Pusan University of Foreign Studies

TESOL Program

 

Variables in Second Language Acquisition


The list below is a quick and not very systematic response to the question : ' What variables can influence second language acquisition?". This list is NOT complete. It will also contain redundancies and overlaps. Please use it merely as a starting point to think about what can help or hinder you as you progress through learning a language.


1. aptitude

- actual (but what exactly makes up 'aptitude'?)
- self-beliefs about aptitude <= note power of self-actualization

2. motivation

- instrumental / integrative
- extrinsic / intrinsic
- negative force (e.g. anger / hate)

3. goals/aims

- planning / no planning
- long term / short term
- expectations about outcomes

4. study habits

- management of learning - planned / unplanned
- external discipline Vs self-discipline
- frequency and duration
- curricular / extracurricular lx activities
- revision & L2 use

5. study techniques

- for speaking , listening, reading, writing (SLRW)
- record keeping
- mnemonics

6. access to resources

- material / human

7. mediums of L2 exposure

- written / spoken / other (e.g. visual advertising)

8. domains of L2 experience

- school / work / media / overseas trips / other..

9. domains of L2 use

- school / work / media / overseas trips / other ...

10. L2 contact figures

- teachers / peers / foreigners / others ...

11. attitudes of significant others

- peers / family / colleagues / superiors ...etc.
- to L2 learning
- to L2 use

12. cultural context

- help / hindrance
- environment of empathy Vs antipathy to non-L1 people

13. self-measures of L2 achievement

- test results / teacher approval
- communicative success
- interpretative success (e.g. understanding a movie)
- other ...

14. personal life ambition

- +/- L2 component

15. personality

- introvert (... book learner?)
- extrovert ( ... social learner?)

16. sense dominance

- tactile / motor / visual / aural

17. cognitive style

- analytic / intuitive or wholistic

18. seminal experience

- person / event / moment of epiphany

 

  Material on this site has been prepared by Thor May for the PUFS TESOL Program 2003
Site addresses :
a) http://home.pufs.ac.kr/~thormay
b) http://thormay.net/lxesl/tesol/pufsindex.htm