Book: Individual Differences and Processing Instruction
Chapter: 1. Individual Differences in Instructed Second Language Learning: Working Memory, Aptitude and Age Differences
This collection of essays builds on the authors’ previous work and aims to open an additional branch of research in processing instruction, and to stimulate further research. This is the first collection of studies that empirically addresses the role that individual differences, such as age, gender, and native language background, might play in the results generated by processing instruction.
In this chapter, three major areas of inquiry within the theoretical and empirical framework concerned with the effects of individual differences on second language learning will be briefly presented. The author will examine working memory, language aptitude and age from a cognitive and psycholinguistic perspective. The concepts of working memory, aptitude and age differences will be explained and the relevance of these factors to second language acquisition highlighted.