EL6027 - Second Language Acquisition

What will I learn on this module?

You will develop your awareness and understanding of the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) through the study of central themes: age and SLA, individual differences in SLA, and similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition processes. As such, you will also pay particular attention to current issues and debates within the field, most especially in terms of the findings of recent empirical research investigating social and contextual perspectives to the study of SLA.

You will critically analyse, by means of lecture input and classroom discussion, the main influential theories and most important research findings in SLA. You will also focus upon different approaches to conducting empirical research in second language acquisition. Throughout the module, you will evaluate the many varied perspectives regarding second language learning which you encounter, and establish your own view of and position within these debates, developing your ability to present your own viewpoint, both in speech and in writing, key skills for the world of work

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a combination of interactive lectures and seminars. Key themes and concepts will be introduced in lectures, supported by seminars that allow further group working, discussion and debate. All topics and debates within the module will be supported by reference to relevant literature, which you will read outwith class to further develop your knowledge and understanding of the field.

In addition to learning during taught hours with the module tutor, you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning will generally take the form of preparation for seminars where you will be expected to contribute to group work and full class discussion. Independent learning will generally take the form of further reading and investigation, the consolidation of seminar notes, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module.

All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLP (e-learning portal) to facilitate full participation in the module. Additionally, you will receive formative feedback, from both students and the module tutor, by means of a group presentation on a key area of SLA (see above), on your ideas and understandings throughout the module. The module’s final, summative assessment will also provide an opportunity for learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module aims to expand your critical understanding of different, and often competing, theoretical and empirical perspectives within SLA. Thus, lectures, seminars and tasks will develop your academic knowledge and skills, to help you attain the module learning outcomes. Your academic development will also be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with your peers and the module tutor about your understanding of this literature (i.e. reading around the topic, and discussing and reflecting upon what you have read).

The module handbook provides details of lectures, seminars, reading lists and assessment criteria; lecture materials are made available on the eLP (see above). The module tutor will be available in lectures and seminars, as well as in ‘Feedback and consultation hours’ (i.e. ‘office hours’) and on email, to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar/workshop activities and by means of a group presentation prior to completion of the module’s summative assessment (an essay)

In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes: monitoring your ongoing academic progress; helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development; directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus). You are advised to meet with your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. A critical understanding of central themes and important research findings within Second Language Acquisition

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
2. Present in speech and writing complex ideas as the basis for engagement in intellectual debate
3. Establish and justify your own position within complex debates and arguments

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
4. Demonstrate an approach to language use in a range of socio-cultural contexts, including intellectual openness to contemporary academic (and non-academic) perspectives on Second Language Acquisition

5. enhanced skills conforming to relevant standards of good academic practice

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

1. You will present your ideas during seminars and will receive formative feedback from the module tutor and peers on any perspectives you share. Such formative will enable you to assess and form your own understanding of key issues and debates within Second Language Acquisition.
2. Group presentation
You will deliver a small group presentation in a specified seminar, towards the end of the module sessions, on a key area of SLA related to the summative assessment (see below). You will receive formative feedback on this talk, from both peers and the module tutor. Formative assessments address MLOs in ‘Knowledge and Understanding’, ‘Intellectual/Professional skills & abilities’, and ‘Personal Values Attributes’.

Summative (graded) Assessments
1. 3500-word academic essay
You will write an essay in response to a set of questions provided by the module tutor. You will be expected to demonstrate a clear narrative in relation to current issues and debates and important empirical research findings in Second Language Acquisition.
The essay assessment will be part of the learning process, and addresses all five MLOS.

Feedback will be provided using the Programme template and comments on the script.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code Q310

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of face to face and online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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