Skip to main content


SEL2237 : Introduction to Second Language Acquisition

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • 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


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

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion471:0047:00N/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
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.

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.

Reading Lists