Second Language Acquisition, or SLA for short, is the field that studies how people learn languages in addition to their native language. In this MA seminar, we will tackle four topics that are of central importance in SLA: (1) What is the role of the native language in second language acquisition? (2) What makes learning second language morphosyntax difficult? (3) What makes learning the second language’s pronunciation difficult? (4) And how can second language acquisition be optimised in instructed settings?

The overarching goals of this class is for the students to become more independent readers capable of judging the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative empirical research in second language acquisition and the social sciences more generally, and of putting their views into writing.

We will not devote much attention to the role of age and social factors in language learning. If you are interested in these topics, you may want to consider taking the MA seminars on Socialisation plurilingue and Der Altersfaktor beim Spracherwerb (to name but these two) in addition to this course.

In the spring semester of 2021, there won’t be any live teaching. Instead, there will be weekly video recordings and assignments centring on empirical research articles.