“Foreign” Language Learning Disabilities: Issues, Research, and Teaching Implications

  • Leonore Ganschow
  • Richard Sparks

Abstract

For years high-school foreign language educators have observed bright students who simply could not master the skills being taught in foreign language classes. In the 1960s these students were referred to as “underachieves” (Pimsleur, Sundland, & McIntyre, 1964). Only the brightest of them went on to college, and many either dropped out if they could not pass the foreign language requirement, attended universities that did not have a foreign language requirement, or pleaded with the university to waive the requirement. Occasionally, universities had policies that granted waivers or course substitutions. This appears to have been the case at Harvard University, where Kenneth Dinklage, who has been on Harvard’s counseling staff for over 30 years, began advising waivers in the 1950s for a select few who showed clear indications of a disability that could not easily be attributed to lack of motivation or overriding anxiety.

Keywords

Sugar Obesity Expense Boulder Prefix 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. Adams, M. (1990). Beginning to read: Thinking and learning about print. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Agresto, J. (1985, October 8). In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Unpublished manuscript. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Humanities.Google Scholar
  3. Arter, J., & Jenkins, J. (1977). Examining the benefits and prevalence of modality instruction. Journal of Special Education, 11, 282–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Au, S. (1988). A critical appraisal of Gardner’s social-psychological theory of second language (L2) learning. Language Learning, 38, 75–100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Barnett, H. (1988, January). Success with the “new” foreign language learner—dream or reality. New York State Language Association Bulletin, 2–4.Google Scholar
  6. Bialystok, E., & Ryan, E. (1985). A metacognitive framework for the development of first and second language skills. In D.L. Forrest-Pressley, G.E. MacKinnon, & T.G. Waller (Eds.), Metacognition, cognition, and human performance (Vol. 1). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bilyeu, E. (1982). Practice makes closer to perfect: Alternative techniques for teaching foreign languages to learning disabled students in the university. Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education. (Project #116CH10305). Ellensburg: Central Washington University.Google Scholar
  8. Brumfit, C., & Johnson, K. (Eds.) (1979). The communicative approach to language teaching. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Carlisle, J.F., & Liberman, I.Y. (1989). Does the study of Latin affect spelling proficiency? Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 2, 179–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carroll, J. (1958). A factor analysis of two foreign language aptitude batteries. The Journal of General Psychology, 59, 3–19.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Carroll, J. (1962). The prediction of success in intensive foreign language training. In R. Glaser (Ed.), Training and research in education (pp. 87–136). Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.Google Scholar
  12. Carroll, J. (1968). The psychology of language testing. In A. Davies (Ed.), Language testing symposium: A linguistic approach (pp. 46–61) London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Carroll, J. (1973). Implications of aptitude test research and psycholinguistic theory for foreign language teaching. International Journal of Psycholinguistics, 2, 5–14.Google Scholar
  14. Carroll, J. (1981). Twenty-five years of research on foreign language aptitude. In K.C. Diller (Ed.), Individual differences and universais in language learning aptitude (pp. 83–117). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  15. Carroll, J. (1985). Second language abilities. In R. Sternberg (Ed.), Human abilities: An information processing approach, (pp. 83–102). New York: Freeman.Google Scholar
  16. Carroll, J., & Sapon, S. (1959). Modern Language Aptitude Test. New York: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  17. Catts, H., & Kamhi, A. (1986). The linguistic basis of reading disorders: Implications for the speech-language pathologist. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in the Schools, 17, 329–341.Google Scholar
  18. Catts, H., & Kamhi, A. (1987). The relationship between reading and language disorders: Implications for the speech-language pathologist. Seminars in Speech and Language, 8, 377–392.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Cohen, J. (1983). Learning disabilities and the college student: Identification and diagnosis. In M. Sugar (Ed.), Adolescent psychiatry: Developmental and clinical studies. (Vol. 2, pp. 177–179). Chicago: University of Chicago press.Google Scholar
  20. Cummins, J. (1984). Bilingualism and special education: Issues in assessment and pedagogy. San Diego, CA: College-Hill Press.Google Scholar
  21. Curran, C. (1976). Counseling-learning in second language. Apple River, IL: Apple River.Google Scholar
  22. Daggett, G. (1986). Eight approaches to language teaching. ERIC Clearinghouse on Language and Linguistics, 3–7.Google Scholar
  23. Demuth, K., & Smith, N. (1987). The foreign language requirement: An alternative program. Foreign Language Annals, 20(1), 67–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Dinklage, K. (1971). Inability to learn a foreign language. In G. Blaine & C. McArthur (Eds.), Emotional problems of the student. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  25. Dinklage, K. (1985, December). Regarding college students’ inability to learn a foreign language. Paper presented at the Modern Language Association Convention, Chicago.Google Scholar
  26. Downey, D.M., Bever, K., & Hill, B. (1991). Foreign language modification program. Presentation at the 42nd Annual Conference of the Orton Dyslexia Society, Portland, OR, Nov. 6–9.Google Scholar
  27. Dunn, L., & Dunn, L. (1981). Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-Revised. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  28. Elson, N. (1983). Why we do what we do… TESOL Talk, 13 (1–2), 16–30.Google Scholar
  29. Fisher, E. (1986). Learning disability specialist looks at foreign language instruction. Hilltop Spectrum, 4(1), 1–3.Google Scholar
  30. Freed, B.F. (1987). Exemptions from the foreign language requirement: A review of recent literature, problems, and policy. ADFL Bulletin, 18(2), 13–17.Google Scholar
  31. Gajar, A. (1987). Foreign language learning disabilities: The identification of predictive and diagnostic variables. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 20(6), 327–330.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ganschow, L., & Myer, B. (1992). Unpublished data.Google Scholar
  33. Ganschow, L., Myer, B., & Roeger, K. (1989). Implications of foreign language policies and procedures for students with language learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities Focus, 5, 50–58.Google Scholar
  34. Ganschow, L., & Sparks, R. (1986). Learning disabilities and foreign language difficulties: Deficit in listening skills? Journal of Reading, Writing, and Learning Disabilities International, 2, 305–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Ganschow, L., & Sparks, R. (1987). The foreign language requirement. Learning Disabilities Focus, 2, 116–123.Google Scholar
  36. Ganschow, L., & Sparks, R. (1991). A screening instrument for the identification of foreign language learning problems: Foreign Language Annals, 24(5), 383–397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ganschow, L., Sparks, R., Javorsky, J., Pohlman, J., & Bishop-Marbury, A. (1991). Identifying native language difficulties among foreign language learners in college: A “foreign” language learning disability? Journal of Learning Disabilities, 24(9), 530–541.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Gardner, R. (1973). Attitudes and motivation: Their role in second language acquisition. In J. Oiler & J. Richards (Eds.), Focus on the learner (pp. 235–245). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  39. Gardner, R. (1985). Social psychology and second language learning: The role of attitudes and motivation. London: Edward Arnold.Google Scholar
  40. Gardner, R., & Lambert, W. (1965). Language aptitude, intelligence, and second language achievement. Journal of Educational Psychology, 56, 191–199.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Gardner, R., & Lambert, W. (1972). Attitude and motivation in second language learning. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  42. Genesse, F. (1976). The role of intelligence in second language learning. Language Learning, 26, 267–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Geschwind, N. (1985). Biological foundations of reading. In F. Duffy & N. Geschwind (Eds.), Dyslexia: A neuroscientific approach to clinical evaluation (pp. 197–211). Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  44. Gillingham, A., & Stillman, B. (1960). Remedial training for children with specific disability in reading, spelling, and penmanship. Cambridge, MA: Educators Publishing Service.Google Scholar
  45. Goldman, R., Fristoe, M., & Woodcock, R. (1974). Goldman-Fristoe-Woodcock Sound-Symbol Tests. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  46. Goyen, K.D. (1989, February). Reading methods in Spain: The effect of a regular orthography. The Reading Teacher, 370–373.Google Scholar
  47. Guiora, A. (1983). The dialectic of language acquisition. In A.Z. Guiora (Ed.), An epistemology for the language sciences. Language Learning, 33(5, special issue), 3–12.Google Scholar
  48. Hammill, D., Brown, V.L., Larsen, S.C., & Wiederholt, J.L. (1987). Test of adolescent language (TOAL-2). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.Google Scholar
  49. Hammill, D., & Larsen, S. (1988). Test of written language-2. Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.Google Scholar
  50. Henry, M. (1988). Beyond phonics: Integrated decoding and spelling instruction based on word origin and structure. Annals of Dyslexia, 38, 258–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Horwitz, E. (1990). Attending to the affective domain in the foreign language classroom. In S. Magnan (Ed.), Shifting the instructional focus to the learner (pp. 15–33). Middlebury, VT: Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.Google Scholar
  52. Horwitz, E., Horwitz, M., & Cope, J. (1986). Foreign language classroom anxiety. Modern Language Journal, 70, 125–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Horwitz, E., & Young, D.J. (Eds.). (1991). Language anxiety: From theory and research to classroom implications. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  54. Jastak, S., & Wilkinson, G. (1984). Wide Range Achievement Test-Revised. Wilmington, DE: Jastak Associates.Google Scholar
  55. Javorsky, J., Sparks, R., & Ganschow, L. (1992). Perceptions of college students with and without learning disabilities about foreign language courses. Learning Disabilities: Research and Practice, 7, 31–44.Google Scholar
  56. Kampwirth, T., & Bates, M. (1980). Modality preference and teaching method: A review of the research. Academic Therapy 15, 597–605.Google Scholar
  57. Kavale, K., & Forness, S. (1987). Substance over style: Assessing the efficacy of modality testing and teaching. Exceptional Children, 54, 228–239.Google Scholar
  58. Kavale, K., & Forness, S. (1990). Substance over style: A response to Dunn’s animadversions. Exceptional Children, 56, 357–361.Google Scholar
  59. Keeney, L., & Smith, N. (1984). Foreign language modifications for disabled students—The campus response. AHSSPPE Bulletin, 2(1), 4–5.Google Scholar
  60. Kenneweg, S. (1988). Meeting special learning needs in the Spanish curriculum of a college preparatory school. In B. Snyder (Ed.), Get ready, get set, go! Action in the foreign language classroom (pp. 16–18). Columbus, OH: Ohio Foreign Language Association.Google Scholar
  61. Krashen, S. (1982). Second language acquisition and second language learning. Elmspord, NY: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  62. Lefebvre, R. (1984). A psychological consultation program for learning disabled adults. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25(4), 361–362.Google Scholar
  63. Leong, C.K. (1989). Productive knowledge of derivational rules in poor readers. Annals of Dyslexia, 39, 94–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Lerner, J., Ganschow, L., & Sparks, R. (1991). Critical issues in learning disabilities: Foreign language learning. Learning Disabilities Research and Practice, 6(1), 50–53.Google Scholar
  65. Levine, M. (1987). Developmental variation and learning disorders. Cambridge, MA: Educators Publishing Service.Google Scholar
  66. Mangrum, C., & Strichart, S. (1988). College and the learning disabled student. Orlando, FL: Grune & Stratton.Google Scholar
  67. MLA Advisory Committee on Foreign Language Programs. (1989). Language study in the United States: A draft statement. MLA Newsletter, 21(3), 16.Google Scholar
  68. Moody, R. (1988). Personality preferences and foreign language learning. Modern Language Journal, 21, 389–401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Morris, M., & Leuenberger, J. (1990). A report of the cognitive, academic, and linguistic profiles for college students with and without learning disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 23(6), 355–360; 385.Google Scholar
  70. Myer, B., & Ganschow, L. (1988). Profiles of frustration: Second language learners with specific learning disabilities. In J.E. Lalande, II (Ed.), Shaping the future of foreign language education: FLES, articulation and proficiency (pp. 32–53). Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Co.Google Scholar
  71. Myer, B., Ganschow, L., Sparks, R., & Kenneweg, S. (1989). Cracking the code: Helping students with specific learning disabilities. In D. Mc Alpine (Ed.), Defining the essentials for the foreign language classroom (pp. 112–120). Lincolnwood, IL: National Textbook Co.Google Scholar
  72. Neufeld, G. (1974). A theoretical perspective on the nature of linguistic aptitude. Proceedings of the 5th Symposium of the Canadian Association of Applied Linguistics. Google Scholar
  73. Oiler, J. (1981). Research on the measurement of affective variables: Some remaining questions. In R. Anderson (Ed.), New dimensions in second language acquisition research (pp 13–42). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  74. Oiler, J., & Perkins, K. (1978a). Intelligence and language proficiency as sources of variance in self-reported affective variables. Language Learning, 28, 85–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Oiler, J., & Perkins, K. (1978b). A further comment on language proficiency as a source of variance in certain affective measures. Language Learning, 28, 417–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Oiler, J., & Richards, J. (Eds.). (1973). Focus on the learner: Pragmatic perspectives for the foreign language teacher. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  77. Oxford, R. (1990). Language learning strategies and beyond: A look at strategies in the context of styles. In S. Magnan (Ed.), Shifting the instructional focus to the learner (pp. 35–55). Middlebury, VT: Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.Google Scholar
  78. Philips, L., Ganschow, L., & Anderson, R. (1991). The college foreign language requirement: An action plan for alternatives. NACADA (National Academic Advising Association) Journal, 11(1), 51–56.Google Scholar
  79. Pimsleur, P. (1966a). Pimsleur Language Aptitude Battery and Manual. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.Google Scholar
  80. Pimsleur, P. (1966b). Testing foreign language learning. In A. Valdman (Ed.), Trends in language teaching (pp. 175–214). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  81. Pimsleur, P. (1968). Language aptitude testing. In A. Davies (Ed.), Language testing symposium: A linguistic approach (pp. 98–106). London: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  82. Pimlseur, P., Sundland, D., & McIntyre, R. (1964). Underachievement in foreign language learning. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 3, 43–50.Google Scholar
  83. Pompian, N. (1986). Like a Volvo lifted off my chest. The Undergraduate Bulletin (Dartmouth College), 3, 1–2.Google Scholar
  84. Robinson, J.W., & Hesse, K.D. (1981). A morphemically based spelling program’s effect on spelling skills and spelling performance of seventh grade students. Journal of Educational Research, 75, 56–62.Google Scholar
  85. Rubin, J. (1975). What the “good” language learner can teach us. TESOL Quarterly, 9, 41–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Savignon, S. (1976). On the other side of the desk: A look at teacher attitudes and motivation in second-language learning. Canadian Modern Language Review, 32, 295–302.Google Scholar
  87. Scovel, T. (1978). The effect of affect: a review of the anxiety literature. Language Learning, 28, 129–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Shaywitz, S.E., Escobar, M.D., Shaywitz, B.A., Fletcher, J.M., & Makuch, R. (1992). Evidence that dyslexia may represent the lower tail of a normal distribution of reading ability. The New England Journal of Medicine, 326(3), 145–150.Google Scholar
  89. Sparks, R., & Ganschow, L. (1991). Foreign language learning differences: Affective or native language aptitude differences? Modern Language Journal, 75, 3–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Sparks, R., & Ganschow, L. (1992a). Foreign Language Screening Instrument-High School (FLSI-H). Unpublished raw data.Google Scholar
  91. Sparks, R., & Ganschow, L. (1992b). The impact of native language learning problems on foreign language learning: Case study illustrations of the linguistic coding deficit hypothesis. The Modern Language Journal (in press).Google Scholar
  92. Sparks, R., Ganschow, L., & Javorsky, J. (1992). Diagnosing and accommodating the foreign language learning difficulties of college students with learning disabilities. Learning Disabilities: Research and Practice, 7(3), 150–160.Google Scholar
  93. Sparks, R., Ganschow, L., Javorsky, J., Pohlman, J., & Patton, J. (1992a). Identifying native language deficits in high and low risk foreign language learners in high school. Foreign Language Annals (in press).Google Scholar
  94. Sparks, R. Ganschow, L. Javorsky, J., Pohlman, J., & Patton, J. (1992b). Test comparisons among students identified as high-risk, low-risk, and learning disabled in high school foreign language courses. The Modern Language Journal, 76, 142–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Sparks, R., Ganschow, L., Kenneweg, S., & Miller, K. (1991). Using Orton-Gillingham methodology to teach a foreign language to learning disabled/ dyslexic students: Explicit teaching of phonology in a second language. Annals of Dyslexia, 41, 96–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  96. Sparks, R., Ganschow, L., & Pohlman, J. (1989). Linguistic coding deficits in foreign language learners. Annals of Dyslexia, 39, 179–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  97. Sparks, R., Javorsky, J., & Ganschow, L. (1990). Role of the service provider in helping students with learning disabilities with foreign language learning problems. In J. Vander Putten (Ed.), Reaching new heights, (pp. 87–91).Google Scholar
  98. Proceedings of the 1989 AHSSPPE Conference. Columbus, OH: Association on Handicapped Student Service Programs in Postsecondary Education.Google Scholar
  99. Stahl, S. (1988). Is there evidence to support matching reading styles and initial reading methods? Phi Delta Kappan, 70, 317–322.Google Scholar
  100. Stanovich, K. (1982). Individual differences in the cognitive processes of reading: Word decoding. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 15(8), 485–493.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  101. Stanovich, K. (1986). Explaining the variance in reading ability in terms of psychological processes: What have we learned? Annals of Dyslexia, 36, 67–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  102. Stanovich, K. (1988, April). The right and wrong places to look for the cognitive locus of reading disability. Annals of Dyslexia, 38, 154–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  103. Vellutino, F., & Scanion, D. (1986). Linguistic coding and metalinguistic awareness: Their relationship to verbal memory and code acquisition in poor and normal readers. In D.B. Yaden & S. Templeton (Eds.), Metalinguistic awareness and beginning literacy (pp. 115–141). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.Google Scholar
  104. Vogel, S. (1985). Learning disabled college students: Identification, assessment, and outcomes. In D.D. Duane & C.K. Leong (Eds.), Understanding learning disabilities: International and multidisciplinary views, (pp. 179–201). New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  105. Vogel, S. (1986) The college student with a learning disability: A college faculty, administrator, and student handbook. Lake Forest, IL: Association of Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities.Google Scholar
  106. Vogel, S. (1988). Some preliminary findings on predicting success for LD college students. In D. Knapke & C. Lendman (Eds.), Proceedings of the 1988 AHSSPPE Conference (pp. 111–115). Columbus, OH: Association on Handicapped Student Service Programs in Postsecondary Education.Google Scholar
  107. Wechsler, D. (1981). Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised. San Antonio, TX: Psychological Corpation.Google Scholar
  108. Wesche, M. (1981). Language aptitude measures in streaming, matching students with methods, and diagnosis of learning problems. In K.C. Diller (Ed.), Individual differences and universais in language learning aptitude (pp. 119–153). Rowley, MA: Newbury House.Google Scholar
  109. Wesche, M., Edwards, H., & Wells, W. (1982). Foreign language aptitude and intelligence. Applied Psycholinguistics, 3, 127–140.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  110. Wiig, E.H., & Secord, W. (1989). Test of Language Competence-Expanded Edition. New York: Psychological Corporation.Google Scholar
  111. Williams, J. (1987). Educational treatments for dyslexia at the elementary and secondary levels. In W. Ellis (Ed.,) Intimacy with language: A forgotten basic in teacher education (pp. 24–32). Baltimore: Orton Dyslexia Society.Google Scholar
  112. Woodcock, R. (1987). Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised. Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.Google Scholar
  113. Woodcock, R., & Johnson, M.B. (1977). Woodcock-Johnson Psycho-Educational Battery: Tests of Cognitive Ability; Tests of Achievement. Allen, TX: DLM Teaching Resources.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonore Ganschow
  • Richard Sparks

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations