Credit points: 30

Subject outline

Students will explore key aspects of the process of additional language acquisition and gain an understanding of differences between major models of this process. They will become familiar with key concepts in additional language acquisition research and the debates that surround them. Students will develop understandings of the relationship between theories of language and theories of how languages are learned. Students will develop understanding of the relevance of additional language acquisition research for additional language teaching as a result of critical evaluation of alternative views of the additional language acquisition process and reflection on their own research and class experiences. Through targeted literature reviews and a small-scale empirical research study, students will learn to place research findings in their theoretical context and judge the relevance of their findings. Students will gain the competence to design and conduct small-scale, ethical additional language acquisition studies.

SchoolSchool of Education

Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorHoward Nicholas

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsLanguage Education and Applied LinguisticsPreliminary Nicholas, H. & Starks, D. 2014ROUTLEDGE
ReadingsHow Languages are Learned (4th edition)PreliminaryLigthbown, P. & Spada N. 2013ROUTLEDGE

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Understand the nature of second language acquisition in both informal and formal contexts

Definitions and experiences of second language acquisition;

02. Understand social, biological and environmental influences on second language acquisition

Biological and social influences on second language acquisition; Universal and variational features of second language acquisition; Age and second language acquisition

03. Understand the influence of instructed and other feedback on second language acquisition

Interaction, feedback and second language acquisition; pronunciation, vocabulary in second language acquisition

04. Understand different theories and approaches to second language acquisition and their methodologies

All sessions: with a particular emphasis in sessions on pragmatics and culture in second language acquisition; current issues in second language acquisition research; biological and social influences on second language acquisition; universal and variational features of second language acquisition; age and second language acquisition

05. Apply a research-based view of the nature of second language development to contexts relevant to the students' own lives

Cross-linguistic influences on second language acquisition; current issues in second language acquisition resear

06. Understand the history of the field of second language acquisition

History of second language acquisition research

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne, 2017, Week 32-44, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorHoward Nicholas

Class requirements

Lecture/Workshop Week: 33 - 43
Ten 3.0 hours lecture/workshop per study period on weekdays during the day from week 33 to week 43 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
Topic motivation and literature review = 2500 words20 01, 04, 05
Research interview and transcription = equivalent to 3000 words30 01, 05
Research report (essay format) = 5000 wordsThe research study report is scaffolded by the two previous tasks, briefings on ethical research issues and procedures and in-class activities.50 02, 03, 04, 05, 06