Individual Differences in Second/Foreign Language Learning

Course Information
TitleAτομικές Διαφορές στην Εκμάθηση Δεύτερης/ Ξένης Γλώσσας / Individual Differences in Second/Foreign Language Learning
CodeΕΔΞΓ 577
SchoolEnglish Language and Literature
Cycle / Level2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
Course ID600016520


Registered students: 0
OrientationAttendance TypeSemesterYearECTS

Class Information
Academic Year2018 – 2019
Class PeriodWinter
Class ID
Type Of Offer
  • Disciplinary Course
Course Type 2021
Specific Foundation
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Scientific Area
Course Type 2011-2015
Knowledge Deepening / Consolidation
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
With the successful completion of the course, students will: •become familiar with the cognitive processes of the brain •become familiar with the executive functions linked to successful second/foreign language learning •be able to identify symptoms in students with a cognitive deficit (e.g., poor working memory) and their impact on scholastic performance •be able to develop material and implement strategies in order to help and support vulnerable students.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in teams
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The research interest in the individual differences (e.g., aptitude, language profile, learner strategies, etc.) found in second/foreign language students is high. The course focuses on Cognition and the executive functions (e.g., memory, attention, updating) that are closely linked to successful learning and scholastic performance. Additionally, it examines strategies and class interventions that may be implemented in class to help the more vulnerable students.
individual differences, cognitive processes, executive functions, student support
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Audio
  • Multimedia
  • Interactive excersises
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
  • Use of ICT in Student Assessment
Course Organization
Reading Assigment782.8
Written assigments802.9
Oral presentation782.8
Student Assessment
Oral presentation of an article 30% Written assignment 60% Class performance 10%
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Assignment (Formative, Summative)
  • Report (Formative, Summative)
  • Προφορική παρουσίαση (Formative, Summative)
Additional bibliography for study
Alloway, T. P. (2006). How does Working Memory work in the classroom? Educational Research and Reviews, 1(4), 134-139. Alloway, T.P. (2011). Improving Working Memory. Supporting Students' Learning. Sage. Alloway, T.P. & Alloway, R. (2013). The Working Memory Advantage. Train your brain to function stronger, smarter, faster. Simon & Schuster Paperbacks. Andersson, U. (2010). The contribution of Working Memory capacity to foreign language comprehension in children. Memory, 18(4), 458-472. Baddeley, A. D. (2003). Working Memory and Language: An overview. Journal of Communication Disorders, 36, 189-208. Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. J. (2019). The phonological loop as a buffer store: An update. Cortex: A journal devoted to the study of the nervous system and behavior, 112, 91–106. Bathelt, J., Holmes, J., Astle, D. E., & Centre for Attention Learning and Memory (CALM) Team (2018). Data-Driven Subtyping of Executive Function-Related Behavioral Problems in Children. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 57(4), 252–262. Bowden, H.W. Sanz, C. & Stafford, C.A. (2005). Individual differences: Age, sex, working memory, and prior knowledge. In Sanz, C. (Ed.) Mind and context in adult second language acquisition (pp. 105-140). Georgetown University Press. Dörneyi, Z., & Skehan, P. (2003). Individual differences in Second Language Learning. In C. J. Doughty, & M. Long (Eds.), The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 589-630). Blackwell Publishing. Gathercole, S.E., & Alloway, T.P. (2008). Working Memory and Learning: A practical guide for teachers. Sage. Gathercole, S. E., Willis, C. S., Emslie, H., & Baddeley, A. D. (1992). Phonological Memory and vocabulary development during the early school years: A longitudinal study. Developmental Psychology, 28(5), 887-898. Holmes, J., Guy, J., Kievit, R. A., Bryant, A., Mareva, S., CALM Team, & Gathercole, S. E. (2021). Cognitive Dimensions of Learning in Children with Problems in Attention, Learning, and Memory. Journal of educational psychology, 113(7), 1454–1480. Huang, Τ., Loerts, Η., & Steinkrauss, R. (2020): The impact of second- and third-language learning on language aptitude and working memory, International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2019.1703894 Hummel, K. M. (2009). Aptitude, Phonological Memory, and second language proficiency in non-novice adult learners. Applied Psycholinguistics, 30, 225-249. Juffs, A., & Harrington, M. (2011). Aspects of Working Memory in L2 learning. Language Teaching, 44(2), 137-166. Karousou, A., & Nerantzaki, T. (2022). Phonological memory training and its effect on second language vocabulary development. Second Language Research, 38(1), 31-54. Kempe, V., & Brooks, P. J. (2011). Individual differences in adult second language learning: A cognitive perspective. Scottish Languages Review, 23, 15-22. Kidd, E., Donnelly, S., & Christiansen, M. H. (2018). Individual differences in language acquisition and processing. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 22(2), 154-169, Kuhn, J.-T. (2016). Controlled attention and storage: An investigation of the relationship between working memory, short-term memory, scope of attention, and intelligence in children. Learning and Individual Differences, 52, 167–177. Linck, J. A., & Weiss, D. J. (2015). Can Working Memory and Inhibitory Control Predict Second Language Learning in the Classroom? SAGE Open, 5(4). Maridaki-Kassotaki, K. (2002). The relation between Phonological Memory skills and reading ability in Greek-speaking children: Can training of Phonological Memory contribute to reading development? European Journal of Psychology of Education, 17(1), 63-73. Masoura, E. V., & Gathercole, S. E. (1999). Phonological Short-term Memory and Foreign Language Learning. International Journal of Psychology, 34(5/6), 383-388. Monette, S., Bigras, M., & Guay, M. C. (2011). The role of the executive functions in school achievement at the end of Grade 1. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109, 158-173. Robinson, P. (1995). Attention, Memory, and the “Noticing” Hypothesis. Language Learning, 45(2), 283-331. Schwieter, J., & Wen, Z. (Eds.). (2022). The Cambridge Handbook of Working Memory and Language (Cambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics). Cambridge University Press. Service, E. (1992). Phonology, Working Memory, and Foreign-Language Learning. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 45A(1), 21-50. Skehan, P. (1991) Individual differences in second language learning. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 13, 275–298. St. Clair-Thompson, H. L., & Gathercole, S. E. (2006). Executive functions and achievements in school: Shifting, Updating, Inhibition, and Working Memory. The Quarterly Journal. St Clair-Thompson, H. L. (2011). Executive functions and working memory behaviours in children with a poor working memory. Learning and Individual Differences, 21(4), 409–414. Ullman, M. T., & Lovelett, J. T. (2018). Implications of the declarative/procedural model for improving second language learning: The role of memory enhancement techniques. Second Language Research, 34(1), 39-65. Wen, Z., Biedroń, A., & Skehan, P. (2017). Foreign language aptitude theory: Yesterday, today and tomorrow. Language Teaching, 50(1), 1-31. Wen, Z., & Li, S. (2019). Working Memory in L2 Learning and Processing. In J. Schwieter & A. Benati (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Language Learning (Cambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics, pp. 365-389). Cambridge University Press. White, M. J. (2021). Phonological working memory and non-verbal complex working memory as predictors of future English outcomes in young ELLs. International Journal of Bilingualism, 25(1), 318-337.
Last Update