The Different Factors of Individual Language Learners in Second Language Acquisition

Topics: Language acquisition, Educational psychology, Theory of multiple intelligences Pages: 11 (3904 words) Published: September 24, 2013
The Different Factors of Individual Language Learners in Second Language Acquisition Recently, Second Language Acquisition (SLA) play important role to language learning and teaching as second language that SLA refers both to the study of individuals and groups who are learning a language subsequent to learning their first one as young children, and to the process of learning that language that the additional language is called a second language (L2), even though it may actually be the third, fourth, or tenth to be acquired. It is also commonly called a target language (TL), which refers to any language that is the aim or goal of learning (Saville-Troike, 2006). According to Gass and Selinker (2008) states that SLA refer to the learning of another language after the first language has been learned that the use of this term does not differentiate among learning situations For the SLA learners, they have various differences of characteristics or variables in term of language learning that they learn with different speed and different results and there are many explanations for that issue for supporting the question that the focus on learner differences in SLA has been most concerned with the question of why some learners are more successful than others (Ellis, 1994; Saville-Troike, 2006; Harmer, 2007; Cook, 2008; Hall, 2011). Finally, second language (L2) learners are different in various factors that there are many explanations for that issue. The general factors that influence second language learning are: age, aptitude and intelligence, cognitive style, attitudes, motivation and personality (Ellis 1985). The aim of this essay is to present these factors and their contribution to success or failure in language learning that a variety of well-known scholars characterized into main three types: cognitive variables; affective variables; and personality variables (Johnson, 2008). Firstly, the cognitive variables relate to the mental make-up of the person. Intelligence is one such factor; another is language aptitude (Johnson, 2008) or when a person tries to learn something, his/her success is partly governed by intelligence, memory, and the ability to analyse and evaluate (Richards et.al, 1992; Brown, 2000). Mostly, cognitive variable divided into two forms that are intelligence and aptitude. 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 (Ellis, 1995; Brown, 2000; Harmer, 2007; Johnson, 2008). Further, there are other types of intelligence such as spatial intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, musical intelligence, interpersonal intelligence, and intrapersonal intelligence (Gardner, 1993, Brown, 2000). Linguistic intelligence also known as verbal-linguistic - is one of the many types of intelligence described in multiple intelligence theory. People with significant linguistic intelligence are often good at languages and enjoy reading and writing. For example, a student with strong linguistic intelligence may remember new words very easily and use them quickly. According to Gardner (1993) and Brown (2000) also categorized intelligences into various types as follow: Linguistic intelligence: speaking, using words, writing, giving presentations, solving word problems; Logical-mathematical intelligence: using numbers, logic, calculations; learning and understanding grammar rules; Spatial intelligence: drawing, painting, using color, art, graphics, pictures, maps, and charts; Bodily-kinesthetic intelligence: muscular coordination, athletic skill, body language, drama and theater; Musical intelligence: using music, tones, hearing; producing the intonation and rhythm of a language; Interpersonal intelligence: talking with other people, understanding them, using language to communicate; Intrapersonal intelligence: self-knowledge, self-confidence, using...

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