The Etiology of Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition in Australian School Students: A Behavior-Genetic Study
2012 (English)In: Language learning, ISSN 0023-8333, E-ISSN 1467-9922, Vol. 62, no 3, 880-901 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Wiley-Blackwell , 2012. Vol. 62, no 3, 880-901 p.
twin, behavior genetics, second language acquisition, reading, writing, speaking, listening
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-81821DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2012.00718.xISI: 000307719700007OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-81821DiVA: diva2:556704