Thursday, April 4, 2019

Individual Learner Differences In Second Language Acquisition Education Essay

Individual Learner Differences In Second vocabulary Acquisition Education Essay1. IntroductionThe fact that competency trains pick uped by molybdenum style prentices fluctuate so greatly (Lightbown and Spada, 2006 53), raises an intriguing question with regards to second expression acquisition (SLA), why argon more or less several(prenominal)s better at acquiring lyric than others? A major evidence for this variation in L2 proficiency levels is commonly attri plainlyed to individual scholar differences (ILDs), (Drnyei, 2005 2).This essay sets out to explain the important role that ILDs snap in SLA, through an in-depth discussion on the contribution made by L2 motif. Three influential theories fling different perspectives on L2 want the Socio-educational nonplusling, self-government theory and the Process framework will be discussed in detail. I will overly look at the theoretical shifts currently taking place in L2 motive search, onwards concluding with a disc ussion on the strategies that instructors discharge engagement to instil and procreation pauperism in their students.2. Role of ILDs in SLAIndividual differences are unique eruditeness characteristics which are subject in all scholars to varying degrees. They can help to distinguish culture needs and identify the consummation to which scholars will succeed in acquiring a second language (Lightbown and Spada, 2006). These differences are genial, cognitive and emotive in reputation, and include dexterity, motivation, age, personality, tuition strategies, learning styles and anxiety (for detailed check overs, chitchat for example, Naiman et al 1995 Skehan 1989 Drnyei 2005).Their relevance to language givement has made ILDs, a focus of considerable attention in SLA interrogation (Drnyei, 2005). Developments in research, especially in relation to aptitude and motivation, has seen a shift from a product-orientated upriseing to a more dish out-orientated stance (ibi d 6). Recent studies postulate play uped the importance of the temporal nature and situational context of disciple characteristics (Drnyei, 2009). Current arguments only, pull in suggested that rather than being monolithic variables, ILDs are colonial attributes consisting of a combination of sub-components and sub-processes (ibid). All ILDs are involve in language learning, however they do not function in isolation and some yet have elements in common (Gardner, 2008).A look at some of the influential theories which have emerged from research on L2 motivation over the last fifty years will help to explain the confused role that ILDs can play in the language learning process.3. L2 MotivationMotivation is a learners predilection towards learning goals (Gardner, 1985), and is regarded by many as the most influential ILD in the language learning process (Ellis, 1985). Therefore its relevance to the classroom environment becomes evident, and to know what drives this motivation i s of great pedagogic interest.Many of the learner characteristics involved in the SLA process are dependent on, and in some cases completely overridden by motivation (Gardner, 2006). A learner with a natural aptitude for learning languages, for example, may find it difficult to attain long-term language goals without the necessary motivation (ibid). On the other hand, high levels of motivation may conduce to successful learning, even where little aptitude exists for language (ibid).Theories looking to explain the role of motivation in language learning have evolved through four main stages. Drnyei (2005) categorises these as the Social mental period (1959-1990) the Cognitive-Situated period (1990s) the Process-orientated stage (late 1990s) and finally a period (last decade) consisting of new forward motiones that have focused on a learners sense of self-identity. Table 1 summarises the main L2 motivation theories and concepts.3.1. The Social Psychological approach to L2 motivati onInterest in L2 motivation was initiated by social psychologists Wallace Lambert, Robert Gardner and associates as early as 1959, looking to take in the language and culturalApproach to motivationExamplesSocial-psychologicalSocio-educational model, (Gardner, 1985). keystone concepts Integrative motivation, Integrativeness, integrative orientation.Theory of Linguistic self-confidence, (Clement, 1986). trace concepts self-confidence a self-belief of having the ability to manage the learning process.Cognitive SituatedSelf-determination theory, (Brown, 1994 Noels et al., 2000). tombstone concepts internal/extrinsic motivation, amotivation.Attribution theory, (Weiner, 1992).Key concepts attributing past success or failure to current swear outs. destination context theory, (Oxford and Shearin, 1994).Key concepts Cognitive perception of goals as a motivation portion.Goal orientation theory, (Ames, 1992).Key concepts Goal mastery andper put to workance orientations.Motivation and l earner strategy use, (Oxford and Nyikos 1989, Macintyre et al., 1996).Key concepts Motivation as a key factor in stimulating strategy use.Task Motivation, (Julkunen, 2001 Dornyei, 2003).Key concepts designate execution, appraisal, action control.Mixed approachi. Willingness to communicate, (Macintyre et al., 1998, 2003).Key concepts Willingness to communicate as a key factor for achievingcommunicative competency.Process-orientatedProcess model, (Dornyei and Otto, 1998 Dornyei, 2001b).Key concepts temporal nature of motivation, which includes a preactional/actional/postactional stage.Current and futureL2 motivational self system, (Dornyei, 2005).Key concepts ideal L2 self, ought-to L2 self.Complex dynamic systems, (Larsen-Freeman, 2007).Key concepts combine different theoretical perspectives.Table 1. Some of the different approaches used in L2 motivation researchconflicts between incline and French speaking communities in Canada. Their research adopted a socio-psychological approa ch, based on the central idea that a learners success in acquiring a second language is visit by an perspective towards the target language association (Gardner, 1985). Their research on students learning French showed that aptitude and motivation are closely associated with achievement in language learning (ibid). They concluded that motivation is characterised by an individuals willingness to be like members of the target community (ibid).A model based on a socio-psychological approach that has been very influential in L2 motivation research is Gardners socio-educational model (see for example, Gardner and Lambert, 1972 Gardner, 1985 Gardner and MacIntyre, 1991). The most recent version of this model is shown in figure 1. phrase ACHIEVMENTOther Factors(for example, tuition strategies, language ANXIETY (Gardner, 2001))Other SupportLANGUAGE APTITUDEINTEGRATIVE MOTIVATIONINTEGRATIVENESSMOTIVATIONATTITUDE TOWARDS THE LEARNING SIITUATION accede 1. A basic model of the role of motiv ation in SLA (adapted from Gardner (2001b)).The most elaborate and researched aspect of Gardners model is integrative motivation, which he defines as the motivation to learn a L2 because of a ordained view towards, and a desire to integrate with that community (Gardner, 2001b). The leash variables that constitute integrative motivation are (ibid)Integrativeness this represents a desire to learn a second language to identify with the target community, and is reflected in a learners deportment through the followingAn integrative orientation, representing the reason for learning, which in this case is an interest in learning an L2 to interact with the target community.A compulsory attitude towards the target language group.An interest in foreign languages or a oecumenical openness to all language groups.Attitudes towards the learning situation (ATLS) this refers to attitudes towards the language teacher, the pattern in general, the course materials and other factors related to the learning context.Motivation this is a learners goal driven behaviour. A motivated learner makes a concerted grounds to learn a language, for example by doing extra work and seeking more learning opportunities, displays a steadfast desire to learn a language and is focused on achieving the goal, enjoys learning and has an overall positive attitude towards the learning process.An integratively motivated learner is therefore motivated to learn a second language, sharp-worded to interact and be associated with the target community, and has a positive outlook on the learning situation. To sustain consonant levels of motivation, integrativeness and/or a positive ATLS are essential characteristics, however, it is the motivation element of the Integrative Motivation labyrinthine that is the active variable and which directly influences Language Achievement (Gardner, 2001b 6). Therefore, a learner who has a high level of integrativeness and/or a positive attitude towards learning , but is low in motivation is unlikely to achieve high levels of proficiency.The affect of slavish factors on L2 motivation was not included in Gardners core theory, but he suggests that they could be one of the other supports affecting motivation (Gardner, 2001a 7). Based on this, it is possible to flip integrativeness with instrumentality in the representation of the model in figure 1, to give what Gardner calls Instrumental Motivation (ibid). This is a motivation to learn a L2 for instrumental gains, such as better employment or education. An instrumentally motivated learner has detail communicative needs, which provide a purpose for learning and an impetus for successful language acquisition (Gardner and Lambert, 1972).Gardners model makes little reference to other attributes, for example, personal aspirations and past experiences, which could affect an integratively motivated learner. However, trial-and-error research in different contexts is continuously bringing to light the possibility of including more factors in the general L2 motivational construct. To check Gardners model for adaptability, Tremblay and Gardner (1995) integrated other measurements of motivation, such as anxiety and goal-setting strategies. Empirical examination of the extended model showed that addition of the extra variables did not affect the structure of the original model (ibid). query on motivation in different context has led some applied linguists to suggest the design of the language community associated with integrative motivation is untenable for international learners of English (Ushioda and Drnyei, 2009). In a multi-lingual society like China, for example, few opportunities exist for interacting with aborigine English communities. In such a context, instrumental motivation or external factors (for example, exams and employment) are more prevalent among learners than a desire for integrating with native speakers of English (Warden and Lin, 2008).For this reason, oth er researchers have suggested that the integrative construct should at least be re-examined by including the world-wide L2 learning context and the multi-dimensionality of a learners identity. Drnyei and Csizer, (2002) suggested that rather than identifying with an external language community, the integrative concept could be more accurately linked to a learners internal process of identification with a self-concept. Drnyeis (2005) motivational self-system which real from this idea is discussed in section 3.4.3.2. Self-Determination Theory and SLAInfluenced by advances in motivational psychology, and a need to understand the classroom- determine nature of motivation, L2 research moved on from a socio-psychological approach, to look at affects of classroom-situated factors on motivation.Self-determination theory (SDT) is a highly influential approach in motivational psychology, and several studies have attempted to incorporate some of its components to explain L2 motivation (for ex ample, Brown, 1994 Noels et al., 2000).According to this theory there are three types of learner motivations intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation (Deci and Ryan, 2002). These motivations form a continuum depending on the degree of learner self-determination, where self-determination is as an individuals sense of choice and control over the learning process (ibid).Intrinsic Motivation (IM) refers to an individuals motivation to condense an body process, purely for personal feelings of pleasance and enjoyment associated with that activity, and is driven by a desire for competence and self-determination (Noel et al., 2000). Intrinsically motivated students are considered more likely to achieve familiarity, competence and fulfil long-term language goals (Ramage, 1990).Extrinsic motivation (EM), on the other hand, relates to actions carried out for instrumental gains, in search for reward or to avoid punishment (Noels et al., 2000). This motivation can vary in d egree depending on the extent to which the activity is controlled by the learner or other variables (Deci and Ryan, 2002).Vallerand et al., (1993) have suggested six subtypes of IM and EM which lie on a continuum of self-determination (see table 2).Noels (2001) suggests that L2 learner motivation can be assessed using the intrinsic and extrinsic constructs. These motivations however, do not necessarily have to be exclusive, for example, a learner whose behaviour is consistent with identified law may also exhibit some of the adjacent motivations on the continuum (ibid).Self-DeterminationType of Motivation translationHIGHZeroIntrinsic Motivation to knowperforming an activity for the pleasure associated with learning or exploring new knowledge. E.g., when reading a new book.Intrinsic Motivation to accomplishPerforming an activity for the pleasure associated with accomplishing or creating something. E.g., a student doing more homework than is required.Intrinsic Motivation to experience stimulationPerforming an activity for the stimulated sensations (e.g. pleasure and excitement) associated with engagement with the activity. E.g., a student who goes to class for the pleasure of participating in discussions.Extrinsic Motivation Identified RegulationExtrinsic motivation is internalised to the extent that learner behaviour is regulate by a sense of value and usefulness of the activity to the self. E.g., a student who studies the night onward an exam because they think it is important to them.Extrinsic Motivation Introjected RegulationLearner behaviour is regulate by internalisation of past external means. E.g., studying the night before an exam because it is expected of a good student.Extrinsic Motivation External RegulationLearner behaviour is regulate completely by external means (rewards or constraints) showing the least self-determined form of extrinsic motivation. E.g., Studying the night before an exam because of pressure from parents.AmotivationA lack of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. A learner feels their behaviour is regulated by factors out of their control, and may eventually drop out of the learning process.Table 2. Language Learning Orientation Scale Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation and Amotivation (adapted from Vallerand et al., (1993)).Intrinsic motivation is characterised by a strong sense of self-determination, and is closely associated with integrative motivation (Noels, 2001). This suggests that students learning a language for pleasure may also be seeking interaction with the L2 community. Intrinsic motivation however, is identified more with attitudes towards learning, than the target community (ibid 54).The social environment (for example, the teacher, family members and the L2 community) has considerable influence on a students perception of self-determination. A teacher plays a meaningful role in this regard, and can promote intrinsic motivation by encouraging learner familiarity and providing posit ive feedback (Noels, 2000 55). Similarly, students learning for intrinsic reasons are more sensitive to the teachers instructional style (ibid).In contrast, the slight self-determined external regulation component of extrinsic motivation is linked to instrumental behaviour (Noels, 2001 53). A limit of extrinsic behaviour is that it can have short-term characteristics. A study carried out by Ramage (1990) showed that students who learnt a language for academic reasons are more likely to discontinue future language classes. Extrinsic course pressures, for example, compulsory reading, can also negatively affect a learners intrinsic interests (Drnyei, 1994a).3.3. A Process-orientated approach to motivationDrnyei and Ottos (1998) process model of motivation integrates various theoretical perspectives of L2 motivation, and draws attention to the temporal nature of motivation in classroom learning. The model is influenced by Heckhausen and Kuhls Action control theory, which proposes two sequential phases of motivational behaviour an individuals motivation to form an attention, and a motivation to initiate and sustain the intended action (Heckhausen, 1991).Drnyei and Ottos model breaks down the motivational process into three temporal phases. The first relates to the transformation of initial desires to goals, and then intentions. The succeeding(prenominal) sees these intentions being enacted, leading to the successful/unsuccessful accomplishment of goals, and the final phase is an overall evaluation of the learning process (see figure 2).Preactional Stage(Choice Motivation)motivational Functions fuck off motivation to select a goal form an intention to act select an action plan to enact the intention.Possible factors influencing motivation goal properties attitude towards the learning process attitude towards the target community perception of self-ability social environmental encouragement or discouragement.Actional Stage(Executive Motivation)Motivational Functi ons carry out sub-tasks to maintain motivation ongoing appraisal of achievement action control (self-regulation to help persevere with learning).Possible factors influencing motivation quality of the learning experience degree of autonomy teacher, learner group and family influence/support classroom structure (competitive or co-operative) knowledge and ability to use self-motivating, goal-setting and learning strategies.Postactional Stage(Motivational Retrospection)Motivational Functions attribute reasons to success or failure elaborate internal standards and action-specific strategies evoke original intention and further planning.Possible factors influencing motivation personal attribution style self-confidence feedback.Figure 2. Process model of L2 learning motivation (adapted from Dornyei, (2003 19)).An important assertion made by the process-orientated model is that motivational behaviour is influenced by different factors. Consequently, different theories of motivation can be associated with each phase (Drnyei, 2003 18). Integrativeness, for example, may be the motivational influence on goal setting in the preactional stage. In the executive phase, situated aspects of motivation play a greater role, mechanisms of the task processing system are more pertinent here (Drnyei, 2003). The retrospective links that learners make between the original goal and actual achievement in the post-actional stage are likely to be attributed to past learning experiences, a motivational behaviour intercommunicate by Weiner (1992) in the attribution theory.Two aspects that the model overlooks are the possibility of several actional processes running concurrently, or an actional process with multiple motivational influences (Drnyei, 2003). This is likely in a school setting, where students often have multiple goals (for example, social and academic) and overlapping motivational influences (for example, task, course or curriculum related) (ibid). The model assumes that the a ctional processes have defined boundaries, however in an educational context it may be difficult to identify where one actional process starts and the near begins.3.4. Present and future The motivational self-system and a Dynamic systems approach.Since the socio-psychological period of motivation research, the global reality of English has changed immensely. The rapid globalisation of English has challenged the validity of many SLA theories (Kachru, 1988), because these theories fail to consider the context of the world Englishes learner (Sridhar and Sridhar, 1992).With limited or no contact opportunities with the native target community, the notion of a self-concept (referring to an individuals images and cognitions of the self) suggested by Drnyei and Csizer (2002), is possibly a more relevant motivational feature in many EFL contexts. Drnyei developed this idea further, in his L2 motivational self-system, which equated integrativeness with an ideal L2 self (Drnyei, 2005 2010). T he main componentsof this system are (Drnyei, 2010)Ideal L2 Self a L2-specific image of the attributes that one would like to possess. For example, hopes, desires, aspirations.Ought-to L2 Self a self-guide which refers to those attributes one thinks one ought to possess to satisfy expectations and avoid negative outcomes.L2 Learning Experience this refers to the executive motives (similar to those identified in the Process model) associated with the immediate learning environment and experience. For example, impact of the teacher, other learners, the course, the experience of success.The hypothesis behind the self-system is that a learners desire to become a person proficient in the L2, serves as a powerful motivating force to learn a language (Ushioda and Drnyei, 2009 3-4). A recent study in the Japanese context showed that this desire correspond by the ideal L2 self is equivalent to the concept of integrativeness in Gardners socio-educational model, but the ideal L2 self is belike more accurate in explaining motivated behaviour (Ryan, 2009)Drnyeis idea of placing the self at the bone marrow of the conceptual role of motivation offers a new perspective, however it overlooks the process-orientated, and contextually dynamic nature of motivation. Justifying this complex nature of L2 motivation, can only be possible by integrating more than one approach (Macintyre et al., 2010).A possibility of combining different perspectives of motivation is suggested by Ushioda (2009) with her person-in-context, relational view of emergent motivation. She suggests that integrating relevant theoretical frameworks to support future analysis of the complex nature of interactional processes and contextual factors in motivational behaviour can help to provide a better understanding of how L2 motivation is cause (ibid).A similar possibility is offered by the theoretical paradigms of dynamic systems theory (for a detailed review, see Larsen-Freeman and Cameron, 2008). This th eory involves a study of systems, where the system is analysed as a whole rather than as its individual parts (ibid). Learner variation is seen as the result of a complex system of relevant factors on the job(p) in unison, rather than as a result of differences in individual determinants (for example, aptitude or motivation) (Drnyei, 2009). As an example of an application of a dynamic systems approach to L2 learning, Drnyei suggests the possibility of identifying an optimal combination of motivational, cognitive and affective factors with regard to task behaviour, that function as an integrated unit (for a detailed review see, ibid).4. The practical value of theory motivational strategies for the classroomChomsky (1988) emphasises the vital role played by teachers in learner motivation by suggesting that ninety nine per cent of teaching involves getting students interested in learning. A language teachers motivational practice is also linked directly to increased levels of learner motivation (Guilloteaux and Drnyei, 2008). Therefore, the need to use appropriate strategies to manage classroom motivation is extremely relevant to L2 practitioners.Motivational strategies are techniques used by a teacher to manage learner motivation, or used by individual learners to regulate their own motivation levels (Guilloteaux and Drnyei, 2008). Although, several motivation strategies have been proposed in L2 lit (for example, Williams and Burden, 1997 Drnyei, 2001a Alison and Halliwell, 2002), very few are supported by empirical evidence. Self-motivating strategies for learners are an even less(prenominal) researched area of L2 motivation (Drnyei, 2006).An example of an elaborate, theory-based framework which looks at motivational strategies from both a teacher and leaner perspective is proposed by Drnyei (2001a). This model consists of four phases (ibid)Creating the basic motivational condition, by establishing a good student-teacher relationship, a relaxed learning atmos phere and a cohesive learner group.Generating initial motivation byStrengthening language related values and attitudes (intrinsic, integrative or instrumental values). change magnitude the expectancy of success.Increasing goal-orientedness, for example, by reservation learners aware of the practical (non-syllabus related) reasons or value of doing an activity.Making teaching materials relevant.Creating realistic learner beliefs. Many new learners have inaccurate beliefs about language learning, a realisation of their falseness can have a demotivating influence.Maintaining and protecting motivation, to keep sight of goals, and maintain interest and concentration. The most relevant strategies in this phase includeMaking the learning process stimulating and interesting.Presenting tasks in a motivating manner, making them stimulating and relevant.Setting specific learner goals.Preserving the learners self-esteem and promoting their self-confidence.Creating learner autonomy.Promoting se lf-motivating learner strategies in order to go along the original goal commitment, for example, by encouraging learners to remember favourable expectations or positive rewards.Maintain concentration, for example, by encouraging learners to identify and manage distractions and focus on the first steps to take when beginning an activity. slide by boredom and add extra interest in a task, for example, by showing learners how to add a twist to a task and using their imagination to make it more stimulating.Manage disruptive emotions and generate a positive emotional state, for example, by getting students to self-encourage and introducing them to relaxation techniques.Remove negative and utilise positive environmental influences, for example, by encouraging students to remove distractions and asking for peer help.Encouraging positive retrospective self-evaluation, by Promoting positive learner attributions (an idea supported by the Attribution theory, Weiner, 1992)Providing motivational feedback, that is informative and encouraging. This can help to increase learner satisfaction and self-confidence, and encourages constructive self-reflection on weaknesses.Using rewards and grades cautiously, as they can distract the learner from the real purpose of the task (Drnyei, 2006730). When they are used, they should be offered in a motivational manner.The most motivating of teachers are considered to be those who rely on a few simple and carefully selected techniques (Drnyei, 2006 730-731). Therefore, achieving optimal levels of learner motivation are more likely if motivational strategies are matched by a teacher selectively, to learners specific needs.5. ConclusionThis essay discussed the significant role that motivation, as an example of an ILD variable, plays in the long and arduous task of second language acquisition. I presented three influential theories that have approached L2 motivation from different perspectives, and looked at some of the current trends in moti vational research. A look at some possible motivational strategies present how theoretical concepts can be applied to improve the quality of classroom learning.The motivational characteristics of the L2 learner highlight the complex but influential role played by ILDs in SLA. Many of the variables involved in L2 motivation have a degree of overlap, and interact both with each other and other ILDs (Gardner, 2008). In order to understand the true nature of these webs of interactions and their affect on L2 achievement, the possibilities offered by a dynamic systems approach is probably the best way forward.

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