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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 09/03/2022 15:38:27

Title of Module: Second Language Acquisition

Code: LING11006 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:TBC 

Summary of Module

This module focuses on second language acquisition (SLA) from sociocultural and cognitive perspectives. It is designed to extend knowledge in relevant research, and theories relating to language learning, methodology which underpins good classroom practice, and pedagogy.

The course covers a range of substantive topics such as language description and analysis, as well as theories and methods in  language teaching, bilingualism (micro to macro contexts) the role of linguistic environment, motivation, age and stage, language attrition, errors and corrections, the English language as lingua franca and minority languages.

The course will address national and international perspectives. Participants will engage with relevant textual and audiovisual resources. Participants are given opportunities to explore issues specific to second language acquisition while reflecting upon and critically analyse practices in their own professional environment.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding that covers main theories, concepts and principles underpinning second language learning.

L2. Demonstrate critical understanding of common issues, challenges and solutions in second language learning using an evidence base.

L3. Critically evaluate educational responses to second language learning in context and consider how these approaches can be enhanced in light of language learning theories and research findings.

L4. Present reasoned arguments and express ideas in a clear, coherent, and grammatically sound academic style drawing on academic literature relating to the themes explored during the module and relating these to his/her own professional experiences.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

• Knowledge that covers and integrates areas of second language acquisition in education.
• A critical understanding of the principal theories, principles and concepts used in “Language learning for additional languages”.
• A critical understanding of a range of specialised theories, principles and concepts that concern language learning and age.
• Extensive, detailed and critical knowledge and understanding in subject or discipline, much of which is at or informed by developments at the forefront for “Language learning for additional languages”
• Critical awareness of current issues associated with second language acquisition.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

• Use a range of specialised skills, techniques, practices which are informed by research in the area of second language acquisition in education.
• Apply a range of standard and specialised research or equivalent instruments and techniques of enquiry to the study of language acquisition.
• Demonstrate originality or creativity in the application of knowledge, understanding and practices which relate to language acquisition in education.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

• Apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to issues which are at the forefront or informed by developments in the area of language acquisition in education.
• Identify, conceptualise and define new and abstract concepts and issues for the support of language users in different contexts.
• Develop original and creative responses to concepts and issues which relate to language acquisition in education.
• Critically review, consolidate and extend knowledge, skills practices and thinking in the area of language acquisition in education.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

• Communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise.
• Communicate with a range of audiences (as appropriate) and fellow professionals acting as a source of advice on particular aspects of language diversity in education.
• Use a range of software to support and enhance work at this level.
• Contribute to the literature on, and public discussion of language acquisition in education.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

• Exercise substantial autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities.
• Demonstrate responsibility for own work and/or significant responsibility for the work of others (as appropriate).

• Demonstrate leadership and initiative and contribute to change and development.
• Demonstrate critical reflection on own and others’ roles and responsibilities.
• Demonstrate the management of complex ethical and professional issues and make informed judgements on issues not addressed by current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
This module is delivered via practical and communicative classes, and via Moodle. Students will be active participants in class and will work in pairs and /or groups to discuss issues and analyse research related to theories of second language acquisition. Independent learning is an integral part of this course and students will be given written and oral tasks to be completed outside class in preparation for, and consolidation of, classroom work. Students will develop critical thinking and research skills to enhance their current studies and future careers.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Independent Study152
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity12
Asynchronous Class Activity12
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Baker, C. (2006). Key Issues in Bilingualism and Bilingual Education. (4th ed.) Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Baker, C. & Prys-Jones, S. (1998). Encyclopaedia of Bilingualism and Bilingual Education. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters

Cook, V. (2003) (Eds) Effects of the Second Language on the First, Multilingual Matters Limited.

Ellis, R. (2009) The study of second language acquisition, Oxford.

Gibson, F. (2006) Language planning and Education, Edinburgh University Press.

Johnstone, R. (2002). Immersion in a Second or Additional Language at School: A Review of International Research. [online] Available via SCILT [last accessed 05/03/2013]

Klapper, J. (2003). Taking communication to task? A critical review of recent trends in language teaching. The Language Learning Journal. 27(1): 33-42.

Marinova-Todd, S.H., Bradford Marshall, D., Snow, C. E. (2000) Three Misconceptions about Age and L2 Learning, TESOL Quarterly vol.34, No 1..

Ortega, L., (2013), Understanding second language acquisition, Routledge, New York.

Singleton D., Ryan L., (2004) Language acquisition: The age factor, SLA.

Yule, G. (2010) The Study of Language. (4th ed.), Cambridge: CUP

In-house learning materials to be made available on Moodle and in class*

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEducation
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCareer-Long Professional Learning
ModeratorS Brown
External ExaminerH Kuchah
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
There are two assessments for this module:

1. An extended critical essay (3000 words +/- 10%) synthesizing reading and underpinning research in language acquisition in a learning and teaching context (60% of the mark).
2. A reflective presentation on how the course content will influence the student’s practice (40% of the mark).
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark600
Presentation check markcheck mark 400
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.