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ERIC Number: EJ976415
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 22
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 51
ISSN: ISSN-0023-8333
The Etiology of Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition in Australian School Students: A Behavior-Genetic Study
Coventry, William; Anton-Mendez, Ines; Ellis, Elizabeth M.; Levisen, Christina; Byrne, Brian; van Daal, Victor H. P.; Ellis, Nick C.
Language Learning, v62 n3 p880-901 Sep 2012
We present one of the first behavior-genetic studies of individual differences in school students' levels of achievement in instructed second language acquisition (ISLA). We assessed these language abilities in Australian twin pairs (maximum N pairs = 251) by means of teacher ratings, class rankings, and self-ratings of proficiency, and used the classic twin design to estimate the relative influences of genes, shared (family/school) environment, and unique environment. Achievement in ISLA was more influenced by additive genetic effects (72%, 68%, and 38% for teacher ratings, class rankings, and twin self-ratings, respectively) than by shared environment effects, which were generally not substantial (20%, 07%, and 13%). Genetic effects distinct to speaking and listening, on the one hand, and reading and writing, on the other, were evident for the twin self-ratings. We discuss the limitations and implications of these findings and point to research questions that could profitably be addressed in future studies. (Contains 3 figures and 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia