Second Language Acquisition


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.


WebLearn GradSchool

  • Semester 2 - 2016


  • Semester 2 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an understanding of the psychological and social processes underlying acquisition and use of a second language;

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the contribution to SLA of prior linguistic knowledge ("transfer" from native language; linguistic universals);

3. Demonstrate the ability to identify, and to interpret the significance of, "errors" in learners' language output;

4. Demonstrate the ability to identify and evaluate the learner's use of communicative strategies;

5. Demonstrate 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

Assumed Knowledge

Foundations of Linguistics (LING6910) or equivalent.

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Error Analysis

Presentation: Poster Presentation

Essay: Written Assignment

Contact Hours

Callaghan and WebLearn GradSchool


Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

(or equivalent by distance mode)