good score in an

exam evaluating this aspect of the language.

3. The learner here uses what he can extract from a short novel as a way to approach

to the language. This implies being more field-dependent in the sense that he does not

analyse the language contained in the reading texts but sees it in a more holistic way.

However, he is an autonomous learner that upholds in himself the urge to read with a

clear and punctual aim which is getting real daily life in English.

His motivation is integrative and intrinsic. There is an intention to learn about how the

English culture works on a daily basis routine. His purpose is encouraged by himself

and does not rely on an external leading force.

Following Reid (1987) I can group him in the visual type of learner in the way he finds

reading texts as an effective tool to achieve his goal of learning the language.

4. The comment shows a field-independent student who needs to observe the most

repetitive parts of the language and to make use of them using a memory strategy. It is

a learner who applies his own perception of what could be the most relevant lexis in the

language employing criteria of the more frequent, the more practical, therefore, the

more used. Once this choice has been made, he utilises a mnemonic strategy that

works well for him as he must be a visual learner.

5. This is a learner with integrative motivation. His aim goes beyond learning about the

language towards getting a broader view of what the English culture is like. Bearing

that in mind, once can think that his motivation must also be intrinsic and has to take

the learner into a more field-dependent cognitive style.

By adapting such an approach to the L2, the learner is very likely to deal with low levels

of anxiety, being extroverted and taking risks while having to use the language. His

tolerance of ambiguity has to be high. The fact that his objective is not the language

itself, creates a sense of self-accomplishment while getting it as a means and not as an

6. The student shows mainly low levels of anxiety because he is in an atmosphere

created to foster them. That class must have handled well aspects related to

personality turning them into strength in learning since it encouraged the learner to be

extrovert, to take risks and to tolerate each other’s flaws.

However, as the comment evidences, this is the description of what happened in “that

class”. I would say that the teacher is focused on creating short-term motivation as a

means to reach a long-term one. He must have prepared that class as a way to prove

students what they can achieve by themselves and as a way to show that the use of

the L2 can trigger emotional reactions.

7. This learner has reached a point where he feels he cannot use the second language

freely because he is influenced by a heavy burden that hinders his normal


He must be someone who has studied the language for long time and who is

experiencing what Selinker calls fossilisation. This usually happens when the social

environment does not offer the learner continuous chances to use the target language

the student is learning.

His motivation, as part of what Skehan defines as the resultative hypothesis, is affected

by the failure he is experiencing. Therefore, what could be an advantage turns to be a

drawback since he feels discouraged by his lack of success.

8. The learner possesses integrative motivation and considers that learning a language

is just achievable being inside the social environment where the language is used,

experiencing what the language is and understanding how the culture around it works.

As a consequence, he neither believes in formal instruction nor in teacher dependence

as ways to learn. On the contrary, he thinks living the language is the way to acquire it.

It implies high acceptance of what Brown called “acculturation”, that is, the learner’s

ability to respond to foreign language culture.

By reading the lines, one can think that this learner shows a communicative and

interpersonal learning style where he can obtain the target language by socialising and

not by sitting to learn the rules or playing fictional roles in a classroom.

9. The student demonstrates to pursue a clear and practical objective with the

language, which makes him have instrumental motivation. The fact that the person can

perform well while writing or speaking in English broadens the chances to be better

paid or to be considered as a candidate for a job. It is very common to have this type of

motivation, especially in people whose origin is Latin and are looking for better life

conditions than the ones they can have if they only handle their native language.

There are extrinsic and intrinsic motivation factors as well. The learner has a nuisance

that is proving he has achieved a good level of spoken and written English to his future

contractor but at the same time what moves him to be good at producing the L2 is his

desire to be competitive and suitable in a profession for his future life.

10. The student evidences lack of what Oxford and Ellis call communication

strategies. While speaking he might feel he does not have the ability to compensate

using for example paraphrasing or restructuring, this limits the capacity to improvise – a

vital ability in oral language communication –

The anxiety he experiences is situation-specific because it is caused by oral exams. I

can say that the learner here does not have an outgoing personality and shows great

inhibition due to his high self-consciousness that takes him to think that what he does

in speaking is far from being correct.

11. This learner is field independent in the sense that he analyses a part of the

language he feels as separated from the system, he is probably in an environment

where this is reinforced and where there is hardly any real contact with the L2 that

exemplifies the flexibility of the language.

According to what he says, I can think that he is weak in his phonemic or phonetic

coding ability. This is perceived by the way he underestimates his capacity to perform

well in pronunciation in spite of the many times he tries.

His anxiety is classified according to Scovel as debilitating and his motivation goes

hand in hand with the results he obtains. The rigorousness he has given to

pronunciation and the absence of regular patterns he can apply in pronunciation make

him lose the motivation which, at this point, might become a constraint for learning

because is the consequence of failure.

When he states that “English pronunciation is so difficult for me”, he is also evidencing

he is part of what McClelland calls “low achievers” since he has discouraging learning

experiences and sees the task of pronunciation as beyond his reach.

12. The student is seen as having a field dependent cognitive style. His self view is

derived from others and by writing letters to pen friends he is showing he is socially

sensitive and person oriented. The perception of the language is in terms of its use and

there is no evidence of any analysis performed on the parts of the language system.

What drives him into the language is intrinsic and goes towards a real use to achieve

communication and to learn from the culture by means of foreign pen friends.

As a person facing learning, he shows himself as extrovert, managing facilitating

anxiety that reinforces his efforts do to well and to succeed in exchanging experiences

or ideas in a second language.

13. This learner has no motivation at all due to some factors I can perceive. First there

is no objective set neither imposed nor free-willed, with this in mind it is very hard to go

reaching certain steps if there is nowhere to go. Second, according to Fishbein and

Ajzen, he has a negative attitude because there is predisposition to respond to English

in an unfavourable manner. Third, it might be that this student evidences either what

Stern calls ethnocentrism and that he feels that his community is superior to the one

where English is spoken or that he cannot deal with what Brown called acculturation

that is the ability to respond to foreign language culture.

14. This learner exhibits a great aptitude towards English. As a consequence his

learning style is more communicative since he shows himself as an individual who

prefers a natural way to deal with the language as it is in a social interaction.

His motivation is intrinsic and the resultative hypothesis could be perceived as there is

no problem posed in performing in public which makes him be more encouraged to use

the language every time he can do it. He might see the language as a way to be

outstanding in a social milieu that welcomes a foreign language.

This comment is surely made about someone who shows no anxiety at all, who has no

fear of making mistakes, who is self-confident and with a high self-esteem. He must

also enjoy taking risks as the behaviour described is very spontaneous.

15. This student shows state anxiety because it is at the moment of speaking that his

fears of making mistakes and being criticised come out. He must be someone with an

introverted personality who does not perform well in public because there is a lack of

control on what and how is said. The learner must also have low self-confidence while

in public because he could feel that social factors impose a feature of making things

correctly all the time.

His cognitive strategy and his learning style have to be marked by analysis, otherwise

he could be more flexible and leave room for mistakes if he assessed the language

competence as purely communicative-aimed.

16. This learner demonstrates to have a field independent cognitive style learning with

a methodology that emphasises a more field dependence. Besides the projects make

him be analytic in his learning style because they are more object-oriented and more

based on logics and didactics.

Since the projects are framed in time periods, the student exhibits short-time

motivation. At the same time, and for the same nature of the activity, the motivation

relates to the way the learner approaches to the projects. Maybe, the dissatisfaction

shown by the learner is linked to the absence of long-term objectives.

17. The comment shows a learner with what Scovel called “facilitating anxiety”. This

reinforces the effort and desire to do well and succeed. Along with this, one can think of

the satisfaction given by achieving a higher score as extrinsic motivation. This type of
challenge can also conclude in intrinsic motivation since the learner gets to see the test

as a way to demonstrate his progress in the L2 learning.

Getting better scores as the motivation to continue to make the effort to learn, could

also be seen as what Skehan called “resultative hypothesis” that is the reward that

learners experience which makes them be more encouraged to try harder each time.

18. This learner shows field dependence in his cognitive style. He has an internal frame

reference based on lexicon and it is there where his learning is rooted. It is analytic but

he also uses compensation strategies in the way he tries to guess intelligently the

meaning of the most important words. Besides, he uses metacognitive strategies

concentrating on key words in the listening exercise.

There is a high level of tolerance of ambiguity but also an organised way to approach

the language since he dares to take guesses applying a systematic strategy.

19. This learner uses a non-cooperative strategy when he tries to use the symbols of

his first language to represent how the words in the L2 sound. Therefore, there is a

dependence on the first language but it is used as a resource to approach to the L2.

His way to deal with the language is more field independent as he takes parts of the

language and sees the way to analyse and learn them, in this case, words he hears.

He could be both auditory and visual as a learner. He first tries to record in his mind the

model given by the teacher and then imitates, then he uses the visual registration of

the word as another strategy to learn.

So no one told you life was going to be this way.

Your job's a joke, you're broke, you're love life's DOA.

It's like you're always stuck in second gear,

Well, it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

But, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.

I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.

I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

You're still in bed at ten, the work began at eight.

You've burned your breakfast, so far, things are going great.

Your mother warned you there'd be days like these,

But she didn't tell you when the world has brought you down to your knees.

That, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.

I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.

I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

No one could ever know me, no one could ever see me.

Seems like you're the only one who knows what it's like to be me.

Someone to face the day with, make it through all the rest with,

Someone I'll always laugh with, even at my worst, I'm best with you.

It's like you're always stuck in second gear,

Well, it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.

But, I'll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour.

I'll be there for you, like I've been there before.

I'll be there for you, cause you're there for me too.

Write something about strategies 2)Strategies: What type of learning

strategies do your students display when dealing with specific skills,
for example, when reading or speaking what sort of strategies do your
students resort to?