Second Language Acquisition
Location : TESOL Unit, Pusan
University of Foreign Studies
Semester: December 9, 2003 to
February 21, 2004
Credit: 3 Units
Faculty : Thor May
The Second Language Acquisition
unit of the PUFS TESOL program has these goals: a) to survey what SLA
research can contribute to effective classroom teaching and learning;
b) to awaken teachers to a range of alternative approaches in language
teaching, and their rationales; c) to deepen teacher understanding of
how language learners acquire a second language, in and out of the classroom.
Second Language Acquisition
is considered quite selectively in this course. The perspective here
is one of teacher relevance and application, rather than a comprehensive
survey of research in the field. Much SLA study has been motivated by
an interest in human cognition itself rather than actual classroom practice,
and the transference of new insights to real world classrooms has been
limited. The TESOL program therefore balances information about research
results with an active discussion of how they might (or might not) be
applicable to learning English in Korea.
The course progresses from
a number of core questions. What has SLA research discovered about teaching
grammar, pronunciation, vocabulary and writing ? What parts of the language
teacher's normal repertoire has SLA research overlooked? What can SLA
research tell us about the mental processes involved in using L2, or
in using L1 and L2 together? How does language learning differ amongst
individuals, by age, by culture, and so on? What are the important differences
between learning L2 inside a classroom and outside of a classroom? What
does Korean culture really expect of its L2 speakers, and does SLA research
give us hints about how this might be achieved? What are some of the
main models that SLA research has revolved around? What are the assumptions
behind some popular methods of ESL teaching, and how have they related
(if at all) to various models of SLA research?
A student who successfully
completes the SLA unit should have improved understanding in these areas
that L2 can be acquired in numerous ways, any of which may be best
for particular learners according to their aptitudes, social situation
and stage in learning the language.
that the teacher must strive to keep in mind a wide variety of options
to help students reach their learning objectives, and be ready to
adapt insights from SLA research (and any other credible source) to
meet those learning objectives.
knowledge of what research has contributed to particular aspects of
language teaching, such as teaching grammar.
of where and how to keep track of the main trends in SLA research,
as they affect teaching.
is that language teaching is not a simple set of mastery skills, but
a profession where the practitioner must update her knowledge throughout
of the value to both students and the teacher of "grassroots" research
in SLA, undertaken by the teacher herself for the purpose of understanding
what is actually happening in her classroom.
and critical engagement with the ongoing public debate in South Korea
about second language learning, second language teaching, and how second
languages can or should fit into the Korean universe.
Weekly quiz 25% (five
short questions per week, usually based on the previous week's lecture
Essay assignment 25%
(the first draft, worth 10% of the essay total, is due in Week 6; the
final draft is due in Week 9).
Examination 50% (this
written examination will be held in the last week of the semester. It
will be designed to test the student's understanding of content delivered
during the course, and mastery of the skill objectives outlined in the
: The weekly quiz is a form of continuous assessment. Experience
has shown that such quizzes, although unloved at first, are a very effective
way to focus students' minds on the course content, and to clear up
any confused ideas which may have arisen during lectures. The project
assignment is an opportunity for the student to show initiative
in developing her own learning by going beyond course materials, interpreting
ideas from a variety of sources, and applying those ideas to real issues.
The examination is intended to help the student review and integrate
the course content as a whole in her own mind. It also provides an objective
instrument for external auditors (such as other universities) to measure
the kind of learning which has really taken place during the course.
The PUFS TESOL Program is
cross-credited to Masters courses in America and elsewhere. This means
that international best practice must apply to course standards.
In written assignments, all
borrowed ideas must give a full reference for the source
. That is, the student must show the author, page number, article name,
journal or book name, publisher and date. Quotations should be in quotation
marks. Models for doing this correctly can be found in most academic
books and journals. Plagiarism (claiming other people's ideas &
writing as your own) will be penalized according to university policy.
This would normally include a 0% grade for the assignment, and further
measures for repeated offences.
The lecturer has a computer
program specially designed to check for plagiarism, as well as his own
professional knowledge and experience. He understands that course students
who speak English as a second language are likely to have certain kinds
of language errors in their writing.
Course Text Books :
Cook, Vivian 2001
Second Language Learning and Language Teaching (3rd edition),
published NY: OUP, London: Arnold
Douglas Brown, H.
2000 Principles of Language Learning and Teaching, published
Ellis, Rod 1994,
1997 The Study of Second Language Acquisition, published
Skehan, Peter 1998
A Cognitive Approach to Language Learning, published
Scovel, Tom 2001
Learning New Languages - A Guide to Second Language Acquisition,
published Boston: Newbury House
Other materials as mentioned