LANG 7022 Investigating Second Language Acquisition

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 100919

Coordinator Stacey Sherwood Opens in new window

Description This unit is intended for Linguistics Honours students as well as TESOL and Interpreting and Translation Postgraduate students aiming to provide a focused theoretical and research framework in the area of second language acquisition (SLA) from a psycholinguistic viewpoint. This unit widens the theoretical and methodological basis of students intending to undertake further studies and/or research in the Linguistics and SLA area and also serves the TESOL and languages teachers interested in applying SLA-based knowledge to language learning, pedagogy and classroom research.

School Humanities & Comm Arts

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Equivalent Subjects LGYB 3375 - Investigating Second Language Acquisition

Restrictions Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Assumed Knowledge

Knowledge of a LOTE and/or some Linguistics and/or some language teaching experience.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Provide an overview of the recent history of second language acquisition as shaped by early studies based on contrastive analysis, error analysis and the concept of interlanguage.
  2. Critically appraise current studies, theoretical models and methodologies adopted in the investigation of second language acquisition.
  3. Identify individual and social factors purported to have a role in the successful acquisition of a second language in both natural and classroom settings.
  4. Demonstrate the developmental and variational dimensions of language acquisition as envisaged, for instance, by Processability Theory and apply this knowledge to profiling of learner language.
  5. Critically appraise the �gTeachability Hypothesis'' and current L2 pedagogy including communicative language teaching and 'focus on form'.
  6. Design and conduct a small-scale project inve

Subject Content

- Overview of The historical development of language acquisition as A field of Study including interlanguage studies and findings.
- Overview of main theories and explanatory frameworks used to account for second language acquisition, including current frameworks such as Universal Grammar and Processability Theory.
- The question of linguistic environment and individual Factors including key characteristics of natural and Instructional settings for second language acquisition.
- key Developmental and variational features in second language learners including The learning of discourse-pragmatic functions.
- Possible effects of instruction and The Teachability Hypothesis.
- Methodological and technical Issues in second language acquisition research
- Profiling and corpus analysis as an empirical basis for research and language assessment;
- elements of computer-aided language analysis.


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Tests x 2 comprising quizzes on tutorial content and exercises. (20%) Short test on unit content (lectures and readings, mainly multiple choice, held in mid-semester. (20%) 45 mins each 40 N Individual
Research Report report: 2000-3000 words research proposal: 1500 - 2000 words 60 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • Saville-Troike, M. (2012). Introducing Second Language Acquisition (Second Edition). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Teaching Periods

2022 Semester 2

Parramatta City - Macquarie St


Subject Contact Stacey Sherwood Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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