ERIC Number: ED126689
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1975-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Linguistic Ability: Some Myths and Some Evidence.
Robinson, Gail L.
"Linguistic ability" is a widely misused term in foreign language literature. This confusion prompted an investigation into language aptitude testing, the specific goals of which included determining: the distribution of language aptitude across ability range; the validity of Pimsleur's suggestions of combined verbal and auditory scores; and whether students are generally consistent in their pattern of scoring. On the first day of the investigation, 160 students at a high school in the Sydney suburbs completed a questionnaire requesting information about language background and interests. On the second day 151 of the students (9 were absent) took the Pimsleur Language Aptitude Battery. The data yielded the following findings, among others: (1) interest is more important than I.Q. or any other component of language aptitude in FL election and perceived difficulty; (2) evidence does not support use of a combined "verbal" and "auditory" score; and (3) students are not consistently "above average,""average," or "below average" in language potential. These and other findings reveal the importance of individualized instruction and the dangers of overgeneralization in FL instruction. This in turn assumes a commitment to the principle of equal opportunity for students in New South Wales. (Author/AM)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Academic Aptitude, Aptitude Tests, Individualized Instruction, Intelligence Quotient, Language Ability, Language Attitudes, Language Instruction, Language Proficiency, Language Tests, Performance Factors, Questionnaires, Scoring Formulas, Second Language Learning, Student Attitudes, Student Interests, Student Motivation, Test Reliability, Test Validity
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: New South Wales Dept. of Education, Sydney (Australia). Centre for Research in Measurement and Evaluation.
Identifiers - Location: Australia