Postgraduate

Modules

Modules

ALC8026 : Language Learning

Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

To introduce students to several different theoretical perspectives and related concepts and empirical research prevalent in the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and to show some ways that these perspectives relate to each other.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus is designed so as to provide students with different perspectives within the field of Second Language Acquisition (SLA). First they will be introduced to prevalent cognitive/psycholinguistic approaches to SLA and key concepts and theories therein. Once this approach has been examined, students will be introduced to alternative perspectives, with a particular focus on more ‘social’ views that investigate learning and teaching in social interaction. In sessions 8 and 9 students will focus on two important sites of debate: language learning goals and age. They will examine widespread, traditional views on these topics and will then discuss alternative viewpoints, with a view to developing a critical understanding of established ideas.

Introduction

      Session 1: Module Introduction

‘Cognitive’ Approaches to Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

      Session 2: L earning Vocabulary
      Session 3: L earning Grammar
      Session 4: Communication and Learning Strategies

Alternative Perspectives in SLA

      Session 5: SLA reconceptualized: a social perspective
      Session 6: Sociocultural Theory and SLA
      Session 7: Language learning/teaching in and outside the classroom
      Session 8: Age and Language Learning
      Session 9: Goals of Language Learning
      Session 10: SLA today

Final
      Session 11: Assignment Preparation

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials92:0018:001-2 videos per week, with activities
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00Personal further reading
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:001 hour zoom session every week
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:001 hr PiP session every week.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities93:0027:001-2 readings per week, with activities
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion91:009:00one hour per week.
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity91:009:00One hour per week on reflective learning journal
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study139:0039:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lecture materials will introduce new topics each week, and will facilitate structured guided learning, in the form of related activities, reading tasks and online discussion. Synchronous online sessions and present-in-person small group classroom sessions will enable further group work, discussion and reflection in relation to each topic. A reflective learning journal will enable students to log, and reflect on, their learning activities each week.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Reflective log1M40Reflective learning log of weeks 1-4 (1500 words), submitted at end of week 4.
Essay1A60An essay of 2000 words, submitted before semester 2 induction week.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

There will be two assessments used for this module:

-       Reflective log. This will be submitted roughly mid-way through the module. For this log, students will describe a recent experience they have had as a language learner, teacher and/or SLA student and relate it to at least one theoretical approach and/or concept in SLA that has been covered in the module to that point. Finally, they will briefly describe at least one empirical study that somehow relates to this experience. This will (1) prompt the students to relate the theoretical and conceptual content of the course to their own personal experience, and (2) allow the module leader to gage the students’ level of understanding and reflection, which will feed into the teaching in lectures and seminars.

-       Essay. There are a choice of titles that relate to the topics covered on the module, incorporating a critical analysis of traditional assumptions in language teaching and learning, discussion of the nature and goals of L2 learning, a discussion of different approaches to Communication and/or Learning Strategies, the application of theories of SLA to classroom practices, and an open question to address any critical site of contention in SLA. Students can, alternatively, choose a topic of their own as long as it is ratified by the module leader a month before the deadline. Titles will be made available soon after the start of the course.

Reading Lists

Timetable