Second Language Acquisition

10 Units

This course will provide students with psychological, sociological and linguistic perspectives on the acquisition of a second language, with particular emphasis on English as a Second/Foreign language.

Faculty Faculty of Education and Arts
School School of Humanities and Social Science
Availability Semester 1 - 2014 (Callaghan Campus)
Semester 1 - 2014 (WebLearn GradSchool)
Semester 1 - 2015 (Callaghan Campus)
Semester 1 - 2015 (WebLearn GradSchool)

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. an understanding of the psychological and social processes underlying acquisition and use of a second language;
  2. an understanding of the contribution to SLA of prior linguistic knowledge (“transfer” from native language; linguistic universals);
  3. the ability to identify, and to interpret the significance of, “errors” in learners’ language output;
  4. the ability to identify and evaluate the learner’s use of communicative strategies;
  5. skills in critical reading of relevant literature and presentation of ideas.

Topics to be covered include:

  • the learning process - theories of language learning; differences between first and second language learning
  • the learning environment - sociolinguistic factors affecting language acquisition
  • what makes a “good” language learner - psychological, attitudinal and maturational factors; Krashen’s “monitor”; the “critical period” hypothesis
  • the input - role of linguistic universals, first language, target language
  • the nature of the output - approximation to target (error analysis) vs developing system (interlanguage); acquisition order, development stages
Replacing Course(s) None
Transition n/a
Industrial Experience 0
Assumed Knowledge Foundations of Linguistics (LING6910) or equivalent.
Modes of Delivery Distance Learning : Paper Based
Internal Mode
Teaching Methods Lecture
Assessment Items
  • Essays / Written Assignments - Callaghan: Analysis of learner English (equivalent to approx. 1000 words) 20% Essay (approx. 2500 words)= 40% Distance: Analysis of learner English (equivalent to approx. 1000 words) 20% Essay (approx. 2500 words)= 40%
  • Other: (please specify) - Callaghan: Poster presentation = 40% Distance: Take home short answers = 40%
Contact Hours
  • Lecture: for 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term
Compulsory Components None listed
Course Materials None listed
Timetable 2015 Course Timetables for LING6030

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