This paper aims to give an overview of the role of foreign language aptitude, in foreign language learning and teaching. Recent theoretical developments as well as data-based studies are critically surveyed. Among other topics, the relationship between working memory capacity and foreign language aptitude, Robinson’s aptitude complex hypothesis, and Skehan’s information processing model of language aptitude and second language acquisition are discussed in detail. It is pointed out there is an urgent need in Germany for more empirical research on foreign language aptitude but also for an evaluation research and practice from a critical perspective.
The present paper provides a selected overview of the state of the art of applied English corpus linguistics and its influence on – and potential for – corpus-informed language pedagogy. Starting off from a general assessment of the impact that the corpus revolution has already had on English language teaching (ELT), the focus of the main part of this paper is on some typical examples of corpus use in three language-pedagogically relevant areas: (1) using corpora for ELT (e.g. producing learner dictionaries); (2) using corpora in the ELT classroom (e.g. in data-driven learning); (3) using learner corpora. The present paper also sketches out some important avenues for future research, e.g. in the area of learner-corpus analysis.
To learn French or to learn Spanish? That’s the question for many students and their parents in Germany. To learn French and Spanish. That’s the answer given in the following article. But why? The growing presence and prestige of Spanish in society and, consequently, as a foreign language in German schools is an obvious fact and French seems to be losing ground. However, the situation of French, which worries so many teachers, is not as bad as it may at first seem. With reference to the recommendation of the European Commission of Education to support individual and social multilingualism, our main purpose must be to enable every student to acquire at least three foreign languages at school. The advantages of combining French and Spanish (with English) are due to the fact that they belong to the same language family, thus facilitating language awareness, language learning awareness and the encouragement of learner autonomy. For those reasons, the article presents and compares three different types of intercomprehensive Romance language learning and describes the chances of their realization in the current German education system.