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LN3008: FIRST AND SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION (2017-2018)

Last modified: 26 Feb 2018 18:10


Course Overview

This course provides a general introduction to theories and approaches in first and second language acquisition and introduces students to research in the field. In particular, the course provides students with an understanding of Universal Grammar (UG), behaviourism, interactionism, and frequency-based perspectives of language acquisition. Internal and external factors that influence the course of first and second language development are explored.

This course utilises a flipped classroom model, which means that students get first exposure to new material outside of class (via lecture videos and reading) and use class time to do the harder work of assimilating the knowledge.

Course Details

Study Type Undergraduate Level 3
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus None. Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Agni Connor

Qualification Prerequisites

None.

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Undergraduate Programme (Studied)
  • One of Programme Level 3 or Programme Level 4 or Programme Level 5
  • One of LN2003 Words and Meanings: Lexis and Semantics (Passed) or LN2008 Language in Society (Passed) or LN2301 Sounds of English (Passed) or LN2505 Morphology and Syntax (Passed) or LN2509 Varieties of English (Passed)

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

None.

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Course Aims

This course aims to give students:
1. an in-depth understanding of the way in which children and adults develop first and second language in different learning contexts
2. a critical understanding of similarities and differences between first language acquisition in childhood, second language acquisition in childhood and second language acquisition in adulthood
3. an understanding of how various aspects of language (phonology, morphology, lexis, syntax and pragmatics) are learned
4. an opportunity to critically evaluate a range of theories of first and second language acquisition using authentic language data and the existing research

Main Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course students will:
1. critically analyse the way in which children and adults develop first and second language in different learning contexts
2. identify similarities and differences between first language acquisition in childhood, second language acquisition in childhood and second language acquisition in adulthood
3. compare and evaluate a range of theories of first and second language acquisition using authentic language data and the existing research
4. relate the existing research in second language learning to teaching practice in classrooms
5. identify ethical and methodological challenges in the existing research
6. identify gaps and issues for future research

Course Content

This course provides a general introduction to theories and approaches in first and second language acquisition and introduces students to research in the field. In particular, the course provides students with an understanding of Universal Grammar (UG), behaviourism, interactionism, and frequency-based perspectives of language acquisition. Internal and external factors that influence the course of first and second language development are explored. The roles of learner factors such as age, first language, and other individual difference variables are briefly discussed. The application of second language acquisition theory and research to aspects of second language teaching is also explored. The questions explored in class include, for example, how children go from babbling to one-word sentences to the full complexity of adult grammar in a span of merely a few years, how the brains of individuals who learn two languages simultaneously differ from those who learn a second language later on in life, and how using a second language can influence the way we use our native language.

Further Information & Notes

Admission subject to approval by the Head of School. The field work aspects of this course may pose difficulties to students with disabilities. For such students, alternative arrangements will be made available. Any student wishing to discuss this further should contact the School Disability Co-ordinator.


Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

None.

More Information about Week Numbers


Details, including assessments, may be subject to change until 31 August 2023 for 1st half-session courses and 22 December 2023 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

1st Attempt: One 2,500 word essay (40%), Multiple-choice class test (40%); Presentation (10%), Seminar assessment mark (SAM) (10%).
Resit: one essay (3,000 words).

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Feedback

Feedback on assessment will be provided in writing and in class throughout the course.

Course Learning Outcomes

None.

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