Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The course provides students with linguistic, psychological and social perspectives on the acquisition of a second language, with particular emphasis on English as a Second Language. Topics include the concepts of 'interlanguage', 'error analysis', 'transfer' from first language, and 'natural order of acquisition', 'fossilisation', and 'critical period' for language acquisition.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2021.

Learning outcomes

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

1. Recognise factors influencing "successful" outcomes in second language acquisition.

2. Compare and contrast competing theories of language acquisition as applied to the acquisition of a second language.

3. Identify and classify learner errors and evaluate the significance of errors.

4. Formulate, support and effectively communicate own position on an issue in the field of SLA.


Investigation of the process of second language acquisition from the perspective of the learner, with particular emphasis on the following areas:

1. The role of L1: Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis; Creative Construction Hypothesis; markedness

2. Error Analysis: classification, explanation and evaluation of errors.

3. Interlanguage: systematic nature of interlanguages; order of acquisition; variability within interlanguage.

4. Individual learner differences: age, aptitude, motivation, personality factors.

5. Instructed second language acquisition: SLA in the classroom; Pienemann's (1985) Learnability/Teachability Hypothesis; effective modes of instruction.

6. Major theories in SLA: Krashen's Monitor Theory; Schumann's Acculturation Model; Pienemann's Multidimensional Model

Assumed knowledge

10 units in linguistics at 1000 level

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Analysis of Learner English (20%)

Essay: Essay (40%)

Quiz: Quizzes (4 x 10% = 40%)

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.