University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Second Language Acquisition of English

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This study-unit will review aspects of Second Language Acquisition by introducing key theories and existing practices that emerge from this discipline. Discussions of the local and international contexts will feature in order to address intra- and inter-lingual features prevalent in SLA.

The following will be addressed:
- Acquisition and Learning;
- Distinctions and similarities between existing acronyms related to SLA;
- Global scale of English and reference descriptors;
- Error analysis and ‘can-do’ statements.

Study-unit Aims:

- Introduce a global perspective on SLA;
- Introduce key theories in SLA;
- Create an awareness of the different linguistic and culture contexts influencing the acquisition of a second language.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Give an overview of second language research;
- Distinguish the external factors that influence second language acquisition;
- Appreciate the internal factors that influence the acquisition of English as a second language.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Describe the learner language;
- Explore important controversial topics which have been the subject of recent discussion or research;
- Relate to key areas in corpora and language teaching.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- CARTER, R. & MCCARTHY, M. 2006. The Cambridge grammar of English: a comprehensive guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- ELLIS, R. 2008. The study of second language acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- GASS, S. M. & SELINKER, L. 2009. Second Language Acquisition: An introductory Course. London: Routledge.
- LIGHTBOWN, P. M. & SPADA, N. 2006. How languages are learned. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- ORTEGA, S. 2009. Understanding Second Language Acquisition. London: Hodder Education.
- SAVILLE-TROIKE, M. 2006. Introducing Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.



Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Odette Vassallo

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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