The Cognitive Profile of a Talented Foreign Language Learner. A Case Study

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The Cognitive Profile of a Talented Foreign Language Learner. A Case Study

The article examines a variety of cognitive individual variables of a talented foreign language learner. The research complies with the qualitative and quantitative criteria of choice of a talented learner proposed by Arancibia et al., (2008); Hartas et al., (2008); Hewston et al., (2005), and Skehan, (1998). Cognitive variables included tested: foreign language aptitude, verbal and non-verbal intelligence, learning styles, and learning strategies. The purpose of the research was to construct an extended cognitive profile of a 21-year-old student proficient in three languages. The research revealed that the subject is linguistically talented, especially in the area of phonological, analytical, and memory abilities. It is hypothesized that her superior abilities result from an extraordinarily efficient short-term phonological memory (Mackey et al., 2002). She uses miscellaneous learning strategies and her learning styles are versatile. The final conclusion is that research into linguistic talent is scarce, therefore further investigation, especially in the field of working memory of talented foreign language learners, is required.

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