The cognitive contribution to the development of proficiency in a foreign language

The present paper reports results of a longitudinal research project studying the contribution of cognitive skills and other factors to proficiency in a foreign language (L2) in the Hungarian educational context. The larger project aims to describe the levels of L2 proficiency of school-aged populat...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Authors: Csapó Benő
Nikolov Marianne
Format: Article
Published: Pergamon Press 2009
Series:LEARNING AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES: JOURNAL OF PSYCHOLOGY AND EDUCATION 19 No. 2
doi:10.1016/j.lindif.2009.01.002

mtmt:1224844
Online Access:http://publicatio.bibl.u-szeged.hu/11250
Description
Summary:The present paper reports results of a longitudinal research project studying the contribution of cognitive skills and other factors to proficiency in a foreign language (L2) in the Hungarian educational context. The larger project aims to describe the levels of L2 proficiency of school-aged populations in order to explore the conditions and factors contributing to processes and outcomes in foreign language education in public schools. For this purpose, paper and pencil tests were administered in English and German as a foreign language to nationally representative student samples. The project also aims to find answers to some theoretical questions; therefore, a questionnaire and other assessment instruments complemented L2 tests to provide insights into how participants' cognitive, affective and first language (L1) variables, as well as their social and school variables interact with one another over time. Students' general thinking and learning abilities were assessed with an inductive reasoning test. In the present paper we focus on the relationship between students' proficiency in English or German and inductive reasoning skills to show how general cognitive abilities interact with levels of L2 proficiency. We use a multivariate context to explore complex relationships between L2 levels in English and German and inductive reasoning skills if influences of other variables are controlled. We present results of multiple regression analyses on L2 listening, reading, and writing tasks in the two target languages. In the present paper we use both cross-sectional and longitudinal data to examine the relationships between students' L2 proficiency in the first phase (2000) and two years later (2002). Thus, a longitudinal research design was implemented by repeating cross-sectional assessment at a two-year interval.
Physical Description:209-218
ISSN:1041-6080