Singapore University of Social Sciences

Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy

Second Language Acquisition and Pedagogy (TSL507)


TSL 507 Second Language Acquisition examines critically theories that seek to explain the acquisition of a second language (SLA). These theories focus on different aspects of second language learning: learner’s language, difference and strategies; social factors; language transfer; cognitive factors; and classroom interaction. The implications of some of these theoretical insights on language teaching and syllabus design are then considered critically.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • Defining second language acquisition
  • Learner errors and error analysis
  • Order and sequence in SLA
  • Variability in learner language
  • The role of social factors in SLA
  • The role of input/interaction in SLA
  • The influence of language transfer on SLA
  • Cognitive accounts of SLA
  • Individual learner differences and learning strategies
  • Classroom interaction and SLA
  • SLA research and language teaching
  • SLA research and the structural syllabus

Learning Outcome

  • Compare different SLA theories
  • Discuss the role of language environment (input/interaction/feedback) in SLA
  • Examine second language learner data to better understand how language learning happens in interaction
  • Critique cognitive accounts of SLA
  • Assess the implications of SLA research on language pedagogy
  • Appraise social dimensions of L2 learning
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