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This subject considers how a second language is acquired, what factors explain why only some learners are successful in learning a second language, and how to best teach a second language. We begin by looking at a range of theories which present different perspectives on the process of second language acquisition. We then consider individual factors that may affect success in second language acquisition. These factors include age, aptitude, motivation and learning strategies. We examine approaches to second language instruction, focusing on the four macro skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. Students are encouraged to reflect upon their own language learning experiences and explain these experiences by reference to the topics covered in the subject.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should have:
- attained in-depth knowledge of several theoretical models of second language acquisition, individual variables that may impact on successful acquisition, and approaches to second language instruction;
- engaged with debates on research approaches to second language learning and teaching;
- broadened and apply second language research skills utilizing a variety of primary sources, and develop awareness of intellectual integrity and research ethics;
- deepened their understanding of social and cultural diversity;
- participated in individual and group-based problem-solving activities within and outside the classroom;
- made wide use of learning and research technologies (LMS, Library);
- further honed writing abilities.
At the completion of this subject, students should:
- have increased their skills in defining areas of inquiry and methods of research;
- have become open to new ideas and possibilities;
- have developed their attention to detail.
Last updated: 22 November 2023