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.


Credit points30

Subject Co-ordinatorShem Macdonald

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 5 - Masters

Available as ElectiveNo

Learning ActivitiesBiological and social influences on second language acquisition; Universal and variational features of second language acquisition; Age and second language acquisition, Interaction, feedback and second language acquisition; pronunciation, vocabulary in second language acquisition

Capstone subjectNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules



Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources

Language Education and Applied Linguistics

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementPrereading

AuthorNicholas, H. & Starks, D.




ISBN1317815483, 9781317815488

Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

How Languages are Learned

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementPrereading

AuthorLigthbown, P. & Spada N.




ISBN0194541290, 9780194541299

Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Analyse the nature of second language acquisition in both informal and formal contexts
02. Develop an advanced understanding of social, biological and environmental influences on second language acquisition
03. Analyse the influence of instructed and other feedback on second language acquisition
04. Develop an advanced understanding of the different theories and approaches to second language acquisition and their methodologies
05. Apply an advanced research-based view of the nature of second language development to contexts relevant to the students' own lives
06. Develop an advanced understanding of the history of the field of second language acquisition

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 2, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorShem Macdonald

Class requirements

Lecture/SeminarWeek: 32 - 43
Ten 3.00 hours lecture/seminar per study period on weekdays during the day from week 32 to week 43 and delivered via blended.

Unscheduled Online ClassWeek: 31 - 43
One 1.00 hour unscheduled online class per week on any day including weekend during the day from week 31 to week 43 and delivered via online.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Topic motivation and literature review = 2500 words

N/AOtherIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO4, SILO5

Research interview and transcription = equivalent to 3000 words

N/AOtherIndividualNo30 SILO1, SILO5

Research report (essay format) = 5000 words The research study report is scaffolded by the two previous tasks, briefings on ethical research issues and procedures and in-class activities.

N/AReportIndividualNo50 SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO5, SILO6