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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 June 2021

Alene Moyer
Affiliation:
University of Maryland, College Park
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Summary

Language learners beyond early childhood are rarely expected to attain near-native or native-like abilities in the target language (L2), yet some do. This introductory chapter defines what has been termed gifted language learning (GLL), and introduces in broad strokes why it may be difficult to acquire another language after the “sensitive” period - coinciding approximately with puberty, if not well before. The introduction makes clear that while we seek to understand the relevant intrinsic and innate factors for the extraordinary success of exceptional L2 learners, we advance a principled interest in learner agency and decision-making, in context.

As outlined here, each chapter in this book digs deeply into the evidence across disciplinary lines to better understand the phenomenon of giftedness in general, and its applicability to language acquisition beyond the “critical period.” What are its foundations? What is the nature of the evidence to support current theory? How can these constructs be integrated in a more holistic way to advance the research? Every chapter’s analysis summarizes these critical questions in the hopes of finding important convergences across somewhat scattered agendas. Methodological recommendations are also provided to help move GLL theory and research forward.

Type
Chapter
Information
The Gifted Language Learner
A Case of Nature or Nurture?
, pp. 1 - 8
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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  • Introduction
  • Alene Moyer, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Book: The Gifted Language Learner
  • Online publication: 10 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108697408.001
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Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Introduction
  • Alene Moyer, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Book: The Gifted Language Learner
  • Online publication: 10 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108697408.001
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Introduction
  • Alene Moyer, University of Maryland, College Park
  • Book: The Gifted Language Learner
  • Online publication: 10 June 2021
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108697408.001
Available formats
×