SPN 383M • Introduction to Spanish Second Language Acquisition
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
Objectives: (a) To understand current basic issues and theories of language acquisition in formal and natural second language learning situations; (b) To discuss relevant literature on the acquisition of Spanish as a second/foreign language, including the analysis of some aspects of the learners' interlanguage; (c) To examine how these issues and theories of language acquisition can be applied theoretically in the classroom learning situation. Topics examined will include cognitive processes of acquisition, such as transfer, overgeneralization, learning principles, order of acquisition, as well as learner strategies, and input properties. These topics will lead into discussion of methods that have developed on the basis of how second language learning takes place but the emphasis of the class is not on teaching methodology.
Grading criteria: Each student is expected to participate actively in class discussions and to come to class prepared by reading and criticizing the readings beforehand. The final grade is based on the following categories: Discussion and preparation 20% Examination 25% Synthesis of article(s) 5% Presentation of paper 10% Final paper 40% Students will write a term paper of about 20 pages in length, based on empirical data dealing with Spanish language acquisition. A 15 minute presentation of the paper will be given in class. Each student will be assigned to synthesize at least one of the readings for the class and will present it in 15 minutes (handouts are helpful). The written examination will cover issues and topics from the readings and class discussions.
Text: Yet to be determined. This text is used mainly to give a perspective on the issues examined. There will be a packet of readings, pertaining mostly to Spanish language acquisition.