SPN 383M • Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
11:00 AM-2:00 PM
(a) To understand 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.
The course will follow a seminar style format, in Spanish or English. After examining some current theories of language acquisition, students will analyze and discuss works in Spanish and English second language acquisition.
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% Exams 30% 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. Students should select topics and have the instructor approve them by the third week of class. 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 in about 15 minutes. The written examination will cover issues and topics from the readings and class discussions.
The background text is Second Language Acquisition by Gass & Selinker. There is also a packet of readings pertaining to Spanish language acquisition.