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Programme & Unit Catalogues

ED50327: Second language acquisition

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Education
Credits: 12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 240
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: By the end of this unit, students will be able to:
* discuss the theories and literature relating to second language acquisition;
* monitor and identify language learning processes;
* identify key issues relating to language learning in their own cultural and pedagogical contexts;
* link theory and practice.

Aims: The aims of the unit are:
* to investigate theories of language learning in relation to learning in general;
* to investigate the relationships between first and second languages;
* to critically consider second language learning theories
* to consider the social, affective and contextual influences upon second language acquisition.

Skills: Self-directed learning (F)
Problem analysis, research and reflection (T/F/A)
Independent working (F)
Problem-solving (F/A)
Written communication (A)
Appreciation of the complex, multifaceted nature of second language acquisition (F/A)
Ability to research, synthesise and decide on the relevancy of various theories of second language acquisition (F/A)
Key Skills
1. Make critical use of the literature of the field of Education (T/F/A).
2. Make critical use of professional experience in the field of Education (T/F/A).
3. Analyse, interpret and critique findings and arguments (T/F/A).
4. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems (T/F).
5. Evaluate research and variety of types of information and evidence critically, also making informed judgements in the absence of complete data (T/F/A)
6. Contribute to professional debate in the field of education (F).
7. Act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level (F).
8. Communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences (T/F).
9. Evaluate their own academic and professional performance (T/F/A).
10. Manage change effectively and respond to changing demands (F).
11. Manage time, prioritise workloads and recognise and manage personal emotions and stress (F).
12. Develop new or higher level skill, for example in information technology (T/F/A).

Content: To achieve the aims stated above, students will be supported in learning how critically to engage with relevant literature and to use it to inform the evaluatory analysis of their own experience of language learning. It is anticipated that topics will include:
* Overview of SLA studies
* Psycholinguistics
* Theories of second language acquisition
* Bilingualism, multilingualism and plurilingualism
* Cross-linguistic influences and L2 Development
* Physical influences on SLA
* Psychological and cognitive influences on SLA
* Affective influences on SLA (Motivation)
* Environmental influences and L2 development
* Culture, identity and SLA.

Programme availability:

ED50327 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Education
  • THED-AFM27 : MA Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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