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Summaries Chapter Eight

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Motivation and L2 learning

·        Both integrative and instrumental motivations may lead to success, but lack of either causes problems.

·       Motivation in this sense has great inertia.

·      Short-term motivation towards the day-to-day activities in the classroom and general motivations for classroom learning are also important.


Aptitude for L2 learning

·        Most aptitude tests predict success in L2 academic classrooms.

·        Aptitude breaks down into different factors such as phonemic coding ability and memory.


Age in L2 learning

  • To be older leads to better learning in the short term, other things being equal.

  • Some research still favours child superiority at pronunciation, but not reliably.

  • Children get to a higher level of proficiency in the long term than those who start L2 learning while older, perhaps because adults slow down.


Individual Differences and Language Teaching

  • The variety and nature of motivations need to be recognized.

  • Teachers should  work with, not against, student motivation in materials and content.

  • Important attitudes in L2 learners include maintaining cultural identity, maintaining relationships with other groups, beliefs about bilingualism, beliefs about monolingualism.

  • Students without aptitude can be excluded (if allowable on other grounds).

  • Different teaching can be provided for learners with different types of aptitude, even streaming into fast and slow streams.

  • Age issues affect when and how to teach the second lang­age.