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留学生作业代写:The Second Language

2017-06-05 来源: 51due教员组 类别: Essay范文

本文是一篇优秀的essay代写范文- The Second Language,供大家赏析学习,这篇论文讨论了第二语言。不同于母语,第二语言的学习是一个非常复杂的过程。在这个过程中,个体的差异就会体现出来,包括年龄、性别、语言能力、学习方式等等。而为了进一步促进第二语言学习过程,学习者应充分利用认知和情感因素的积极影响,去提高学习第二语言的效率。

Second Language,第二语言,美国论文代写,essay代写,澳洲代写

1. Introduction

Second language learning is a complex process, involving lingual factor, physical factor, psychological factor, social factor and many other factors (Krashen, 1981). In recent years, with the development and enrichment of psychological linguistics and the theories of SLA, the focus of second language teaching and learning research has shifted from how to teach for teachers to how to learn for learners. Learner-centered concept of teaching has been deeply rooted in the field(Richards, 2015). A large number of teaching practice and analysis results show that the individual differences of learners directly affect the learning effect of SLA.

Individual difference refers to the relatively stable and unique psychological and physiological characteristics displayed and performed by an individual in the process of cognition, emotion, consciousness and other psychological activities, which is different from others (Mackey, 2012). Individual difference covers a wide variety of aspects of age, gender, language ability, personality and trait, learning style and strategy, emotion and motivation and so on (Mitchellet al, 2013).

So how the individual differences of the learners are displayed? How important are the different individual differences to the L2 learning? And what the enlightenment and revelation will the individual differences have on second language learning and teaching? This paper will combine the author’s own learning experience and the teaching experience as a tutor teacher of some junior middle school students to discuss, reflect and explore the above issues.

This paper mainly includes four parts, the first part is about an analysis on individual gender difference and individual personal trait difference while the second part explicitly discusses the learners’ cognitive difference respectively combining the theories of different perspectives with my different experience of learning and teaching. The third part explores the affective individual difference in detail and the final part concludes the most significant individual differences in facilitating the SLA process and puts forward some suggestions for second language learning and teaching.

2. Context

The second language discussed in the paperis set as English which I have learnt and my students have learnt in schools, with the guidance of cram school teachers and on ones’ own effort. To theoretically and practically explain, analyze and examine the roles of individual differences during the L2 learning process, I will introduce in my personal learning experience of language acquisition of English and combine some of the teaching experience of teaching English on courses of a junior middle school in the paper to reflect on the concerning knowledge, theories and suggestions on individual factors affecting the second language learning.

I was born in China and had received early childhood elementary education, primary education and middle school education in China. Since English is the first universally used language all around the world with great significance and relatively high practicability, children of our country, especially the children living in cities, usually begin to learn English from early childhood period and English will be set as one of the main courses for students in their student educational career. To improve the academic record and achievement of all the courses, many kinds of cram schools have been built and improving classes have been established.

And I was once a counselor teacher responsible for English improving in one of the vacation period cram schools a year ago. At that time, I was an English teacher for a class of 28 junior middle school students from 13 to 14 year old, among which 10 were boys and 18 were girls. In illustrating and exploring the theories of individual differences during L2 learning process using the students teaching experience, I will notice to report respectively the student learners’ learning behavior and learning achievement to analyze the important impacts of various kinds of the individual differences.

3. Individual Gender Difference

In my class of the cram school I have serviced for, all the 28 students came from the middle schools located nearby in the same region and all students were at the same or similar age, and the most evident individual difference factor I would at first notice is certainly the gender of them. There were 10 boys and 18 girls in my class at that time. And before the formal tutoring, I conducted a thorough investigation on their performances of English from the school grades they achieved and the examination result I designed for them. And I immediately found that the boys’ grades were generally lower than the girls’ grades.

As evidenced by concerning theory, the second language learners' linguistic ability is a natural language learning ability of learners, including Sound Coding Ability, Grammatical Coding Ability, Inductive Learning Ability and Reciting Ability (Abrahamsson&Hyltenstam, 2008). With these aspects of linguistic ability, the female are always better in terms of language expression and short-term memory emphasizing memory and mechanical memorization on the text language materials in L2 learning, while the male are good at analysis, synthesis, reasoning ability and spatial perception, emphasizing on understanding memory in L2 learning (Sheehan, 1999).

And according to the previous learning experience of these students, they were educated in primary school to basically memorize the word vocabulary, English sentences or songs or stories small in length. Therefore in that period, the girls performed better than boys in English course grades.

I found that to explain the impact of individual gender variable on SLA, the individual gender difference will be naturally connected with medium influencing variable of linguistic ability and cognitive and learning strategies, which in essence means the learning style (belong to the cognitive factor) may be more closely connected with SLA and the cognitive individual difference will be specifically discussed in the paper below.

4. Individual Personal Traits Difference

Myers and McCaulley described second language learners according to the different dimensions. The learners’ personal traits of “sensing” and “intuitive” belonged to the perceiving functions. The learners’ personal traits of “thinking” and “feeling” belonged to the judging functions.The learners’ personal traits of “extroverted” and “introverted” belonged to the energy direction. And the learners’ personal traits of “judging” and “perceiving” belonged to their need for structure in life (Myers &McCaulley, 1985). In accordance with the theory above, the second language learners’ personal traits are almost inextricably bound up with the SLA behavior (especially cognitive structuring and processing) and achievement.

In practical, the aspects of students’ personal traits impressed me most at the beginning of contacting with them and counseling them were whether they had emulative heart and the tendency of “extroverted” and “introverted” (Carrell et al, 1996).

Strongly competitive student learners are relatively desperate to learn better than others in the class. They paid attention to scores and teacher rewards, hoping to compete with other students to win the competition. I found two types of students with emulative heart, the first one type were assuming and enthusiastic, liking the limelight and attracting the attention of other students while the other type of competitive students were strict with themselves in learning and would ask me questions late in nights even if they did not want to cut a figure in the classroom without showing their strong intentions in front of others. Finally I found that emulative students in my class with strong sense of competition tended to have better academic performance than ordinary students. This shows that moderately aggressive minds will have a positive effect to a certain extent on SLA (Deci& Ryan, 2000).

In terms of extroverted personality and introverted personality, there are two very different points of view (Ellis, 1994). One kind of view holds that the extroverted learners have an advantage in L2 learning because they are more sociable and have a strong basic international communication skills, which is beneficial to get more practice opportunities and more language information, and thus the extroverted learners learn faster and more successful than the introverted learners. The other view is that the introverted learners spend a lot of time engaged in reading and writing and have an easy access to academic success.

According to my observance, the SLA learning behavior and learning achievement shall be regarded and analyzes separately (DeKeyser, 2000). In my class, besides the regular English teaching, I also used to design rich and interesting topics such as The Favorite Cartoon Figure and Why You Love It to attract them to speak aloud in public, sometimes I would ask them to group themselves, talk and communicate within the group and choose a representative of the group to conclude and report the discussion. The extroverted students tended to speak and loved to speak in class or in the group, dared to try learning without being afraid of mistakes. They especially displayed enthusiasm when I came up with the rich and colorful English activities. But they do not paid enough attention to the language in the form and details, and were sometimes prone to error (Ducasse& Brown, 2009). They were often active participants and would actively raise their hands, hoping to be asked by me.

Otherwise, the introverted students in my class would show a feeling of uneasiness when I asked the whole class to be engaged in the communication and discussion activities and would not be the representatives in the group even if they were good at English. But they would perform ordinarily when I conducted regular education. I assume that they may prefer the traditional English teaching model. They tended to take a far-reaching attitude towards me and did not want to take the initiative to communicate with me. They would carefully think about my question, but they were generally reluctant to raise their hands and tried to avoid being questioned by me. But they could maintain a good focus on learning the language, better determine the learning objectives, and develop their learning plans.

On the other hand, with regard to learning achievement of SLA, the extroverted or introverted personal trait may have little connection with English performance, including both oral English and English listening comprehension or written material comprehension and English writing.

5. Individual Cognitive Difference

The individual cognitive difference is closely linked with information receiving and processing method, cognitive style, learning strategies and learning strategies, which involves a variety of learners’ reactions and all kinds of specific action taken to help learning in the process of get access to learning opportunities and information, consolidate learning outcomes and solve problems encountered in the learning process.

Good performance and achievement of SLA result from the effective matching between the teaching ways and individual cognitive and learning styles (Bajraktarevic et al, 2003). Since the students in my class were relatively young and they had just completed their primary school education, they were in the beginning not proficient in making self-choices to seek and utilize the learning style of searching, browsing, understanding, memorizing, reviewing, thinking, reflecting, refreshing and so on. Therefore I tried to lead them to know and get a good command of different cognitive methods. And gradually I have found that many students in my class began to develop or create their own cognition styles in L2 learning process.

5.1. The Sensory Channel Modality

The Sensory Channel Modality points out the four kinds of different sensory channels of second language acquisition, including visual, kinesthetic, auditory and tactile sensory approaches (Dunn, 1983). And Ehrman (1996) accepted and kept the three first channels and subdivided the kinesthetic as haptic (means touch) and emotive when emotions are strongly evidenced by physical reactions (Reinert, 1985).

I knew very much about the traditional and regular English teaching model of English teacher speaking and students listening and doing homework in their schools and I sought for some more interesting methods to create a relaxing learning atmosphere and motivating and activating the movement of all senses upside down their bodies.

Making attractive PowerPoint with the key learning content clearly marked with by jumping colorful lines as the supplementary to the class was the basic step. Learning from some English teaching videos online, I got to make a series of short videos displaying many connective content centering on one word or a sentence pattern. For example, I once produced a teaching video of set+prep.to talk about the different uses, cases and occasions of the word set, which can bring different meanings when combined with different preposition. Students all felt attracted by this video and their memory of the fixed phrases of set were deepened. When I asked them to repeat the uses of set up, set off, set aside and other verb phrases, I found that they performed better than the previous days I directly taught and spoke in class about the uses of bring+prep.phrases. That is to say, the sensory approach of cognition definitely has its own significance in learning a second language for my student learners.

One day, I asked several students who were excel at learning English and achieving high scores at English courses to summarize and introduce their own learning methods they thought useful and worthy to other students of our class. They prepared for a period of time and I held English Learning Methods Forum to let them report to all the classmates. That day, many kinds of learning styles and approaches were put forward and were communicated among the students. What impressed me were, a student told us she had always implemented a vocabulary memorizing method that she would read (at the same time listen to her pronunciation of the words), write using the pen and recite the words at the same time. And a pair of other students introduced to us the mutual dictation method, and one of them would read the words on the list one after another while the other of them would recite and write out the words. Later their roles would be exchanged and they found the mutual dictation method was beneficial to improving their vocabulary memory capacity.

Therefore I found that all these learning and cognitive styles and approaches make the body senses vibrate and weave the body senses to the learning process, exerting a better influence on SLA than regular learning methods (Larsen & Cameron, 2008).

5.2 Gregorc’s Model of Cognitive Styles

Gregorc’s model explains individuals’ preferences dealing with the information processing. This model is divided in three bipolar scale dimensions: sequential-random, concrete-abstract and deductive-inductive. (Gregorc, 1979).

And concerning Gregorc’s theory about cognitive learning, I will take advantage of my personal learning experience during the L2 learning process to explain the explicit circumstances of cognition.

When I was at my middle school career, I was fairly good at the English course and my English score often ranked top among my classmates, therefore I established high requirements for myself on the English learning. I felt really puzzled when I firstly encountered an English grammar problem. I found that I was not able to figure out the present continuous tense, the past continuous tense, the past future continuous tense, the present perfect tense, the past perfect tense, the future perfect tense, the past future perfect tense, the future perfect continuous tense and the past future perfect continuous tense. Especially I could not know the difference among the present perfect tense and the present perfect continuous tense and the past perfect continuous tense. In fact, the tenses uses or examination questions purely about the tenses were rare in that learning period. But for the high requirements of myself, I resolutely bought two professional English grammar books with large numbers of explanation and targeted sentence examples.

But by my English capacity, I could not receive, digest or even absorb the systematic professional grammar explanation, I felt disappointed. I asked my teacher for help. My English teacher then told me it was a natural process and he asked me to believe in myself and my understanding about the English grammar will be deepened as long as my English comprehension volume increased. I still had doubt about what he told me, but I had no other choice. Gradually, as I read more and more English materials including English news, stories, proses and other kinds of essays, I managed to know that the sequential and concrete cognitive methods were not always useful. Sometimes concentrating on analyzing a knowledge point to the least details will not help recognize, identify and truly understand it. In a certain period (age period) of L2 learning process, obscure and abstract acquaintance with English is more beneficial. I mean that maybe when dealing with some systematically huge language problems, building an abstract structure is necessary, at least you will recognize and bring the words and sentences encountering in the future into the range or domain of this structure. After having got a general idea about the structure, the details will be filled in through substantial continuous reading and inductive process, and thus one can avoid the phenomenon of having one's view overshadowed by the trivial.

5.3 Field Independence VS. Field Dependence

Field independent learners of L2 understand the language information or characteristics depending on the outside references or the broad context, while field dependent learners are adept at recognizing language itself (Witkin&Goodenough, 1981). And I will illustrate the field independence and field dependence in consciousness and perception activities in SLA.

I found thatthe cognitive style of field independence and field dependence respectively have played important roles in my different age stages of learning the second language. When I was at my primary or junior middle school years, I just began to learn English and I had to rely on the various kinds of help from outside world, such as pictures and graphs, English songs (just as how I made PowerPoint and videos for my students), the careful guidance from my English teacher. I would also be very glad to grasp the talking practice opportunities to join in the communication with my teachers or classmates, and I was so interested in the many English activities designed by my English teacher. When I looking back at the experience of this period, I am really grateful for my English teacher at that time because she had given me, a field dependent child, a unique chance to become attracted by the charm of English and the language by building an appropriate learning and absorbing environment. At present, I have understood that I was different from other field independent children and I had no this kind of capacity at that time (Granena, 2014).

As explained before in 5.2, I still could not understand a systematic English grammar topic by concretely research the grammar knowledge alone at that period and I had to recognize and practically use the grammar by use of reading and comprehension. That is to say, I needed to receive and understand key information with the help of situation or context. But I have to admit that the field independent cognitive style definitely helped me a lot and established a stable for my further English learning. With the large volume of English words, sentences, paragraphs and the abstract grammar uses in my mind, I found myself had become naturally proficient in comprehending complex reading material so long in length. I am now no longer dependent on the context and have a strong shielding effect to those interference-free information, being more focused on the efficient information processing. And I no longer rely too much on the group or collective context of learning as well as outside guidance and feedback. I perceive that I still need field independent cognitive strategy and I have high field sensitivity to decide whether I shall choose field independence or field dependence to implement language inputting and outputting. That is to say, I am able to establish the learning guidelines and goals by myself and become proficient in using different cognitive approaches in different occasions.

6. Individual Affective Difference

In this part I will go back to utilize the learning experience including the learning behavior and learning achievement of students in my class. My observance and my explanation will be more explicit and circumstantial for this individual difference is connected with students’ affection, which is difficult to be measurable. And I will mainly discuss and explore the individual affective differences of motivation and identity and attitude.

Motivation refers toa kind of conscious positive state of mind and one of themain emotional factors of a learner in L2 learning process. The famous American psychologist Gardner classified the second language learning motivation into Integrative Motivation and Instrumental Motivation (Masgoret& Gardner, 2003). Learners with integrative motivation have a special interest in the target language, wanting to understand the country's culture, history and integrate to it. This kind of learners have high enthusiasm and interest in language learning. Strong integrative motivation reduces language anxiety and will help the learners to learn more actively and accept language input in various ways, which has long learning effect and great influence (McKay, 2006). Whereas the learners with instrumental motivation use the second language as a tool. For example, they learn English in order to find a high-paying job or to obtain a diploma. Because of the utilitarian nature of these learning objectives, learners are less enthusiastic about language and less interested in learning, and tended to passive learning. Their learning enthusiasm will be subject to the difficulty of achieving the learning goals. (Gardner, 1972). For those junior middle school students in my class, the integrative motivation is too far away from them and most students learnt English inspired by the instrumental motivation.

According to my observance,I divided the motivation of my class students into three categories: Being in pursuit of self-satisfaction and self-achievement, high sensitivity to external incentives, and negative, loosening state of mind of completing the study tasks. The student learners with the first of kind of motivation were always good at setting goals by themselves. I found that they felt really glad when they had progressed forward, they had the keen sense to understand their effort and progress. An excellent student of mine, Li Nian, was specialize in rewarding herself. When she completed the English reading target she set for herself continuously for a week, she would go for a movie, having fun in cinema with her friends. I felt that they also would be relatively strict with themselves and learn the language driven by their desire from the bottoms of their hearts. For them, I was a helper rather than a leader or a regulator (Shulman,1987). The performances of student learners with the first of kind of motivation were fluctuate. Even though they could not plan, organize on their English learning on their own, they were flexible to my appraisal and special attention (Munoz, 2011). As long as there occurred praise and reward directed at their good performance and improvement, they were tended to keep their learning enthusiasm and put more affective connection in the SLA. And in the cases I was a reward constitutor to them. Sometimes their learning effect maybe even better than those who motivated themselves, but I completely hold that the intrinsic motivation has a long-term, deep and profound influence on the L2 learning because intrinsic motivated learners are equipped with clear self-recognition and are constantly striving for self-actualization with the feeling of inner enrichment. And I would play as a strict supervisor and a motivator accelerator to the student learners with the last kind of motivation because they would have low motivation that was difficult to change. He Xiaoqing, one of the smart students in my class, was good at the other courses and developed an unbelievable interest in making small-scale airplanes. But he paid little attention to his English learning and he claimed to me that he was not suitable to learning English, therefore he could not be motivated by himself. Concerning his parents buying the presents for him to inspire the enthusiasm for English, he told me that behavior was really “childish” for him, performing a low sensitivity to the external incentives.

An individual’s identity and attitudes about the SLA can divided into a positive attitude and a negative attitude (Pearson &Moomaw, 2005). Student leaners in my class, motivated by different things (self-development, high interest in English, win in the competition with others, reward from teachers and parents, praise and applause from the classmates, opportunity to go out to play after learning English and etc.) would hold a positive attitude to English and deem the L2 learning as enrichment. On the other hand, a minority of students would even regard the L2 learning as resentment. They would feel learning English is worthless and occupies the time and energy of them to do other significant things (Oyserman, Bybee& Terry, 2006). Possible selves and academic outcomes: How and when possible selves impel action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91, 188–204.), just as He Xiaoqing mentioned above. Even though he was not holding resentment to English learning. He was only cold and unconcerned about English. But identities and attitudes are not constantly stable, they can be changed according to the changes of the environment around the learners of L2 and the learners themselves. For example, I found that He Xiaoqing was fairly mature, intelligent and sensitive, so I talked with him with total sincerity, I told him that I appreciated his interest very much and to further develop his interest (truly design and create airplanes), the good command of English was important. I shared my experience with him and I told him that being professional is so difficult that one can exert all the effort to maximize the strength. Later I didn’t put too much pressure on him or pay too much attention on him because I know he would not like those kinds of behavior. But eventually his attitude really changed from being unconcerned to becoming concerned about English learning out of an instrumental motivation that he firmly believed that English was useful to his future dream and career. 

7. Conclusions and Recommendations

According to my experience and observance, the impact of individual gender difference on SLA is closely connected with the individual cognitive and learning strategies, which belongs to the range of individual cognitive difference. And the study in this paper about personality is limited to observation or intuition and lacks empirical research, so it is difficult to assert there is a positive or close relationship between personal traits and the success or progress of SLA (Vapnik, 2013). Whereas different cognitive learning models and approaches have a huge impact on helping me and my students learn English better in our learning process and the appropriate motivation and attitude will assist in inspiring the enthusiasm of learning English much better.In conclusion, I consider that the individual cognitive difference and individual affective difference are the most beneficial individual difference factors in facilitating and helping the learners during the L2 learning process.

I suggest that to further facilitate the L2 learning process, the learners shall take advantage of and maximize the positive influence of cognitive and affective factors to improve the efficiency of second language acquisition.

Firstly, there are a wide range of individual differences in terms of the logical thinking mode, the way and mode of memory, the way of acquiring new information, the way of processing information and the way of sending information of English learners. Individual cognitive differences are by no means the single-dimensional differences. The analysis of the various levels of cognitive methods and characteristics above in the paper are not absolute, which provides a useful reference for us to understand learners’ cognitive differences. I recommend a cross, mix, and integrated cognitive strategies with different types. Learners shall adjust their cognitive strategies under different learning tasks, learning stages, learning environments and emotional states, for which the learners of L2 learning need to be fully prepared in aspects of experience, recognition, understanding, organization, coordination, cooperation, monitoring and evaluation (Naiman et al, 1978).

Secondly, I recommend that the L2 learners shall enhance learning motivation, maintain a positive emotion and strong curiosity (Warden & Lin, 2000). The intrinsic motivation related to autonomous learning include self-efficacy, value awareness, goal orientation and interest in learning. The learners shall strengthen their sense of value, enhance their motivation from external incentives and internal incentives, and pay special attention to cultivating their own internal motivation to develop self-motivation habits self-motivation methods unique and useful to themselves. On the other hand, If the negative emotions could not be resolved and the accumulated through time, it is likely to affect learners’ attitudes and identities on the L2 learning(Arnold, 2000). Therefore the learners shall love life with a positive emotional experience, enhance their acceptance and tolerance of all things in life and pay attention toopen themselves to English learning, and actively communicate and cooperate with the partners.

Thirdly, it is recommended that the teachers shall be aware of the individual differences of each student and observe the effect of different teaching methods on different individuals (Ferris&Hedgcock, 2014). If the condition is possible, the teachers shall make a detailed analysis and investigation and combine the most appropriate individual teaching method with each individual. The most importantly, they shall guide the students of L2 learning to correctly understand themselves and learn to adjust in terms of cognitive learning approaches, emotional incentives, attitudes, beliefs and etc., which can help them complete constant self-upgrading (Rutherford, 2014).

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