An introductory course in language acquisition or psycholinguistics at MA or BA3 level at a university.
The course addresses the acquisition and use of a second language from two main theoretical perspectives: the cognitive and sociocultural perspective. One of the main rationales for the cognitive perspective has been that degree of success in learning a second language is heterogeneous rather than the (claimed) homogeneous success for native language learning. Cognitive approaches to second language learning seek answers to the question why individuals differ in this way. The sociocultural perspective broadens this discussion and views language use and language learning as situated in an (interactional) context. In the first part of the course, students will get acquainted with these different theoretical approaches. In the second part of the course, students will carry out research into individual differences in second language learning (outcomes).
To learn to read and interpret the relevant literature;
To learn to synthesize and present research literature;
To understand the most relevant theories in the field of second language acquisition.
To learn to collect, analyze, and report on data for a specific research question;
The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website
Mode of instruction
Total course load: 280 hours (10 EC)
Attending seminars: 26 hours
Weekly homework: 26 hours
Reading: 90 hours
Research project (including writing): 126 hours
Presentation: 12 hours
Oral presentation (oral examination) 30%
Course Paper 70%
The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average.
Resit: students who fail the course may resit the course paper.
Inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
Blackboard will be used for:
information on the course and on assignments
Mitchell, R., Myles, F., & Marsden, E. (2013). Second language learning theories. Routledge, 3rd edition.
Plus articles/book chapters that can be downloaded from the UB.
Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.
The coordinator of studies is Else van Dijk