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Title: The Etiology of Individual Differences in Second Language Acquisition in Australian School Students: A Behavior-Genetic Study
Contributor(s): Coventry, William L  (author)orcid ; Anton-Mendez, Ines  (author)orcid ; Ellis, Elizabeth M  (author); Levisen, Christina (author); Byrne, Brian J  (author)orcid ; van Daal, Victor H P (author); Ellis, Nick C (author)
Publication Date: 2012
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9922.2012.00718.x
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Abstract: 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.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Language Learning, 62(3), p. 880-901
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Inc
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 1467-9922
Field of Research (FOR): 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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