Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/25787
This paper proposes that individual differences and motivation affects second language acquisition and that these factors are as important as proficiency in mother tongue. Researchers believe that knowledge in mother tongue has a positive effect on bilingualism which also has a positive effect on cognitive development (Cummins, 2001). The purpose of this thesis is to use individuals experiences to argue that proficiency in mother tongue is not necessarily an indicator of being an effective language learner. Other factors are also important, such as an individuals interest in the language, their attitudes towards language learning and their self motivation. This thesis first defines bilingualism, and discusses it as a liability and an asset. This is followed by an outline of different language acquisition and motivational theories. The second part of the thesis introduces cases drawn from individuals personal experiences of learning Icelandic and or English. These experiences are analyzed in relation to the literature review and used to draw the conclusion that individual differences and motivation affect second language acquisition and are factors equally important as proficiency in the mother tongue.