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Individual differences in early language learning: a study of English learners of French

Courtney, L., Graham, S. ORCID:, Tonkyn, A. and Marinis, T. (2017) Individual differences in early language learning: a study of English learners of French. Applied Linguistics, 38 (6). pp. 824-847. ISSN 1477-450X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1093/applin/amv071


The present longitudinal study examines the interaction of learner variables (gender, motivation, self-efficacy and first language literacy) and their influence on second language learning outcomes. The study follows English learners of French from Year 5 in primary school (aged 9-10) to the first year in secondary school (Year 7 aged 11-12). Language outcomes were measured by two oral production tasks; a sentence repetition task and a photo description task both of which were administered at three time points. Longitudinal data on learner attitudes and motivation were collected via questionnaires. Teacher assessment data for general first language literacy attainment were also provided. The results show a great deal of variation in learner attitudes and outcomes and that there is a complex relationship between first language literacy, self-efficacy, gender and attainment. For example, in general, girls held more positive attitudes to boys and were more successful. However, the inclusion of first language ability, which explained 30-40% of variation, shows that gender differences in attitudes and outcomes are likely mediated by first language literacy and prior learning experience.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education > Language and Literacy in Education
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Language and Applied Linguistics
Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Clinical Language Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centres (IDRCs) > Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM)
ID Code:45952
Publisher:Oxford Journals


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