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SEL3012 : Immigrant Second Language & Literacy Acquisition (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Martha Young-Scholten
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module focuses on the population primarily of adolescent and adult but also child second language learners who acquire a new language as the result of immigration. The module looks at how these differ from well-studied foreign language learners whose main source of input is the classroom. Here the social factors which affect learners' acquisition are considered.Issues covered include L1 influence and use of linguistic mechanisms across the lifespan regarding acquisition of morphosyntax/syntax, phonology and the lexicon, the development of literacy, particularly by those who immigrate without formal schooling and native language attrition as the result of bilingual language use.

Outline Of Syllabus

Part I: Literacy
What is literacy? The Great Divide
Metalinguistic and phonological awareness
Reading development by children and by L2 learners
Student presentation #1: on the team's language and the writing system used for this language (one which doesn't use the Roman alphabet)
Children’s and low-educated adults’ decoding and comprehension development
Extensive reading
Starting to work in a language-based team
Phonological awareness in other languages
Writing a Simply Cracking Good Story

Part II: Language
Linguistic competence (SEL2086 review: morphosyntax, syntax, phonology),
Research on adult immigrants’ morphosyntax, syntax, phonology, the lexicon
Cognitive factors: metalinguistic knowledge; working memory
Procedural/implicit/acquired knowledge vs. declarative/explicit/learned
How literacy might affect acquisition of linguistic competence
Student presentation #2: the learner population and each student’s essay topic
Choosing a study topic for the essay
Locating learners
Designing tasks
Collecting and analysing data
Displaying results

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading641:0064:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops161:0016:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity91:009:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study541:0054:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures provide extensive background, much of which students will require in writing their essays.
Seminars impart skills required to work as a team and individually on an essay.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A703,000 word essay
Report2M15A team-based PowerPoint presentation on a writing systems and on that language
Report2M15A team PPT presentation with each student's proposal for their individual study
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Students will refine their skills in analysing data, and add to their set of skills collecting their own data. They will do so while working in a group, thus mirroring the way in which researchers work. They will then write individual essays based on learners whose native language is the one the team is working on. This builds on SEL2086, which requires students only to work with data, but not to have collected the data themselves.

Reading Lists