Module Catalogue 2024/25

SEL2237 : Introduction to Second Language Acquisition

SEL2237 : Introduction to Second Language Acquisition

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sujeewa Hettiarachchi
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Code Title
SEL1027Introduction to the Structure of Language 1: Phonetics, Phonology & Morphology
Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



To provide students with an introduction to the main theories, questions, methods of investigation and discoveries in second language acquisition. To prepare students for independent research projects in second language acquisition.

Outline Of Syllabus

Theoretical perspectives on second language acquisition
The empirical study of interlanguage
L1 influence
Acquisition of (morpho-)syntax & phonology
The critical period
Individual differences
Social context

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Particular focus will be given to understanding of the following issues:
-acquisition in several domains (morphosyntax/syntax and phonology)
-developmental sequences
-similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition
-the role of the first language in the second language acquisition process
-the role played by universals
-the role played by other factors such as instruction and social context

Intended Skill Outcomes

- critical thinking
- problem solving
- take notes effectively, in workshops and lectures and from journal articles and book chapters
- construct a coherent argument based on a range of evidence
- group work
- tabulation and analysis of second language acquisition data
- visual presentation of results
- written expression

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion471:0047:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading601:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study601:0060:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8701Foundations in Second Language Acquisition
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will present and explain theoretical frameworks, methodologies, and empirical discoveries, while the small group teaching will a) reinforce the lectures, b) provide students with opportunities to participate in classroom debates based on assigned readings, and c) support students in analysing (in smaller teams) a small dataset of second language acquisition data. Students will be expected to read assigned material in advance of the lectures and seminars. Private study time will be devoted to preparatory reading for both lectures and seminars.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises2M502000-word problem-solving exercise
Essay2A502000-word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The PROBLEM-SOLVING EXERCISE tests students’ skills in data analysis and interpretation that they will have acquired and practised during seminars.

The ESSAY tests students’ critical and writing skills. Students use the acquired critical skills to explore a topic in Second Language Acquisition and write up their argumentation as a critical essay.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.