What are the characteristics of excellent or unsuccessful L2 learners?

 

 

What are the characteristics of excellent or unsuccessful L2 learners? Dixon, Zhao, Shin, Wu, Su, Burgess-Brigham, Gezer, & Snow (2012) answer this question from four areas of research.  Knowing these characteristics may be helpful in identifying students who may need extra support.  Here are some of the characteristics that may be exhibited by excellent L2* learners:

Excellent L2 learners may have:

  • high L2 aptitude
  • higher analytic ability
  • higher motivation
  • contact with L2 speakers
  • positive attitude toward L2 and L2 culture
  • higher L1 skills
  • lower anxiety
  • may be female (females were found to be more motivated than boys)

 The authors of the review are careful to point out that these findings have limited generalizability and that these findings need to be tested more in depth.

*L2= second language (i.e. not the speaker's first language, rather the second language they are learning).  For example, my L1 is English (I grew up speaking it at home, in school, and in society.)  My second language, my L2, is Spanish which I started learning in elementary school.  My L3 is Swiss German of which I speak only a few words and phrases.


Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen
Tricia Gallagher-Geurtsen

Author



Leave a comment

Comments have to be approved before showing up.

Everyday ELL is now Every Language Learner.