Sie sind auf Seite 1von 17



Meaning Of Learning
According to Oxford Advanced learner's Dictionary
Learning- Knowledge acquired by systematic study in
any field of scholarly application.

the act or process of acquiring knowledge or skill.

Individual Differences in
Language Learning

Learning styles
Motivation and Attitudes
Learner beliefs
Age of acquisition

A good language learner

a) is

a willing and accurate guesser

b) tries to get a message across even if specific language knowledge is lacking
c) is willing to make mistakes
d) constantly looks for patterns in the language
e) practices as often as possible
f) analyzes his or her own speech and the speech of others
g) attends to whether his or her performance meets the standards he or she has
h) enjoys grammar exercises
i) begins learning in childhood
j) has an above-average IQ
k) has good academic skills
l) has a good self-image and lots of confidence

Before looking at
learner characteristics
What problems can you see in the following statements?
a) Extroverted learners learn a foreign language more
successfully than introverted learners.
b) Low motivation causes low achievement in English
language learning.

Before looking at
learner characteristics

Difficulties in learner characteristics :


definition and measurement of variables

e.g., willing to make mistakes


definition and measurement of language proficiency

literacy/academic skills vs. conversational skills


correlation vs. causal relationship


socio-cultural factors
e.g., power relationship
social/cultural identity


Intelligence has multiple types:

Traditionally, intelligence refers to the mental abilities that

are measured by an IQ (intelligence quotient) test. It
usually measures only two types of intelligence:
verbal/linguistic and mathematical/logical intelligence.

There are other types of intelligence such as spatial

intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, musical
intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence.


Intelligence, especially measured by verbal IQ tests, may

be a strong factor when it comes to learning that involves
language analysis and rule learning.


On the other hand, intelligence may play a less important

role in language learning that focuses more on
communication and interaction.


It is important to keep in mind that intelligence is

complex and that a person has many kinds of abilities and


Aptitude refers to the ability to learn quickly (Carroll, 1991) and is

thought to predict success in learning.

It is hypothesized that a learner with high aptitude may learn with

greater ease and speed. (But other learners may also be successful
if they persevere).

Language aptitude tests usually measure the ability to:


identify and memorize new sounds


understand the function of particular words in sentences


figure out grammatical rules from language samples


memorize new words

Learning Styles

Learning style refers to an individuals natural, habitual, and

preferred way of absorbing, processing, and retaining new
information and skills (Reid 1995).

Types of learning styles related to learning:


Perceptual learning styles:

visual, aural/auditory, and haptic (kinesthetic & tactile)


Cognitive learning styles:

field-independent vs. field-dependent
(tendency to see the trees or the forest)
right-brain dominance vs. left-brain dominance

Learning Styles

field-independent: see things more analytically

field-dependent: see things more holistically

is related to classroom language learning that involves

analysis, attention to details, and mastering of exercise,
drills, and other focused activities.


is related to the communicative aspects of language

learning that require social outreach, empathy, perception of
other people, and communicative skills.


may also prove to be a valuable tool for

differentiating child and adult language acquisition due to
the fact that FI increases as a child matures to adulthood.


There are a number of personality characteristics that

may affect learning, such as
Extroversion vs. introversion
Inhibition vs. risk-taking

Motivation & Attitudes

1) integrative

and instrumental types of motivation

are related to success in learning. Most learning
situations involve a mixture of each type of

2) intrinsic

motivation is especially for long-term

retention. Intrinsically motivated learners are
striving for excellence, autonomy, and selfactualization.

Motivation & Attitudes

A process-oriented model of motivation that consists of
3 phases:

choice motivation: getting started and setting goals


executive motivation: carrying out the necessary tasks to

maintain motivation


motivation retrospection: appraisal of and reaction to

learners performance

Learner Beliefs

What is your learner belief? How should language be


Virtually all learners, particularly older learners, have

strong beliefs about how their language instruction
should be delivered.

Learner beliefs are usually based on previous

learning experiences and the assumption that a
particular type of instruction is better than others.

Learner beliefs can be strong mediating factors in

learners experience in the classroom.

Learner Beliefs

Learners preference for learning, whether due to their

learning styles or to their beliefs about how language are
learned, will influence the kinds of strategies they choose
to learn new material.


Teachers can use this information to help learners expand

their repertoire of learning strategies and thus develop
greater flexibility in their second language learning.

Age of Acquisition

The relationship between a learners age and his/her potential

for success in second language learning is complex or

The relationship needs to take into account

1) the learners cognitive development
2) the learners motivation
3) the learners goal for learning (i.e., in what aspects of the
learner has achieved)
4) the contexts in which the learner learns (including quantity
& quality of language input, learning environment, learning
time, and socio-cultural contexts)