This course aims to provide an introduction to theories and research in second language acquisition and language learning in general. Language is one of the most uniquely human capacities, and how humans acquire the ability to speak in more than one language has been the focus of SLA research. This course will introduce students to key topics such as:
- Age and critical periods in the acquisition of human language
- Cross-linguistic influences and transfer
- The linguistic environment and the social dimensions of L2 learning
- The cognitive dimensions of L2 learning
- The development of interlanguages: emergent and dynamic systems
- Motivation and individual differences in language learning
The course will require active participation from the students, who will prepare questions for discussions and research additional materials based on their topics of interest. All the students will be required to present orally and critically discuss a piece of research during the course, and will submit a final written project.