This course offers an introduction to the central themes in language acquisition, covering first, second and foreign language acquisition. Students are expected to gain from the course a broad understanding of how children acquire their first language, how second language learners learn a new language, and the potential differences in processing and outcome.
Topics may include:
- First language (L1) acquisition; Stages of language development
- Nature vs. Nurture
- Second language (L2) acquisition; The role of L1 in L2/foreign language learning
- Memory systems and language acquisition
- Bilingualism and Multilingualism
- Language representation and organization
- Word learning and processing
- Biological and contextual factors in language acquisition
At the end of the course, students should have an awareness of some key theoretical issues in the field of language acquisition. Students should be able to evaluate the different approaches to the study of language acquisition and demonstrate the ability to understand and analyze language data.
This course comprises of lectures and tutorials.
Attendance and participation (e.g. group discussions, presentations) 25%
Suggested readings will be provided throughout the course.