Chapter published in:Expanding Individual Difference Research in the Interaction Approach: Investigating learners, instructors, and other interlocutors
Edited by Laura Gurzynski-Weiss
[AILA Applied Linguistics Series 16] 2017
► pp. 42–70
The effects of cognitive aptitudes on the process and product of L2 interaction
A synthetic review
This study reports a comprehensive and in-depth synthesis of the theory and research on the role of working memory and language aptitude in mediating the process and product of second language (L2) interaction. The synthesis integrates meta-analysis and narrative review, using the former approach to aggregate the results and the latter to report themes and patterns that emerged from the studies. Altogether 24 studies were retrieved examining the relationships between the two cognitive variables and various aspects of L2 interaction. With regard to working memory, the results showed that (1) it had significant, albeit weak, associations with the effects of corrective feedback, (2) its associations with noticing the gap and producing modified output were variable and inconsistent, and (3) whereas phonological short-term memory may facilitate the development of oral ability, executive working memory may be essential for oral performance. Unlike working memory’s weak predictive power, language aptitude was found to be a strong predictor of the effects of corrective feedback. However, similar to the pattern for working memory, language aptitude was significantly more correlated with the effects of explicit feedback than those of implicit feedback. The overall weak effects of working memory were attributable to the salience of the instructional treatments and the methodological inconsistency of the primary studies such as the diverse measures of noticing. The finding that both working memory and language aptitude were more heavily implicated in explicit than implicit treatments points to the need to explore implicit language learning abilities.
Keywords: language aptitude, cognitive aptitudes, working memory, language analytic ability, second language interaction, corrective feedback
Published online: 12 December 2017
(Studies with asterisks are included in this synthesis)
Ammar, A., & Spada, N.
Carroll, J., & Sapon, S.
Gass, S. M.
Li, S., Shintani, N., & Ellis, R.
Linck, J., Hughes, M. M., Campbell, S. G., Silbert, N. H., Tare, M., Jackson, S. R., Smith, B. K., Bunting, M. F., & Doughty, C. J.
Linck, J., Osthus, P., Koeth, J. T., & Bunting, M.
Loewen, S., & Philp, J.
Long, M. H.
Lyster, R., & Ranta, L.
Lyster, R., Saito, K., & Sato, M.
Mackey, A., & Philp, J.
Plonsky, L., & Oswald, F.
Swain, M., & Lapkin, S.
Yalçın, Ş., Çeçen, S., & Erçetin, G.
Yilmaz, Y., & Granena, G.
Cited by 6 other publications
Fu, Mengxia & Shaofeng Li
Fu, Mengxia & Shaofeng Li
Ruiz, Simón, Patrick Rebuschat & Detmar Meurers
Wen, Zhisheng (Edward) & Peter Skehan
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 09 june 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.