Should language instruction play to learners’ strengths or compensate for their weaknesses? Aptitude-treatment interaction (ATI) research aims to answer this question by looking at how different learners respond to different types of language instruction.
Together with Professor Paweł Scheffler and Dr Karolina Baranowska (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland), Dr Karen Roehr-Brackin and Renato Pavleković investigate the links between people’s specific profiles in terms of their abilities and preferences when learning a new language and their learning success.
In an online study, participants with no prior knowledge of Polish learn the basics of that language by taking part in different kinds of lessons, including lessons with auditory input only, with written input only, or with mixed auditory and written input. They are also tested for their phonetic coding, memory and language-analytic ability and asked about their experience with the language learning materials.
The results of this ongoing study will tell us how different individuals learn a new language most successfully. Once this has been established, our findings can be applied to teaching practice, e.g. through language learning apps that are responsive to a particular learner’s profile and provide materials that are best suited to that learner’s needs.