Foreign Language Learning Difficulties

特殊教育學者Sparks和Ganschow等人結合學習障礙理論與外語語言學習專家Carroll (1990) 和Skehan (1986) 二人所強調的語言性向觀點(language aptitude),證實外語學習障(Foreign Language Learning Disabilities)的存在(Ganschow, Sparks, Javorsky, Pohlman, & Bishop-Marbury, 1991),並依此提出語言登錄缺陷假設(Linguistic Coding Deficit Hypothesis, LCDH)說明具有本國語學習困難特徵的學習障礙是外語學習困難的主因 (Sparks & Ganschow, 1991; Ganschow & Sparks, 1993) ,而情意因素如動機低落,高焦慮是因語言能力不足所引發的副產品(Ganschow & Sparks, 1996; Sparks & Ganschow, 2001; Sparks, Ganschow, & Javorsky, 2000 ;Ganschow, Sparks,Javorsky, Anderson, Skinner, & Patton, 1994; Javorsky, Sparks & Ganschow, 1992; Sparks & Ganschow, 1996; Sparks, Ganschow, Artzer, Siebenhar, & Plageman, 1997)。

       他們經過一系列的實證與個案研究後發現:在傳統教室堙A外語學習表現不佳的學生和被診斷為具有本國語學習困難特徵的學習障礙者之學習行為特徵極為類似 (Sparks, Ganschow, Javorsky, Pohlman & Patton, 1992a, 1992b)。因此,他們歸納外語學習困難者是指,除了經專家診斷為學習障礙者且在外語學習上遭遇困難的學習者外,同時也包括一般外語學習困難者,他們雖沒被診斷為學習障礙者,但具有與語言學習障礙者類似的學習歷程與行為困難特徵(比如,幼年時期語言發展遲緩、學校課業學習緩慢、短期記憶與認知困難、學習不容易專心、組織、摘錄重點困難…等)。所以,這些學習者在母語或外語學習的過程中,對於語音、語法或語意的學習,感到特別困難。

       基於此,Sparks等人將deficit 改為differences,意指外語學習困難是一不同困難等級的連續體,包括經過專家鑑定為智力中等及以上的外語學習障礙者,以及一般外語學習困難者。這些學習困難者依其語言登錄能力之差異,而有不同的困難類型,是一異質性的群體 (Ganschow, Sparks, Patton, & Javorsky, 1992; Sparks, Ganschow, & Javorsky, 1993; Ganschow & Sparks, 1991, 1993; Sparks & Ganschow, 1993)。根據這樣的發現, Sparks和Ganschow將外語學習者分為下列五類:

1. 成功的外語學習者 智力中等或以上的學習者,在語音、語法及語意上均有很好的能力。
2.高危險外語學習者之一 智力中等或以上的學習者,語意能力低,語法能力高(或低)、語音能力高。
3. 高危險外語學習者之二 智力中等或以上的學習者,語意能力高,語法能力高(或低)、語音能力低。
4.高危險外語學習者之三 智力中低等或中低等以下,在語意、語法、語音的能力均不足。
5.失敗的外語學習者 智力中等或以下的學習者,因情意因素而學習困難者。
      Carroll, J. (1990). Cognitive abilities in foreign language aptitude: Then and now. In T. Parry and C. Stansfrld (Eds.), Language Aptitude Reconsidered. Engle wood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
 
      Ganschow, L., & Sparks, R.(1991). A screening instrument for the identification of foreign language learning problems. Foreign Language Annals, 24, 383-398.
 
      Ganschow, L., & Sparks, R. (1993). “Foreign” language learning disabilities: Issues, research, and teaching implications. In S. A. Vogel & P. B. Adelman (Eds.), Success for college students with learning disabilities (pp. 283-317). New York: Springer-Verlag.
 
      Ganschow, L., & Sparks, R. (1996). Anxiety about foreign language learning among high school women. The Modern Language Journal, 80, 199-212.
 
      Ganschow, L., Sparks, R., Javorsky, J., Anderson, R., Skinner, D., & Patton, J. (1994). Differences in anxiety and language performance among high, average, and low anxious College foreign language learners. Modern Language Journal, 78, 41-55.
 
      Ganschow, L., Sparks, R., Javorsky. J., Pohlman, J., & Bishop-Marbury, A. (1991). Identifying native language difficulties among foreign Language learners in college: A “foreign” language learning disability? Journal of Learning Disabilities, 24, 530-541.
 
      Ganschow, L., Sparks, R., Patton, J., & Javorsky, J. (1992). Factors relating to learning a foreign language among high and low risk high school students and students with learning disabilities. Applies Language Learning, 3, 37-63
 
      Javorsky, J., Sparks, R., & Ganschow, L. (1992). Perceptions of college students with and without specific learning disabilities about foreign language courses. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice 7, 31-44.
 
      Skehan, P. (1986). The role of foreign language aptitude in a model of school learning. Language Testing, 3, 188-221.
 
      Sparks, R., & Ganschow, L. (1991). Foreign language learning difficulties: Affective or native language aptitude differences? The Modern Language Journal, 75, 3-16.
 
      Sparks, R., & Ganschow, L. (1993). The impact of native language learning problems on foreign language learning: Case study illustrations of the linguistic coding deficit hypothesis. The Modern Language Journal, 77, 58-74
 
      Sparks, R., & Ganschow, L.(1996). Teachers perceptions of students’ foreign language academic skills and affective characteristics. Journal of Educational Research, 89, 172-185.
 
      Sparks, R., & Ganschow, L. (2001). Aptitude for learning a foreign language. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 21, 90-111.
 
      Sparks, R. L., Ganschow, L., Artzer, M., Siebenhar, D., & Plageman, M. (1997). Anxiety and proficiency in a foreign language. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 185, 559-562.
 
      Sparks, R. L., Ganschow, L., & Javorsky, J. (1993). Perceptions of low and high risk students and students with learning disabilities about high school foreign language courses. Foreign Language Annals, 26, 491-510.
 
      Sparks, R. L., Ganschow, L., & Javorsky, J. (2000). Deja vu all over again: A response to Saito, Horwitz, and Garza. The Modern Language Journal, 84, 251-255.
 
      Sparks, R. L., Ganschow, L., Javorsky, J., Pohlman, J., & Patton, J. (1992a). Test comparison among students identified as high-risk, low-risk, and learning disabled in high school foreign language courses. The Modern Language Journal, 76, 142-159.
 
      Sparks, R. L., Ganschow, L., Javorsky, J., Pohlman, J., & Patton, J. (1992b). Identifying native language deficits in high and low-risk foreign language learners in high school. Foreign Language Annals, 25, 403-418.