Neurology of foreign language aptitude

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Adriana Biedroń

Abstract

This state-of-the art paper focuses on the poorly explored issue of foreign language aptitude, attempting to present the latest developments in this field and reconceptualizations of the construct from the perspective of neuroscience. In accordance with this goal, it first discusses general directions in neurolinguistic research on foreign language aptitude, starting with the earliest attempts to define the neurological substrate for talent, sources of difficulties in the neurolinguistic research on foreign language aptitude and modern research methods. This is followed by the discussion of the research on the phonology of foreign language aptitude with emphasis on functional and structural studies as well as their consequences for the knowledge of the concept. The subsequent section presents the studies which focus on lexical and morphosyntactic aspects of foreign language aptitude. The paper ends with a discussion of the limitations of contemporary research, the future directions of such research and selec ed methodological issues.

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Author Biography

Adriana Biedroń, English Philology Department Pomeranian University in Słupsk, Arciszewskiego 22A, 76-200 Słupsk

adriana.biedron@apsl.edu.plAdriana Biedroń received her doctoral and postdoctoral degrees in applied linguistics from Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland in 2003 and 2013, respectively. She is a professor in the English Philology Department at the Pomeranian University in Słupsk, Poland. Her fields of interest include applied psycholinguistics and second language acquisition theory. Her research focuses on individual differences in SLA, in particular, on foreign language aptitude and cognitive and personality factors in gifted L2 learners. Her most important publications are “Working memory and short-term memory abilities in accomplished multilinguals” (with Anna Szczepaniak, 2012, The Modern Language Journal) and Cognitive-affective profile of gifted adult foreign language learners (2012, Wydawnictwo Naukowe Akademii Pomorskiej w Słupsku).

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