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SEL3430 : Advanced Second Language Acquisition

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Heike Pichler
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module will advance students' understanding of different aspects and theories of Second Language Acquisition (SLA). It will explore how different acquisition contexts (e.g. classroom learning vs. community acquisition), different external factors (e.g. cognitive, psychological, social), and different literacy levels affect second language development. It will also examine how universals and first-language transfer affect second language acquisition across different linguistic domains (morpho-syntax, phonology, lexicon). Students will acquire advanced knowledge of SLA theories and develop advanced skills in analysing second language data.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module will cover some of the following:
1. Different theories of second language acquisition
2. Instructed versus uninstructed second language learning
3. Cognitive, psychological and social perspectives on second language acquisition
4. Literacy and second language development
5. First-language transfer in second language acquisition (across different linguistic domains)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work140:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study127:0027:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

LECTURES are used, primarily, to impart information and provide an overall coherence for the module. – SEMINARS are used to consolidate students’ understanding of the lecture and reading materials as well as for the planning and preparation of assignments. GUIDED INDEPENDENT STUDY is used for the preparation of seminar exercises as well as for the preparation and completion of assignments.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Prob solv exercises1M502000-word data analysis exercise
Essay1A502000-word essay
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Report1M500-word report on an aspect of SLA
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The PROBLEM-SOLVING EXERCISE tests students’ problem-solving and analytical skills. – The ESSAY tests students’ presentation and argumentation skills.

The formative assessment provides students with an opportunity to practise and receive feedback on skills required for completion of the summative assignments.

Reading Lists