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The Sociolinguistics of Second Language Acquisition


Admission requirements

An introductory course in Sociolinguistics at MA or BA3 level at a university.


Researchers in Second Language Acquisition are increasingly looking to Sociolinguistics to provide answers to the question of individual variation in the success with which people learn a second language. They have become aware that socio-cultural context and individual variation are relevant aspects of the space in which second language learning takes place and provide answers to the principled question of when acquisition is successful; different people in different places and social contexts call for different standards. Sociolinguists, in turn, are finding research in Second Language Acquisition interesting because learning a second language is nowadays an integral part of the participants in a global society that is becoming more geographically and culturally mobile. Sociolinguists see much use of second languages happening outside the classroom and consider it part of daily life and part of the larger language variation situation, especially in urban settings.

This course will address, first of all, the changed realities of second language learning and the changed image of the second language learner in a mobilising and globalising world. It will also address how a number of aspects of Second Language Acquisition are sociolinguistically relevant.

Course objectives

To learn to read and interpret the relevant literature;
To understand the most relevant theories;
To learn to collect and process empirical data on language learning and teaching;
To write critically on your own and other people’s research.


The timetable is available on the “MA Linguistics website”:

Mode of instruction


Course Load

Attending seminars: 26 hours
Weekly homework: 26 hours
Reading: 115 hours
Preparation for research project and exam: 113 hours

Assessment method

Homework 30%
Course Paper 30%
Exam 40%

The final grade consists of weighted average of the above components

Resit: students who fail the course may resit the exam and/or course paper.


This course is supported by Blackboard

Reading list

Geeslin, K. L., & Long, A. Y. (2014). Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition. Learning to Use Language in Context. New York / London: Routledge


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

When registering, students that are registered for the specialisation that this course belongs to, or the Research Master, take priority. The deadline for registration is August 15. All other students should contact the “coordinator of studies”:

General information about uSis is available in English and Dutch


Student administration Van Eyckhof