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Language Learning and Teaching in a Globalising World


Admission requirements



This course addresses the issue of the growing divide between language norms inside and outside the L2 classroom. It will combine approaches to sociolinguistics and second-language acquisition. Discussion, reading articles/chapters, doing research, and presenting/writing on this research are all part of the course.

Formal norms regarding good second-language speaking and writing tend to be clear and strict. Correctness norms lie with native speakers and their didactic materials and approaches, and traditional teachers tend to measure the degree to which students fail to meet this native-speaker target. Traditional didactic methods are applied, often based on essentialist assumptions regarding the first language and culture of learners, and an outside world in which there is a narrow use of the language, namely for professional, academic, and cultural purposes.

Nowadays, most L2 acquisition takes place informally outside the classroom, in an increasingly diversifying (online and off-line) world. This outside world is calling for new ways of looking at norms; an approach focussing not on degree of failure but degree of functionality of the second language. Each speaker has their own targets, and the question is how classroom teaching can help individual learners discover and practice the L2 in such a way that general rules are taught and tested but individual needs are also incorporated didactically. This way, learners are prepared for communication in a ‘superdiverse’ world, with speakers with many different backgrounds, who mix languages, registers and styles creatively, freely, and successfully, while at the same time being aware of traditional rules.

Researchers in second-language acquisition and teaching 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 formal or informal space in which second-language learning takes place and want to answer the question: “When is L2 acquisition ‘good’?” Sociolinguists, in turn, are finding research in second-language acquisition and teaching interesting because learning a second language is nowadays an integral part of the participants in a globalising society whose members are becoming more geographically, culturally, and linguistically flexible.

Course objectives

  • Discovering the fields of Second Language Sociolinguistics and L2 Didactics

  • Discovering the mismatch between classroom and real-life L2 targets

  • Presenting and writing on data collected in the field of second-language learning and teaching


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

One 90-minute seminar

Assessment method


Group presentation, in-class exams on the course book, and weekly homework


In-class Exams (25%)
Weekly Homework (25%)
Group Presentation (25%)
Group Course Paper (25%)


If your course average in below 5.5, then you can resit the In-class Exam component through a three-hour exam during the exam week, you can hand in improved versions of the Weekly Homework assignments, and you can write an individual Course Paper on a new topic. You can only resit course components whose grade is below 5.5.

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.

Reading list

Kimberly L. Geeslin & Avizia Yim Long (2014). Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition. New York & London: Routledge


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory


For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar

For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies