Second Language Acquisition Research
Winter Quarter, 2013
Monday 9:00 - 11:00, Wednesday discussion
Instructor: Kenji Hakuta
Second language acquisition is a topic area with strong convergence between theory, practice and policy. For the education of English language learners in the United States, the basic framework of civil rights protection for this class of students is based on three principles: sound educational theory, diligent implementation in policy and practice, and attainment of equitable educational outcomes. This course is a survey of the current status of knowledge about second language acquisition, and how it is applied to expectations about how the educational system expects to support the learning of a second language by students, as reflected in current education standards. The course will begin with a systematic survey of the research, followed by detailed examination of several prominent standards documents as instances of implementation of theory in practice. The course will require a paper that provides a detailed analysis of one or more of the standards documents.
Ellis, R. (2008). The study of second language acquisition. Second edition. Oxford University Press.
Pinker, S. (1994 or later). The language instinct. Harper.
Additional primary source readings to be assigned.
Public standards documents
January 7: Introduction and overview - Lecture Click here for overview slides for the course
Proposition 1: Language is a distinctively human capacity with both biological and social constraints.
Reading: Pinker (entire book); Ellis, Part 1.
Proposition 2: Learner errors provide useful information about the individual cognitive process of second language acquisition and the role of the native language.
Eliis, Part 2.
Proposition 3: Contextual factors condition the outcomes of second language acquisition.
Ellis, part 3
Proposition 4: Internal factors that are non-linguistic in nature provide additional constraints on the second language acquisition process.
Ellis, Part 4 & 5
Proposition 5: Understanding the brain leads to better understanding of second language acquisition.
Ellis, Part 6
Proposition 6: The instructional setting determines cognitive, psycholinguistic, and sociolingustic outcomes for ELLs.
Ellis, Part 7
The Common Core State Standards and the English Language Proficiency Standards click here
The English Language Proficiency Development Framework click here
The California English Language Development Standards click here
Common European Framework of Reference for Languages click here