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Second Language Syntax - LAN00015H

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Heather Marsden
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Related modules

Pre-requisite modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2017-18 to Summer Term 2017-18

Module aims

The module provides a thorough introduction to issues in the development of syntactic knowledge in second language acquisition (SLA). In addition, students will learn about key issues in experiment design and analysis in the field of SLA.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module you will:

  • Understand the main current theories of SLA, and their different proposals about the roles of Universal Grammar and first language knowledge in SLA
  • Show how second language (L2) data are used to provide evidence for (or against) the main theories of L2 syntactic development
  • Explain the significance of major SLA research findings in the context of theories of L2 syntactic development
  • Give an account of techniques for investigating L2 syntactic development

Module content

Lectures present key questions in L2 acquisition and outline L2 data that addresses these questions. Seminars investigate the L2 data in greater depth through critical reading and discussion of primary sources, and through hands-on work with L2 data. Students will participate in presentations about some of the course readings.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 30
Open Examination (7 day week)
Open Exam
N/A 70

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 30
Open Examination (7 day week)
Open Exam
N/A 70

Module feedback

Feedback on formative work

  • Formative exercise due in Week 6 of Spring term.
    • Individual feedback provided in Week 7, Spring term.
  • Informal student presentations (in groups) also serve as formative work. Oral feedback will be provided immediately following the presentation.

Summative assessment and feedback


Feedback: Provided before the open exam.

Open exam

Written feedback available by the end of Summer term.

Indicative reading

Recommended textbook:

  • Slabakova, Roumyana. 2016. Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Additional readings will be made available in a reading pack.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.