Second Language Acquisition - LING8340

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Spring Term 7 15 (7.5) Vikki Janke checkmark-circle


This module will review and critique past and current theories of Second Language Acquisition from a range of theoretical perspectives: linguistic, cognitive, psychological and social. It will also examine the wide range of factors that affect the second language learner and how these might be mitigated. It will then continue by indicating the implications for teaching and learning, and how different areas of the language are acquired.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Total Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

• Presentation (20 minutes) – 20%
• Research Essay (2,000 words) – 80%

Reassessment methods
• 100% Coursework (2,500 words)

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Cook, V. (2008) Second Language Learning and Language Teaching, London, Routledge;
Gass, S.M. and Mackey, A. (2012) The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition, London, Routledge;
Lightbown, P.M. and Spada, N. (2013) How Languages are Learned, Oxford, Oxford University Press;
Mitchell, R., Myles, F. and Marsden, E. (2013) Second Language Learning Theories, London, Routledge;
Ortega, L. (2009) Understanding Second Language Acquisition, London, Hodder;
Saville-Troike, M. (2012) Introducing Second Language Acquisition, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate comprehensive understanding of the theories of second language acquisition;
2 Review the history and most recent development of the theories of second language acquisition;
3 Indicate the similarities and differences between theories of second language acquisition;
4 Evaluate current research into Second Language Acquisition Theory;
5 Assess the impact of Second Language Acquisition theory on classrooms, teachers and/or Learners;
6 Show how a range of factors affect the efficacy of language instruction and/or learning.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively;
2 Evaluate and critique complex ideas;
3 Identify problems and possible solutions;
4 Carry out study and research independently.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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