Second Language Acquisition Research
Winter Quarter, 2012
Instructor: Kenji Hakuta
Second language acquisition represents a strong convergence area for educational research, policy and practice. This course will look at the research from the perspectives offered from the vantage points of current U.S. policy and practice. The class discussion will be framed in terms of some basic propositions (assertions). For each proposition, some basic reading is assigned as a starter, but students will be expected to look further into the theoretical and/or empirical literature to further expand on the value of the proposition. Course requirement are: (1) active class participation, and (2) a research paper of no more than 20 pages elaborating on one of the propositions from this class, preferably with a proposal for a research study. Due date: March 25.
January 11: Introduction and overview.
Proposition 1: Language is a distinctively human capacity with both biological and social constraints.
Pinker, S. (2000). The language instinct: How the mind creates language. New York: Perennial.
Proposition 2: Second language acquisition has natural constraints: it takes a while, and it is constrained by age.
Hakuta, K., Butler, Y. & Witt, D. (2000). How Long Does It Take English Learners to Attain Proficiency? University of California Linguistic Minority Research Institute Policy Report 2000-1. Click here.
Cook, H. G., Boals, T., Wilmes, C. & Santos, M. Issues in the Development of Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives (AMAOs) for WIDA Consortium States. Wisconsin Center for Education Research. Click here.
Linquanti, R. & George, C. Establishing and Utilizing an NCLB Title III Accountability System: California’s
Approach and Findings to Date. In Abedi J. (ed.) English Language Proficiency Assessment in the Nation: Current Status and Future Research. UC Davis School of Education. Click here.
Hakuta, K., Bialystok, E. & Wiley, E. (2003) Critical Evidence: A Test of the Critical Period Hypothesis for Second Language Acquisition. Psychological Science, 14 (1), 31-38. Click here.
Proposition 2.5: Language transfer really does happen, we just don't know what to make of it.
Hakuta, K. & Cancino, H. (1977). Trends in second language acquisition research. Harvard Educational Review 47, 294-316. Click here.
Ellis, R. (2003). The study of second language acquisition. Oxford University Press, pp. 299-345.
Proposition 3: The development of language form is relatively robust to environmental influence, whereas language functions are more malleable to conditions of exposure.
Dickinson, D. & Freiberg, J. (2010). Environmental Factors Affecting Language Acquisition from Birth – Five: Implications for Literacy Development and Intervention Efforts. National Research Council: Paper prepared for the Committee on the Role of Language in School Learning.
Proposition 4: Explicit instruction of linguistic forms has limited value in promoting language functions.
Bayley, R. (2010) Explicit Formal Instruction in Oral Language: English Language Learners. National Research Council: Paper prepared for the Committee on the Role of Language in School Learning
Dutro, S. & Kinsella, K. (2010). English Language Development: Issues and Implementation at Grades Six through Twelve. In Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches. In Improving Education for English Learners: Research-Based Approaches. California Department of Education. On reserve.
Rickford, J. & Wolfram, W. (2010). Explicit formal instruction in oral language (as a second dialect). National Research Council: Paper prepared for the Committee on the Role of Language in School Learning.
Proposition 5: Vocabulary development involves more than stuffing a jar with olives.
Hoff, E. (2010). Do Vocabulary Differences Explain Achievement Gaps and Can Vocabulary-Targeted Interventions Close Them? National Research Council: Paper prepared for the Committee on the Role of Language in School Learning
Proposition 6: The term "academic language" is not that useful and more useful componentialized into epistemological categories.
Schleppegrell, M. (2010). Language in academic subject areas and classroom instruction: what is academic
language and how can we teach it? National Research Council: Paper prepared for the Committee on the Role of Language in School Learning
Valdes, G., McSwann, . & Alvarez, L. (2010). Deficits and Differences: Perspectives on Language and Education. National Research Council: Paper prepared for the Committee on the Role of Language in School Learning
Proposition 7: Second language acquisition is multidimensional.
Mislevy, R. & Yin, C. (in press). If language is a complex adaptive system, what is language assessment? Language Learning.
Proposition 8: The language distinctions made in policy need to be re-examined based on policy intent.
Ramsey, A. & O'Day, J. (March, 2010) Title III Policy: State of the States. ESEA Evaluation Brief: The English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. American Insitutes for Research. Click here.
Boyle, A., Taylor, J., Hurlbut, S & Soga, K. (March, 2010). Title III Accountability: Behind the Numbers. ESEA Evaluation Brief: The English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. American Insitutes for Research. Click here.
Tanenbaum, C. & Anderson, L. (March, 2010). Title III Accountability and District Improvement Efforts: A Closer Look. ESEA Evaluation Brief: The English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement Act. American Insitutes for Research. Click here.
Proposition 9: Teacher education and professional development needs to centrally embrace the role of language in instruction and learning.
Lucas, T. & Grinberg, J. (2008). Responding to the linguistic reality of mainstream classrooms: Preparing all teachers to teach English language learners. In M. Cochran-Smith, S. Feiman-Nemser & K. Demers (eds.) Handbook of Research on Teacher Education. New York: Taylor & Francis (2008), pp. 606-636. On reserve.
Adger, C., Snow, C. & Christian, D. (2004). What Teachers Need to Know about Language. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. Click here.