Wintersemester 2016/2017

Introduction to Second Language Acquisition


This course offers an introduction at the advanced undergraduate/beginning graduate level to the study of language acquisition, in particular Second Language Acquisition (SLA). The course surveys the major approaches to SLA, their goals, research methodology, and major findings, emphasizing the interdisciplinary link to linguistic modeling and cognition.

Instructor: Detmar Meurers

Course meets: Wednesdays, 16ct–18 in 0.02 (SfS, Blochbau, Wilhelmstr. 19)

Language: The course is taught in English.

Nature of course: This is a lecture course, i.e., students are expected to regularly come to the lecture, actively participate in the discussion, and thoroughly read the announced reading material before class.

The reading material is announced during the course. The main text books we will follow is: Lourdes Ortega (2009). Understanding second language acquisition. London: Hodder Education. Students should obtain a copy of the book during the first week of the class. Options include the Lehrbuchsammlung of the university library (UB).

Grading and Credits: Grading is based on regular and active participation in the lecture and the final exam in the last week of the semester. After successful completion, a paper Schein is issued, which can be counted for:

Final exam: held as a closed-book multiple-choice exam in the last class meeting of the semester, Wednesday, February 8.

Syllabus (this file):

Moodle page: https://moodle02.zdv.uni-tuebingen.de/course/view.php?id=1637

Academic conduct and misconduct: Research is driven by discussion and free exchange of ideas, motivations, and perspectives. So you are encouraged to work in groups, discuss, and exchange ideas. At the same time, the foundation of the free exchange of ideas is that everyone is open about where they obtained which information. Concretely, this means you are expected to always make explicit when you’ve worked on something as a team – and keep in mind that being part of a team always means sharing the work. For any text you write, you always have to provide explicit references for any ideas or passages you reuse from somewhere else. Note that this includes text “found” on the web, where you should cite the url of the web site in case no more official publication is available.



   Ortega, L. (2009). Understanding Second Language Acquisition. London: Hodder Education.

Last update: October 27, 2016