This state-of-the art paper focuses on the issue of linguistic giftedness, somewhat neglected in the second language acquisition (SLA) literature, attempting to reconceptualize, expand and update this concept in response to latest developments in the fields of psychology, linguistics and neurology. It first discusses contemporary perspectives on foreign language aptitude, concentrating in particular on the models proposed by Skehan (1998), Robinson (2002) and Sternberg (2002). This is followed by a discussion of the definitions of talented individuals and the criteria for their selection, as well as an overview of empirical research on gifted language learners, divided into early studies with those focusing on the ultimate attainment of post-pubescent learners, and those dealing with super-learners of foreign languages. The subsequent sections touch upon such issues as the relationship between first language (L1) ability and second language (L2) aptitude, and linguistic giftedness and intelligence, memory, personality factors and language learning strategies, as well as neurolinguistic research on brain functioning in gifted learners. The paper closes with the discussion of the limitations of current research, its future directions and methodological considerations.