Foreign language aptitude. Foreign Language Aptitude Components and Different Levels of Foreign Language Proficiency Among Chinese English Majors 2022-10-28
Foreign language aptitude
Foreign language aptitude refers to an individual's ability to learn and use a second or additional language. It is a complex, multifaceted concept that involves a range of cognitive, affective, and behavioral factors that contribute to language learning success.
Research on foreign language aptitude has a long history, dating back to the early 20th century with the work of linguists such as Charles Fries and Kenneth Pike. In the 1950s, John Carroll conducted extensive research on foreign language aptitude and developed a widely-used aptitude test called the Modern Language Aptitude Test (MLAT).
There are several different components that contribute to foreign language aptitude. One important factor is cognitive aptitude, which refers to an individual's cognitive abilities and mental skills that are necessary for language learning. This includes things like memory, attention, and problem-solving abilities. Another important factor is affective aptitude, which refers to an individual's attitudes and motivation towards language learning. This includes things like interest in the language and culture, and a willingness to engage in the learning process.
There is also evidence to suggest that certain personality traits, such as openness to experience and neuroticism, may also be related to foreign language aptitude. In addition, cultural background and previous exposure to languages can also play a role in an individual's aptitude for learning a foreign language.
While foreign language aptitude is important, it is not the only factor that determines success in language learning. Other important factors include the quality of instruction, the amount of time and effort dedicated to language learning, and the availability of language learning resources.
Despite the importance of foreign language aptitude, it is not necessarily a fixed trait and can be improved upon through practice and exposure to the language. It is important for individuals to recognize their own aptitude for language learning and to use it as a guide for choosing which languages to study and how much time and effort to devote to the learning process.
Overall, foreign language aptitude is a complex and multifaceted concept that plays a significant role in an individual's ability to learn and use a second or additional language. While it is not the only factor that determines success in language learning, it is an important consideration for those who are interested in learning a foreign language.
Foreign Language Aptitude Components and Different Levels of Foreign Language Proficiency Among Chinese English Majors
Reference Doughty, Campbell, Mislevy, Bunting, Bowles, Koeth, Prior, Watanabe and Lee2010 , so there is only limited empirical evidence available to the public. In a 1992 review paper he proposed his conception of an aptitude theory that contains a range of constituent components. This approach served as the blueprint for most ensuing research. Reference Grigorenko, Sternberg and Ehrman2000: 392. But such tests would certainly be essential in predicting high levels of accomplishment in an L2, where the nature of improvement is less the learning of new things but rather the capacity to sustain real-time processing, and to use language more idiomatically.
If an individual struggles with phonological and orthographic processing skills then their success at acquiring a second language will be greatly impaired. The areas of the brain utilized in learning a foreign language include the parietal lobe, temporal lobe and occipital lobe in the left hemisphere. The next circle, aptitude complexes, represents the most innovative contribution to aptitude theorizing. There is a progression, in other words, from fundamental and general abilities to more specific and variable educational contexts. For example, basic cognitive abilities belong to the most deeply embedded and fundamental level, while aptitude complexes represent less core, embedded abilities, and finally task aptitudes, as well as actual performance, are the least embedded and most real-world aspects of the model. This general strategy may be particularly revealing regarding the comparative performance of explicit and implicit approaches to aptitude, since each may have areas of greater relevance, e. In other words, contemporary discussions of foreign language aptitude in applied linguistics would be substantially insufficient if not for research advances in other fields.
Language Aptitude: Do you have it?
Added insight on this analysis comes from recent critical period work and the connection between L1 and L2 learning Skehan Reference Skehan1986a, Reference Skehan and Meara1986b. For example, it still lacks a comprehensive account of the nature of the putative aptitude components e. Some sub-tests do contain language material but this is generally incidental, and the qualities of the language material are not central to the way the sub-test is designed. As a result, the processing of language material is accomplished at least partly through specific language-equipped capacities. The other aptitude complexes similarly are influenced by two ability factors: incidental learning via oral content memory for contingent speech and deep semantic processing and via written content deep semantic processing and memory for contingent text ; and complex rule learning memory for contingent text and metalinguistic rule rehearsal. Robinson Reference Robinson and DeKeyser2007 , in his hierarchical model of aptitude complexes and abilities, proposes a level of primary cognitive abilities, of which half are concerned with working memory in relation to phonological short-term memory or for text , and these then feed in, with various combinations, to the four aptitude complexes he outlines, e. Individual differences in second language acquisition.
Language Aptitude Tests
Pawlak in Language Teaching 2016. These two cognitive measures were not present in the old battery. In a narrative review of such studies, Skehan Reference Skehan2015a argues that one can reflect upon the range of focal grammar points and offer tentative generalizations. Peter Skehan is a Professorial Research Fellow at St Mary's University College, Twickenham, London having previously worked at Auckland University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, King's College London and Thames Valley University. One can wonder, therefore, what such tests would be like.
Foreign Language Aptitude Testing
Reference Linck, Hughes, Campbell, Silbert, Tare, Jackson and Doughty2013 is closest to this view. The third section deals with continuous paired-associate learning that involves the learning of 60 word-pairs presented visually and orally. The same distinction will recur later in relation to the focus of aptitude sub-tests themselves. The process of receiving a Foreign Language Aptitude Evaluation at Dr. As claimed by the authors Grigorenko et al. Finally, we discuss two major theoretical issues, domain-generality vs domain-specificity and explicit vs implicit processing and learning.
Foreign language aptitude and intelligence
More specifically, these studies can be summarized and re-grouped into five broad categories as indicated in When these studies are put into perspective, two conclusions emerge. Reference Yang, Gates, Molenaar and Li2015 have found that L2 learning success was not only associated with better auditory perception ability as already found in some of Golestani's brain-imaging studies but also with more efficient and more flexible brain connectivity detected among more successful learners as opposed to their less successful counterparts. Bethesda: Second Language Testing, Inc. The first section involves learning the meanings of neologisms from context, where 24 short paragraphs are presented to participants orally and visually and the participants have to guess which of five English alternatives corresponds to each unknown neologism in the paragraph. It was found that first-order factor analysis of the aptitude and intelligence scores confirmed they were separate. Finally, there is the capacity to use lexicalized language to ease processing pressures even further. Reference Linck, Osthus, Koeth and Bunting2014.
As its name clearly denotes, there are two closely interlocking hypotheses incorporated in the framework. The motivation for this development has been a perceived need to develop an aptitude battery suitable for the prediction and explanation of high levels of L2 proficiency, targeted particularly at talented post-critical-period language learners. Such a study was guided by scarce empirical evidence to support the claim that motivational teaching strategies would have an important positive impact on L2 instructed learning. The nature of aptitude sub-tests, and more especially the nature of the sub-tests that work, provides a commentary on fundamental issues in language learning. The Institute teaches 23 languages, but 90 percent of the students learn the most difficult languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. Reference Dien, Weinberg, Blok, O'Rourke, Kayton and Hamedani2011.
Aptitude for learning a foreign language
However, as Dörnyei 2003 states, integrative motivation remains a notion of undefined nature as it cannot be allocated to any specific main stream of motivational psychology. In light of these recent developments, we believe what is needed now is a greater degree of systematic coverage of potentially important variables, such as salience and redundancy in this research paradigm, to give clearer insights as to whether aptitude relates to some focal grammar points better than others. In this case, the comparison is between the performance of aptitude sub-tests based on explicit learning and implicit learning respectively. For instance, phonological short-term memory has been shown to be most relevant for the acquisition and development of vocabulary, formulaic sequences and grammar e. Second, but not necessarily completely distinct, a hierarchical theory of intelligence — sub-abilities such as verbal, mathematical, musical, mechanical were another area to which Carroll Reference Carroll1993 made enormous contributions in psychology — might suggest that there are specialized abilities in the verbal domain which contribute to language aptitude. For example, we need to tease out how different lengths of treatment time have different relationships with different components of aptitude, particularly as this relates to the implicit-explicit contrast, with the possibility that some aptitude components influence learning relatively quickly while others require longer periods cf.
Foreign language aptitude
But new tests are needed if we are to be able to account for, and predict, advanced level language achievement see also Doughty et al. Reference Doughty, Campbell, Mislevy, Bunting, Bowles, Koeth, Prior, Watanabe and Lee2010; Linck et al. Twenty-five years of research on foreign language aptitude. The psychology of the language learner: Individual differences in second language acquisition. The latter were based on materials which contained implicit structure but without attention being drawn to this structure in presentation or feedback. The latter concept was at the basis of the Linguistic Coding Differences Hypothesis formulated by Sparks and Ganschow 1991. In this respect, results from Sasaki's Reference Sasaki1996 study are relevant.
Foreign Language Aptitude
Evidence can come from scoring poorly on language learning aptitude assessments, like the Language aptitude is one of the important factors that determined L2 later learners' ultimate achievement, but it has less effect on L2 early learners. It predicts success in learning all basic communication skills, but particularly speaking and listening. This area left parietal cortex , generally assumed to be pertinent to auditory and articulatory aspects, is believed to sub-serve phonological working memory as well. The impact of this analysis is that the type of questions and research designs that aptitude measures over the coming years could be very different to those of the past. In terms of working memory and education, two lines of research efforts can be identified see Williams Reference Williams, Gass and Mackey2012. At the basis of integrative motivation is a positive disposition to interact with the target language community and in some instances even to become similar to its respected members. The rationale for this factor-based aptitude model and test is clearly rooted in contemporary cognitive science.