The democratization of schooling and greater access to higher education, together with the implementation of language requirements in colleges and universities across the United States, has led to a higher degree of diversity in language classrooms. One usually thinks of gender, ethnic, racial, or social diversity, but individual differences, including learning disabilities and special needs, also contribute to diversity and have an impact on assessment, placement, and curriculum. In their role as administrators and teacher educators, Language Program Directors (LPDs) seek to integrate current practices and research in applied linguistics into program design and administration, including assessment. To make individual differences a theoretically grounded integral component of their decision-making processes, LPDs need resources that provide cutting-edge primary and secondary research on the conceptualization, measurement, and consequences of individual differences on language development in the classroom.
This volume provides LPDs with the means to transmit information to their instructors in effective ways so that the instructors develop a sophisticated understanding of individual differences, including learning disabilities, special needs, and strategies for dealing with diverse student populations. In addition, this volume creates a forum for reflections about and solutions to challenges related to diversity as it relates to individual differences.
Table of Contents
1. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: WHAT INSTRUCTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS SHOULD KNOW (Cristina Sanz and Beatriz Lado).
2. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AND SECOND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT.
Aptitude and acquisition as processing (Bill VanPatten). Older adult learners and SLA: Age in a new light (Jessica Cox).
3. EMPIRICAL STUDIES ON THE ROLE OF INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES.
The differential roles of language analytic ability and working memory in mediating the effects of two types of feedback on the acquisition of an opaque linguistic structure (Shaofeng Li). Computer-delivered feedback and L2 development: The role of explicitness and working memory (Nuria Sagarra and Rebekha Abbuhl). Finding the right combination for Spanish oral proficiency development: Individual learner characteristics and study abroad program features (Jeff Connor-Linton).
4. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: THE LEARNER'S PERSPECTIVE.
Perceptions of L2 learning through the eyes of students with disabilities (Sally S. Scott, Susan A. Hildebrandt, and Wade A. Edwards). A semester long investigation of Spanish heritage language speakers' attitudes and motivation (Íñigo Yanguas).
5. INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT: CURRICULAR DECISIONS AND TEACHER EDUCATION.
The place of individual differences in foreign language teaching assistants' education programs (Nina Moreno). Exploring individual differences among heritage speakers: Initiatives for TA training and program development (María Luisa Parra). Deaf students in conventional foreign language classrooms (Pilar Piñar, Roberto Herrera, and Amanda Holzrichter).