This course examines general theoretical issues in second language acquisition, with a special emphasis on their practical application to instructed learning settings such as EFL in Korea. The course will begin with an overview of the nature of the language acquisition process for children acquiring their first (native) language, followed by a review of the differences between first and second language acquisition in both children and post-puberty learners. The role of input and interaction in second language acquisition, as well as the biological, psycholinguistic and social factors affecting the language acquisition process will be covered. 

In addition to studying theories of language learning and analyzing language learner data, students will develop an awareness of their own profiles as both language learners and language teachers. Students will explore how this awareness can be subsequently be used to inform their classroom teaching practices.

In addition to lectures, learning activities consist of weekly readings and written homework assignments, language learner data collection and analysis, viewing of documentary video materials, class discussions and oral presentations to small groups or the whole class.

Lectures notes from Spring 2009 are currently available. 

Instructional Philosophy

This class will adopt an instructional approach called "Active Learning." In this approach it is you, the student, who are in charge of your own learning. As the instructor for the class, I expect you to participate in all class activities designed to help you develop conceptual knowledge and skills in order to evaluate language phenomena. Concepts, like language, are only developed through interaction and use. Lectures and readings will not be the only source of information in this class.

Small group and whole class discussions are also an integral part of the learning process. Class discussions and assigned activities will provide you with opportunities to develop your basic knowledge regarding language acquisition, but you will be asked to think critically about your ideas and to compare them with those of your classmates. You will learn to defend your own ideas by citing facts and using solid reasons. top

Grading Criteria

Class Participation and Attendance                30%
Projects & Presentations                               20%
Mid-Semester Exam                                     25%
Final Exam  (Q-Bank below)                         25%
Total:                                                          100%


Attendance is mandatory: Participants who arrive to class 10 minutes or more after class begins will be considered late. Participants who are late 3 times will receive 1 absence. Any participant who misses 1/4 of all class meetings will receive an F. Mastery of the ideas and concepts of this course requires engagement and discussion. If you are not in class, you miss that opportunity to exchange ideas. Moreover, participation is also essential. Just coming to class is not enough. I expect all participants to be active in class discussion and lectures as well as to complete all oral and written assignments.

There will be two projects/presentations. The first project, requires that students work in groups and that they research and present information to the class about some aspect of SLA. Topics will be given to the groups and each group will have a different topic. The second project will require students to work together and they will be asked to watch a popular TV show (미수다) and to describe the non-native speakers of Korean errors and then present their findings to the class.

Mid-Term Exam & Final Exam
The mid-term will cover chapters 1-3 and any supplementary material (such as Ellis) used to illustrate those chapters. The mid-term exam will be a take home exam and students will answer the question in essay form. The final will cover chapters 1-7 and any supplementary material (such as Ellis) used to illustrate those chapters. The final exam will be a multiple choice, matching and True and False exam. Approximately 60% of the exam questions will be written by you.

Group Project #1

 This first project requires that you research and present an SLA theory to your classmates. DUE Wednesday 8 April

Topics are easily divided into three or more parts, so work together to divide the topic into its parts and to synthesize the information that goes into each part. Here are the topics:

    t Contrastive Analysis, pp. 34, 78-82, 193-4; *Saville-Troike pp.34-37; outside readings (Lado)
    t Error Analysis, pp.79-82; *Saville-Troike pp. 37-40; outside readings (Corder)
    t Interlanguage, pp. 80, 94-94, 100-104; *Saville-Troike pp. 40-43; outside readings (Selinker)
    t Morpheme Studies & Natural Order, pp. 2-4, 37, 72, 83-85; *Saville-Troike pp. 43-44; outside readings (Dulay & Burt, Selinker)
    t Monitor Model, pp. 36-38; *Saville-Troike pp. 45-46; outside readings (Krashen)
    t Universal Grammar, pp. 15, 35-36; *Saville-Troike pp. 46-52; outside reading (Chomsky, Lydia White, V. Cook)

I am providing the Saville-Troike chapter as a link, because the Ellis book doesn't have good descriptions of Contrastive Analysis or the Monitor Model.


Take Home Mid-Term

Pass out exam Wednesday 22 April.
Exam due Wednesday 6 May.

Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Here is the Wikipedia definition of plagiarism. Every semester one student fails the take home mid-term exam because he or she plagiarizes one of the answers on the exam. Please use the textbooks, supplemental materials, and videos to support your opinions. When using those materials please cite the author and page number. If you use outside sources you need to provide a reference list and use APA guidelines for citations.


Group Project #2

This group project requires that the group members watch the show 미수다 together. If you cannot watch it together then you must watch the same episode and make good notes regarding the errors that the non-native Korean speakers are making. When you meet together to discuss the episode,  I expect that you will be able to analyze the language that the various speakers were using. You will need to determine if the misspoken Korean was an error or merely a mistake. If it was an error, then I want you to determine what kind of error it is, and whythe speaker might be making it.

Categories of errors
1) L1 transfer
2) Generative/Interlanguage Errors
3) Developmental Errors

Kinds of errors
1) Omission
2) Substitution
3) Overgeneralization


Final Exam

Question Bank Chapters 1-2

Question Bank Chapters 3-4


Tentative Semester Schedule



In Class Activities



Course Introduction & watch Genie


Lightbown & Spada (hereafter: L&S), Chapter 1, pp. 1-7.

Discuss Genie, check opinions about language learning, non-graded T/F quiz, discussion