Module code: ELAM006

Module Overview

The module will provide an introduction to the processes of second language acquisition and learning.  The module will cover a range of theoretical approaches which have been adopted in the study of language acquisition and learning principles.  These theories will be examined and critically assessed.

Module provider

School of Literature and Languages

Module Leader

HERON Marion (Sy Inst Educ)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: X162

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Major theoretical perspectives on general and second language learning such as behaviourism; cognitivism; constructivism

  • Comparison of general learning and second language learning theories

  • Comparison of first language acquisition and second language learning theories

  • Individual differences in learners

  • Society and culture in second language learning

  • Motivation in second language learning

  • The roles of instruction and interaction in second language learning

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 3500 WORD ESSAY 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to apply relevant second language learning theory to a familiar learning and teaching environment

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of a 3500-word essay which requires students to demonstrate that they have read widely and deeply; critically evaluated their reading and can apply what they have read to a practical situation.

Formative assessment

Seminar tasks

Homework tasks

Plan and bibliography for essay


Group feedback on formative tasks will be provided during the input sessions.

Individual formative feedback on the essay plan and bibliography will be provided online via SurreyLearn.

Individual summative feedback will be provided online via SurreyLearn.

Module aims

  • Review and evaluate theories of second language acquisition and learning in the light of general theories of learning and theories of first language acquisition.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Evaluate second language acquisition theories KC
2 Evaluate second language learning theories KC
3 Apply theories to a familiar learning and teaching environment PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Enable students to acquire in-depth knowledge of theoretical issues in second language teaching and learning through attendance at classes and an exploration of scholarly writing in the field;

  • Enable students to deepen their knowledge of the linguistic structures, grammar and stylistic registers of English through attending classes, engaging in extensive reading and completing exercises and assignments;

  • Encourage student participation and independent learning, through small group classes, reading outside contact hours and participating in seminars;

  • Enable students to engage in analytical and evaluative thinking, to analyse and evaluate concepts, theories and practices associated with English language learning and teaching through attending classes, and engaging in independent study.

  • Acquire in-depth knowledge of the principles and processes of second language acquisition and learning through attendance at classes and an exploration of scholarly writing in the field.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Two contact hours per week over the semester;

  • Classes will include lectures and seminars

  • Students are expected to engage in extensive reading of scholarly writing outside classes in order to follow lectures and participate in seminars.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ELAM006

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) MA 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.