• Different ages have different needs, competences,
and cognitive skills.
• Steven Pinker – acquisition of language (L1, L2 or
Foreign) is guaranteed for children up to age of six
and steadily compromised until puberty, and is rare
 Up to the ages of nine or ten, learn differently from older
children, adolescents, and adults in the following ways:
 They respond to meaning even if they do not understand
individual words.
 They often learn indirectly rather than directly – learning from
everything around them rather than only focusing on the
precise topic they are being taught.
 Their understanding comes not just from explanation, but
also from what they see and hear also have a chance to
touch and interact with.
 Generally display enthusiasm for learning and a curiosity
about the world around them.
 They have a need for individual attention and approval from
the teacher.
 They are keen to talk about themselves, and respond well to
 They have a limited attention span – easy to get bored
unless the activities are appealing for them.
 Secondary schools students.
 Less motivated and present outright discipline
problems (Puchta and Schratz 1993:1)
 A person who is searching for individual identity.
 But if they are engaged, they will have :
 A great potential for creativity,
 A great capacity to learn, and
 Passionate commitment to things
 Teacher should :
 Provoke student engagement with material which is relevant
and involving
Encourage the students to respond to texts and situations
with their own thoughts and experience, rather than just
by answering questions and doing abstract learning
Give them tasks which they are able to do, rather than risk
humiliating them.
Ask them to address learning issues directly
Discuss abstract issues with them
Provoke intellectual activity by helping them to be aware
of contrasting ideas and concepts which they can resolve
by themselves.
 They can engage with abstract thought.
 They have a whole range of life experiences to draw on.
 They have expectations about learning process, and may
already have their own set patterns of learning.
 Tend to be more disciplined and often prepared to
struggle on despite boredom.
 Come to class with a rich range of experiences which
allow teachers to use a wide range of activities with them.
 Often have a clear understanding of why they are learning
and what they want to get out of it.
 But, they can be critical of teaching methods – previous
learning experiences make them uncomfortable with the
current unfamiliar teaching patterns.
 They may have experienced failure or criticism at
school which makes them anxious and underconfident about learning a language.
 They worry that their intellectual powers may be
diminishing with age.
 Intelligence
• To refer to performance on certain kinds of tests
• Tests are associated with success in school, and
a link between intelligence and 2L learning.
• High IQ = successful a learner would be.
 Aptitude
• Measure on ability of students
• Learning quickly is the distinguishing feature of
 Personality
– influence in success of
language learning
• Self-esteem
• Empathy
• Dominance
• Talkativeness
• Responsiveness
• Introvert
• Extrovert
 Motivation
and attitudes
• Positive attitudes and motivation lead to success
in L2 (Gardner, 1985).
• Robert Gardner and Wallace Lambert (1972)
coined the terms :
 Integrative motivation – language learning for
personal growth and cultural enrichment
 Instrumental motivation – language learning for more
immediate or practical goals.
 Both showed a success in L2 learning.
• Motivation in the classroom setting
 Motivated students are usually those who participate
actively in class, express interest in the subjectmatter, and study a great deal.
 Graham Crookes and Richard Schmidt (1991) pointed
the higher levels of interest in learning by :
 Motivating students into the lesson
 Varying the activities, tasks, and materials
 Using co-operative rather than competitive goals
 Learner preferences
• Learner styles by Keith Willing :
 Convergers
Prefer solitary than groups
Confident in their own abilities
Cool and pragmatic
 Conformist
 Prefer to emphasise learning ‘about language ‘over learning to
use it.
 Dependent
 Perfectly happy to work in non-communicative classrooms
 Prefers to see well-organized teachers
 Concrete learners
 Enjoy the social aspects of learning
 Like to learn from direct experience
 Interested in language use and language as communication
rather than language as a system
 Enjoy games and group work in class
 Communicative learners
Language use orientated
Comfortable out of class and show a degree of confidence
Willingness to take risks which their colleagues may lack
Much more interested in social interaction with other speakers
of the language.
 Perfectly happy to operate without the guidance of a teacher.
• Learner styles by Reid (1995) :
 Visual
 Aural – listening/auditory
 Kinaesthetic/Tactile – physical actions/activities
 Learner
• Have strong beliefs and opinions about how their
instruction should be delivered.
• Based on previous learning experiences and the