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Language Learning Level 5


  • Credit value: 15 credits at Level 5
  • Convenor: to be confirmed
  • Prerequisite: Approaches to Language
  • Assessment: a 2000-2500 word essay (100%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to theory and research with a main focus on second and foreign language acquisition. In order to help you understand the processes, developmental patterns and factors underlying human language acquisition, we first begin by exploring how individuals and groups learn a first language (e.g. Is language acquisition ability innate?)

Subsequently, we will review a range of topics including:

  • theories of second and foreign language acquisition (e.g. linguistics vs. psychology approaches)
  • individual differences in second language learning (e.g. Which variables, such as learner age, aptitude and motivation predict successful learning outcomes?)
  • interlanguage development, ultimate attainment and nativelikeness (e.g. How far can humans master a second language?)
  • various areas of second language acquisition research (e.g. What is an optimal way to measure and improve second language vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar performance?)

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • explain what is currently known about language acquisition from research, how we have come to know it, and what still needs to be investigated
  • accurately evaluate popular ideas about language acquisition
  • develop informed expectations for language learning and training
  • answer your own questions about first and second language acquisition, frame new questions in the light of current research, and move toward research projects of your own.