Second Language Proficiency, Foreign Language Aptitude, and Intelligence

Second Language Proficiency, Foreign Language Aptitude, and Intelligence

by Miyuki Sasaki
     
 

General second language proficiency continues to intrigue researchers. This study investigates the relationships between general second language proficiency (SLP) and selected cognitive abilities (i.e. foreign language aptitude, verbal intelligence, and reasoning) in 160 EFL Japanese college students. Structural equation modeling disconfirmed the hypothesis that

Overview

General second language proficiency continues to intrigue researchers. This study investigates the relationships between general second language proficiency (SLP) and selected cognitive abilities (i.e. foreign language aptitude, verbal intelligence, and reasoning) in 160 EFL Japanese college students. Structural equation modeling disconfirmed the hypothesis that general SLP forms the center of what has traditionally been called general intelligence. However, it suggests a strong relation between SLP and other cognitive abilities. The study also analyzed the protocol data provided by the actual text takers, revealing that SLP is related to the ability to assess, plan, and execute in problem solving processes.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
«The question of how language proficiency is related to other cognitive abilities is critical to research in language testing and other areas of applied linguistics because an understanding of this relationship must underlie the language proficiency tests that are used in the everyday world, and must inform research into language acquisition and language use. Dr. Sasaki's research into this question makes both methodological and substantive contributions to the field of applied linguistics. Her study is innovative in its use of multiple approaches to data collection and analysis (structural equation modeling and qualitative analysis of test taker's self-reported processing strategies), and clearly demonstrates the value and feasibility of combining quantitative and qualitative approaches in construct validation research. The finding that a general factor of second language proficiency is distinct from, but correlated with, a general factor of other cognitive abilities, is, in my view, a major substantive contribution to the field. One implication of this finding is that language testers and other applied linguists cannot continue to define language proficiency simply as a set of competencies, but must also consider the general cognitive strategies that are involved in the capacity for language use. This study thus has important implications both for language testing practice and for applied linguistics research.» (Lyle F. Bachman, Professor, Dept. of TESL & Applied Linguistics, UCLA)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780820445731
Publisher:
Lang, Peter Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Series:
Theoretical Studies in Second Language Acquisition Series
Pages:
155
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

The Author: Miyuki Sasaki is an associate professor of Applied Linguistics at Nagoya Gakuin University. She received her Ph.D. in Applied Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has frequently published not only in Japanese academic journals, but also in international professional journals. Her research interests include teaching first/second language writing, cross cultural pragmatics, and language testing.

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