LSMSL-Second Language Learning Principles

Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:7
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Prof Parvaneh Tavakoli

Email: p.tavakoli@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module aims to review and evaluate general theories of learning; to consider the implications of learning theories for second language (L2) learning and teaching; to outline the development and relationship of different theoretical accounts of the first and second language learning process; to review and evaluate research into important factors in second language learning connected with the learner and the circumstances of learning; and to consider the practical implications of this research into factors in second language learning.

Aims:

This module aims to review and evaluate general theories of learning; to consider the implications of learning theories for second language (L2) learning and teaching; to outline the development and relationship of different theoretical accounts of the first and second language learning process; to review and evaluate research into important factors in second language learning connected with the learner and the circumstances of learning; and to consider the practical implications of this research into factors in second language learning and teaching.


Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of this module students should be able to



  • describe the key features, and evaluate the validity, of the following theories and their application to first and second language learning:
- behaviourist theories of operant conditioning

- cognitive theories of concept formation

- cognitive theories of information-processing

- nativist cognitive/linguistic theories of universal grammar and parameters



  • describe the development of views of the second language learning process from behaviourist-influenced contrastive analysis, via early non-contrastive interlanguage approaches, to current views of interlanguage involving the role of the L1
and of linguistic and situational context.



  • describe and evaluate recent research into the roles of input, interaction and output in second language acquisition


  • describe and evaluate recent research into the role of formal instruction in second language acquisition


  • explain the ways in which the learner’s motivation may affect second language acquisition, drawing on key research during the last thirty years


  • explain the ways in which certain cognitive characteristics of the learner (intelligence, aptitude, cognitive style, and learning strategies) may affect second language acquisition, drawing on key research during the last forty years


  • choose and/or evaluate language teaching methodologies and strategies on the basis of theory and research discussed during the course


 


Additional outcomes:

By the end of this module students should also be able to

  • list a set of ‘good theory’ criteria, and use these to evaluate the validity of theories of language learning


* evaluate the relationship between language teaching/instruction and L2 learning

 


Outline content:
The topics to be covered during the module are as follows: the development and evaluation of theories of learning; Cognitive views of learning: concept-formation and schema theory, information-processing and skill theory; First language learning: explanations, and implications for second language learning; Second language (L2) learning: the development of views of interlanguage; Input, interaction and output in L2 learning; Formal instruction and L2 learning; The learner (1): attitudes and motivation; The learner (2): cognitive characteristics.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures preceded by introductory reading provided in a special handbook, and followed by recommended readings from lists provided in supporting materials; 'advance organiser' and illustrative tasks for discussion in class.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study: 170
       
Total hours by term 20
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Coursework
One essay of 3000-4000 words on a general topic requiring the linking of an area (or areas) of theory and research (chosen by the student) to a teaching and learning situation with which the student is familiar.

Formative assessment methods:

Weekly seminar tasks are distributed before the seminars and checked during the seminars. Formative feedback is continually provided during lectures and seminars.



A detailed outline of the final assignment is submitted to module leader by week 9 for which formative feedback is presented to students by week 11.


Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:

A mark of 50% overall


Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination by coursework to be submitted by 1st September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 7 October 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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