Graduate Study - Faculty of Education and Humanities
4+1 with thesis English Language and Literature

Code Name Level Year Semester
ELT 531 Second Language Acquisition Graduate 1 Fall
Status Number of ECTS Credits Class Hours Per Week Total Hours Per Semester Language
Area Elective 6 2 + 2 157

Instructor Assistant Coordinator
Vildana Dubravac, Assist. Prof. Dr. asst. prof. Vildana Dubravac Vildana Dubravac, Assist. Prof. Dr.
[email protected] [email protected] no email

This course introduces students to the field of second language acquisition (SLA), which as a discipline focuses on the many problems associated to three general questions: • How do humans learn additional languages after they have learned their first? • What factors contribute to the variability observed in rates and outcomes of second language learning? • What does it take to attain advanced language and literacy competencies in a language other than the mother tongue? In addressing these overarching questions, the field of SLA investigates a number of topics, which I view in three groupings: (i) Universal features of the L2 learner and the L2 learning process that determine the nature and route of acquisition (e.g., age and critical periods; cross-linguistic influences; role of the environment and environmental triggers of acquisition; cognitive contributions; interlanguage variability vs. systematicity and developmental stages and sequences); (ii) Individual influences related to differential rate of acquisition and ultimate success in an L2 (e.g., aptitude, motivation, and affect); (iii) Social dimensions that influence L2 learning (e.g., social identity, power asymmetries, class and gender, macro socio-political and socio-cultural context). Throughout the semester, we will refer to these three areas as the universal, the individual, and the social in L2 acquisition. We will explore each area, but the emphasis will be on the universal in L2 acquisition. As we deal with the various topics, we will always look at the implications of SLA findings for L2 teaching. A range of SLA epistemologies and theories will be examined.

The general objectives of the course require each student to:
• To develop an expert and personally relevant understanding of second language learning;
• To become familiar with theories, methods, and findings in the field of SLA;
• To develop students’ ability to read SLA research reports meaningfully;
• To support students through the process of conducting and reporting on a research project that explores SLA

  1. Introduction to the course
  2. First language vs. second language acquisition; Foundations of SLA; Second language learning
  3. An overview of different methods in second language acquisition
  4. Individual learner differences (Introduction); age
  5. Cross linguistic differences
  6. The linguistic environment
  7. Cognition
  8. Development of learner language
  9. Mid-term exam
  10. Foreign Language Aptitude
  11. Motivation
  12. Affect and other individual differences
  13. Classroom L2 acquisition
  14. Projects
  15. Course review


    • Interactive Lectures
    • Practical Sessions
    • Excersises
    • Presentation
    • Assignments
    Description (%)
    Method Quantity Percentage (%)
    Midterm Exam(s)130
    Final Exam140
    Total: 100
    Learning outcomes
    • it will enable you to conduct independent scientific investigation of a broad spectrum of issues linked to linguistics and L2 acquisition.
    • it will enable you to assess existing research in an independent manner.
    • it will develop your ability to discuss a defined methodological issue in a systematic manner. The expected learning outcomes of the last part of the course are available.
    • • Ortega, L. (2009). Understanding Second language Acquisition. UK: Hodder Education

    ECTS (Allocated based on student) WORKLOAD
    Activities Quantity Duration (Hour) Total Work Load
    Lecture (14 weeks x Lecture hours per week)14342
    Laboratory / Practice (14 weeks x Laboratory/Practice hours per week) 0
    Midterm Examination (1 week)155
    Final Examination(1 week)11010
    Preparation for Midterm Examination12020
    Preparation for Final Examination22040
    Assignment / Homework/ Project12020
    Seminar / Presentation12020
    Total Workload: 157
    ECTS Credit (Total workload/25): 6