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Second Language Acquisition

ANG 281 (3 credits) Fall 2011


Universit de Sherbrooke Facult des lettres et sciences humaines Dpartement des lettres et communications

Professor: Dr. Glen Poupore Email: glen.poupore@usherbrooke.ca Office and Phone : A3-227 ; 821-8000 (ext. 66112) Time and Location: Wednesday 08h50 11h45: A3-004 Office Hours: I am in my office every day during the week so simply contact me in class, by email, or by phone to make an appointment (same day appointments possible). Required Textbooks and Materials:
- Course Student Booklet (Photocopy pack) available at the photocopy center A4-151

General Description and Principal Objectives


Welcome to the Second Language Acquisition course. Its a pleasure to meet you and I look forward to teaching you. In many ways, the process of acquiring a language is a mysterious and a remarkable human accomplishment and for these reasons represents a fascinating area of study. In addition, as the world becomes increasingly globalized and multilingual, gaining knowledge about how second languages are learned is becoming more and more relevant and important. The essential aim of this course is to help you learn about how second languages are acquired and to be able to apply these into your actual teaching practice. We will discuss many issues including: (1) the relationship between first language acquisition (FLA) and second language acquisition (SLA); (2) various theories of second language acquisition which explain how second languages are learned; (3) why some second language learners are more successful than others; and (4) the relationship between SLA and language teaching methodology. Although the course content will be somewhat theoretical, the course will also be quite interactive and will involve lots of discussion, pair work, and group work activities in which you will receive lots of opportunities to improve your skills in speaking and listening as well as writing and reading. As a teacher, my objective is to always create an enjoyable, pleasant, and motivating atmosphere for my students. I will try my best and I hope that you will truly enjoy my course.

Content & Course Goals: What will I do, learn, and gain by taking this course?
- You will gain knowledge in how second languages are learned and then apply this by developing your own personal language teaching philosophy. - You will be able to articulate and explain your own understanding of theoretical concepts related to second language acquisition (SLA). - You will design and perform an oral presentation based on a theory of SLA (or a methodological teaching approach based on SLA). - You will design a lesson based on task-based language teaching (TBLT) methodology and explain how the lesson satisfies conditions for successful SLA. - You will develop your English communicative and interactive skills through classroom discussions, pair work, group work, group projects, and presentations.. - You will enjoy the course and develop an enthusiasm for second language learning and teaching.

Evaluation:
1. Homework and Active Participation (30%) 2. Oral Presentation [in groups of 4 or 5] (25%) 3. SLA Concepts Quiz (15%) 4. TBLT Lesson Design [in pairs or in groups of 3] (30%)

Letter Grade
A+ A AB+ B BC+ C CD+ D E

Number Grade Per Cent


92% + 88-91% 85-87% 82-84% 78-81% 75-77% 72-74% 68-71% 65-67% 62-64% 60-61% 0-59%

Grade Point Average


4.3 4.0 3.7 3.3 3.0 2.7 2.3 2.0 1.7 1.3 1.0 0

Workload
There will be required reading for most weeks during the semester. Some of these will also involve the completion of written homework. Although the workload for the course will differ depending on the week, you should save on average between 2-4 hours of out-of-class time to prepare for each class.

Attendance Policy
Attending classes and being on time assumes a great importance for this course because:
- It is an essential requirement that will help you to successfully pass the course. - As future educators and/or teachers, it is important for you to be responsible and therefore for you to be punctual and to be consistent in class attendance. - Arriving late disrupts the class and prevents other learners from learning. - You will learn many things and you will enjoy the classes.

* If you are going to be absent:


(1) inform the instructor by email beforehand if the absence is anticipated (if you miss a class unexpectedly due to illness, please contact the instructor as soon as possible after the absence) (2) make sure that you still hand in your homework on time (late penalties will apply see below) (3) get a classmate to tell you what we did in class and what your homework is and to collect any materials that were given (do not ask your teacher about such matters it is your responsibility to get a classmate to do this for you)

* Excessive absences will likely result in failure for the course.

Late Submissions
For all homework and assignments late penalties will be applied based on the following guidelines: * 5% penalty for same day lateness (until midnight of the same day) * 20% for next day lateness * not accepted after the next day

Homework and Active Participation (30%)


Written Homework (20%): Homework during the semester will be divided into two types: (1) reading homework and (2) written homework. For reading homework there will be no written homework to complete; you just do the reading and become familiar with the material to help you prepare for in-class discussions (usually based on guiding questions which are outlined in the student booklet and on Moodle). Occasionally, meanwhile, you will be asked to complete written homework and these will count for 20% of your overall grade. You will either be given some questions to answer based on a reading or you will be given some type of written task. These are outlined in the student booklet and are also available for download on the course website (Moodle). You will also need to upload your answer sheet on Moodle before the scheduled class begins. In addition, you must bring at least one typed physical copy of your completed homework to class (this will be useful for your own reference during class discussions). Your typed physical copy will be collected by Glen during class time and will also count towards your overall participation grade.

It is your responsibility to learn how to use the Moodle system for uploading your assignments. If under the rare case of a technological failure, simply bring an extra physical copy to class and give to your instructor as proof of completion (but you will still need to upload the assignment on moodle after class if the uploaded version is different from the original copy given in class only the original will be used for evaluation). Written homework will be evaluated based on the following scale:
Not Completed (0 points) Partially Completed (1 point) Fully Completed (2 points)

fully completed = answering all questions, fully answering each question, and if applicable answering in your own words and expressing personal voice partially completed = not answering some questions; not fully answering the questions; overly brief answers, and if applicable not answering in own words or expressing personal voice * See academic honesty section outlined at the end of the syllabus to avoid the problem of plagiarism and a possible F grade for the assignment and/or for the course.

Active Participation (10%): In order to create a positive, motivating, respectful, and trusting environment, your active participation will be important. This is based on:
- Being well-prepared for class discussions by completing your written homework and bringing a physical copy. - Being well-prepared for class discussions by demonstrating a good knowledge of the reading homework. - Being alert in class and listening attentively and respectfully to the professor and to other classmates. - Not chatting amongst yourselves when the instructor or a fellow student is addressing the class. - Turning off your cell phone before entering class and not using or looking at it during class time. - Using your laptop and/or other electronic devices for educational purposes only. - Bringing your student booklet (photocopy pack) to class.

Oral Presentation (25%)


In order to gain knowledge about SLA theories and methodological approaches and how to apply them in actual teaching practice you will, in groups of 4 or 5 (students make their own groups to be determined by week 3 of the semester), prepare a 25-minute oral presentation about one of the following (Glen will randomly assign a theory or approach to each group): - Krashens acquisition-learning hypothesis and monitor hypothesis (Krashen 1) - Krashens input hypothesis and affective filter hypothesis (Krashen 2) - Longs interaction hypothesis - Swains output hypothesis - Schmidts noticing hypothesis - Cooperative language learning - The lexical approach The presentations will be spread out over the duration of the semester. For more detailed information about this assignment, including specific dates, the content to be included, helpful recommendations, and evaluation criteria, see the end of the student booklet.

SLA Concepts Quiz (15%)


Early in the second half of the semester, a short quiz on SLA concepts will be given. The quiz will contain a list of SLA concepts which will have been covered in the course up to that point. From this list you will have the choice of selecting 5 concepts and then providing an explanation for each one (e.g. by providing a quality definition with examples and by outlining its implications for language learning and teaching). A more detailed explanation of the quiz including the list of possible SLA concepts that will be on the quiz and the evaluation criteria will be provided later in the semester. If you will need further clarification about some of the concepts prior to the quiz, please call or visit my office and I will be glad to help you understand them better.

TBLT Lesson Design (30%)


As an example of a modern language teaching methodology based on sound SLA principles, taskbased language teaching (TBLT) is also well-matched with the competency-based approach within the Quebec Education Program. To gain knowledge about this methodology and how to apply it in practice, you will design (not perform) a short TBLT lesson based on the procedural framework introduced during the course. You will have the choice of working in pairs or in small groups of three (working solo is also an option if this is best for you). The target age group for your lesson will be secondary IV V enriched students. The due date for this assignment will be during the final exam period. For more detailed information about this assignment, including specific dates, the content to be included, helpful guidelines, and evaluation criteria, see the end of the student booklet.

Academic Honesty:
While most students pursue their academic work in an honest fashion, it is important to be aware that academic dishonesty is a serious offence and that luniversit de Sherbrooke has a strict policy on plagiarism (leading to an F grade for the assignment and/or for the course). Academic dishonesty includes the following offences:
Taking language from the internet, a book, a classmate, a previous student, or other source and claiming it to be your own language and idea for an answer to a homework or assignment question (any language or idea taken from another source must be put in double quotation marks and referenced using APA style see below for an example of referencing). Turning in homework and assignments with answers to questions that use the exact same words and ideas as another classmate who did the same homework/assignment (at least for questions which ask for your own thoughts and ideas). Turning in the same written assignment, even in a different version, for two different courses without the permission of both professors involved.

Example of referencing: Brown believes that intrinsic motivation is more powerful than extrinsic motivation because the behavior stems from needs, wants, or desires within oneself, the behavior itself is self-rewarding and no externally administered reward is necessary (2007, p. 68). End of paper list of references: Brown, H. D. (2007). Teaching by Principles: An Interactive Approach to Language Pedagogy (3rd ed.). White Plains: Longman.

Evaluative Feedback
Students will be provided with written feedback for all the major assignments and for most of the written homework (usually within a week after the due date). Following evaluation of the last major assignment (TBLT lesson design), students will also be provided with a breakdown of their final grade. Feedback will be communicated individually via the Moodle site.

Powerpoint Files:
Important powerpoint slides used during lectures will be posted on Moodle following each class. Powerpoint files and other materials used by students for their oral presentations will also be posted on Moodle (by Glen) after the presentations for class sharing.

Books/Websites on SLA:
The following references provide accessible information on the topic of SLA (the books are all available in my office and can be borrowed for short-term loan): Brown, H. D. (2007). Principles of Language Learning and Teaching (5th ed.). White Plains, NY: Pearson Longman. Lightbown, P., & Spada, N. (2006). How Languages Are Learned (3rd ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Macaro, E. (Ed.). (2010). Continuum Companion to Second Language Acquisition. London: Continuum. Ortega, L. (2009). Understanding second language acquisition. London: Arnold. VanPatten, B., & Benati, A. G. (2010). Key terms in second language acquisition. London: Continuum. The following websites might also prove useful:
Second Language Acquisition Topics (Vivian Cook, 2003): This website designed by SLA scholar Vivian Cook offers major topics about SLA. It includes major SLA approaches, bilingualism, individual differences, controversial questions, and second language teaching and learning. http://homepage.ntlworld.com/vivian.c/SLA/ Stephen D. Krashen's Website: This website offers the works of Stephen D. Krashen. It contains reports, studies and articles on current SLA issues, and the contents of one of Krashen's earlier books: Second Language Acquisition and Second Language Learning (1981). In addition, a mailing list is provided on this website. http://www.sdkrashen.com/main.php3

Development of Professional Competencies

Competencies
Competency 1: To act as a professional inheritor, critic, and interpreter of knowledge.

Key Features
- Situates the disciplines basic points of understanding and concepts in order to facilitate significant and in-depth learning. - Communicates ideas concisely using precise vocabulary and correct grammar. - Is able to support his or her ideas and argue his or her subject matter in a consistent, effective, and respectful manner during discussions. -Uses appropriate language when speaking to peers.

Application within the Course


- Reading/writing homework - Oral presentation - SLA concepts quiz - TBLT lesson design - Active participation - Reading/writing homework - Oral presentation - SLA concepts quiz - TBLT lesson design

Competency 2: To communicate clearly in the language of instruction, both orally and in writing.

Competency 3: To develop teaching/learning situations.

- Bases the selection and content of teaching elements on data drawn from recent pedagogical research. - Plans learning situations that provide opportunities to apply competencies. - Anticipates obstacles to learning posed by the content to be taught.

- Oral presentation - TBLT lesson design

Competency 4: To pilot and practice teaching/learning situations.

- Creates conditions in which students can engage in meaningful tasks or projects. - Guides students in interpreting and understanding the requirements of a task or project.

- Oral presentation - TBLT lesson design

Competency 8: To integrate information and communications technology (ICT) in the preparation and delivery of teaching/learning activities and for professional development purposes. Competency 10: To cooperate with members of the teaching team in carrying out tasks. Competency 11: To engage in professional development individually and with others.

- Communicates using various multimedia resources. - Uses ICT effectively to search for, interpret and communicate information. - Cooperates in an active and ongoing manner.

- Oral presentation - TBLT lesson design

- Active participation - Oral presentation - TBLT lesson design - Active participation - Reading/writing homework - Oral presentation - SLA concepts quiz - TBLT lesson design - Active participation

- Reflects on his or her practice. - Involves peers in research.

Competency 12: To engage in ethical and responsible development.

- Provides appropriate attention and support.

Course Schedule:
The course schedule, reading material, and homework assignments are subject to change. Changes will be announced in class and on the course website; therefore, students are responsible for noting any possible changes. All readings are available in the student booklet. Copies of the homework assignments are available in the student booklet and on the course website.

Class/Topics
Class 1 (August 31): - Getting to know each other - Getting to know the course - Basic SLA concepts Class 2 (September 7): - Basic SLA concepts (contd) - Multilingualism - English as a global language

Reading Material/Homework/Assignments

Course syllabus Lightbown & Spada [How languages are learned] (p. 183-194) Harmer [The practice of ELT] (p. 13-19) * Syllabus quiz * Written homework based on the readings

Class 3 (September 14): - Theories of learning - First language acquisition (FLA)

Lightbown & Spada [How languages are learned] (p. 1-4, 7-23)

* Reading homework * Inform Glen about group members for oral presentations

Class 4 (September 21): - FLA (contd)

Different groups will be assigned different readings based on their assigned SLA theory (see student booklet) * Written homework based on your reading

- Behaviorism and language transfer in SLA - Theories of SLA

* In class, students will share answers to their written homework in their groups and begin to prepare their oral presentation.

Class 5 (September 28): - Krashens input model:


* acquisition-learning hypothesis * monitor hypothesis * comprehensible input hypothesis * affective filter hypothesis

No required reading * Krashen 1 oral presentation * Krashen 2 oral presentation

Class 6 (October 5): - Krashen (Contd) - Longs interaction hypothesis

No required reading * Interaction hypothesis oral presentation

Class 7 (October 12): - Swains output hypothesis - Age and Acquisition

No required reading * Output hypothesis oral presentation

Class 8 (October 19): - Noticing hypothesis - Corrective feedback - Focus on Form - Implicit/explicit learning processes - Cooperative language learning

No required reading * Noticing hypothesis oral presentation * Cooperative language learning oral presentation

No Class October 26 - Reading Week

Class 9 (November 2): - Essential conditions for SLA - Instructed SLA 1:


* Principles of communicative language teaching (CLT) * CLT strong version * Lexical approach

No required reading * Lexical approach oral presentation

Class 10 (November 9): - Instructed SLA 2:


* CLT weak version (language functions and PPP)

Harmer [How to teach English] (p. 76) Harmer [The practice of ELT] (p. 64-66, 69-71) Larsen-Freeman [Techniques and principles] (p. 121-134) * Reading homework * SLA concepts quiz

Class 11 (November 16): - Instructed SLA 3:


* Task-based language teaching (TBLT)

Willis [A flexible framework for TBL] (p. 52-62) Willis [A framework for TBL] (p. 22-27, 30-36, 38, 40, 155) * Written homework based on the readings No required reading

Class 12 (November 23): - Instructed SLA 3 (Contd):


* Task-based language teaching (TBLT)

Class 13 (November 30): - SLA and individual differences 1:


* The good language learner studies * Learning styles * Multiple intelligences

Harmer [The practice of English language teaching] (p. 85-91) Johnson [Introduction to foreign language learning] (p. 146-151) Gardners list of multiple intelligences * Written homework based on the readings

Class 14 (December 7): - SLA and individual differences 2:


* Motivation * Attitude * Anxiety * Cognitive aptitude

No required reading

Final exam period (December 12-21)

* TBLT lesson design due Wednesday December 14th 5:00 PM