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Language Acquisition 4: Speaking of Words


Admission requirements

Passes for Language Acquisition 2 or an equivalent pronunciation course at first-year level) and Language Acquisition 3 (or an equivalent course on presentation skills).


Language Acquisition 4: Speaking of Words is a course about words. It is a practical course, in that it encourages you to study vocabulary and idioms at home and then activate your newly acquired knowledge in a variety of writing and speaking exercises in tutorial. For instance, you give short presentations, lead and participate in discussions, and participate in short role-plays. You also write short speeches, newspaper reports, letters, blog texts, and even short stories and poems. The subject-matter of the vocabulary and idioms is such that at the end of the course you have the active lexical skills needed to express yourself on your everyday life and on topics of general interest. In addition, you have a sound passive knowledge of vocabulary and idioms used in academic registers.
Language Acquisition 4 is also a theoretical course, in that it encourages you to think about words as an object of study. Some of the questions that will be addressed: how do we study and describe words? How do we acquire words? And how does lexical knowledge contribute to our knowledge of a second language?

Course objectives

  • become aware of their own and other people’s use of vocabulary;

  • expanded and activated their passive and active vocabulary;

  • improved their speaking and presentation skills;

  • improved their grammar and pronunciation.


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website

Mode of instruction

One forty-five tutorial per week and self-study of course books.

Assessment method

  1. Contribution to discussion in class (20%); 2. two short oral tests in the language laboratory (40%); 3. written test on vocabulary and idiom and on the theory (40%).


A Blackboard site is available for this course. See Blackboard

Reading list

  • Bromberg, M. & Gordon, M. (2008). 1100 words you need to now. Hauppauge, NY: Barron.

  • Gairns, R. & Redman, S. (2009). Oxford word skills. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

  • Language Acquisition 4: Speaking of words (2012). [Reader, available from Blackboard]


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the director of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:
Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:
Co-ordinator of Studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.