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Phonetics: Second and Foreign Language Acquisition


Admission requirements

The student should bee acquainted with the contents of a general experimental phonetic textbook, such as Rietveld & Van Heuven (2009) Algemene Fonetiek [General Phonetics] (Coutinho, Bussum), or a similar book in English.


In this course we will review some classical texts on the phonetics of second and foreign language acquisition, and then move on to a more systematic treatment of current views on the topic, notably Flege’s Speech Learning Model, Kuhl’s Native Language Perceptual Magnet Model and Best’s Perceptual Assimilation Model. In the second part of the course we will shift the emphasis on the communicative effects of foreign-accented speech, in terms of (loss of) intelligibility due to specific deviations from the native norm.

Course objectives

  • The student acquires theoretical and experimental insight into the process of second/foreign language acquisition in the fields of phonology and phonetics.

  • The student gets acquainted with original professional literature (journal articles) in the area of Experimental Phonetics

  • The student learns how to summarize and present professional articles

  • The student learns how to reanalyze and represent numerical data obtained from professional literature in tables and graphs.

Mode of instruction

2-hour weekly seminar

Assessment method

Students will submit weekly practical assignments and take a written test at the end of the course.
As a final assignment students will write a critical summary of a recent book (or dissertation).



Reading list

Students will be required to read original publications published in the professional literature. Book chapters and articles will be made available in electronic form (PDF) via Blackboard.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs