Departmental Bulletin Paper Learner Analysis: Individual and Contextual Factors That Influence Second Language Acquisition

Christopher, DE LOZIER  ,  Christopher, DE LOZIER

There are many factors that affect students' rates of success at acquiring a second language. This paper analyzes four successful Latino English language learners' experiential stories for evidence of how the individual factors of age, personality, motivation, learning style and strategy, also known as learner differences, and contextual factors of setting, community attitude toward the L2 and opportunities for L2 input and output influenced their experience learning English. All four of these English language learners eventually acquired English to near fluent levels. It is this paper's conclusion that individual and contextual factors played a very large role in their success and that teachers should pay very close attention to these and other individual and contextual factors that underlie their own students' success or failure.

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