Second language acquisition

Second language acquisition (SLA) research examines a broad range of theoretical, methodological and pedagogical issues concerning how English is acquired as a second/foreign language. Second language acquisition research aims to produce both descriptions and explanations of what is involved in acquiring a second language. One area of SLA research investigates the nature and variability of learner language. Others examine how individual differences (such as age, gender, first language background and literacy), cognitive factors (such as the role of memory, information processing, learning strategies and motivation) and environmental factors (such as attitudes towards language, input and interaction and the language learning classroom) influence language learning success and the rate of acquisition. SLA research employs a range of research designs, including experimental and survey research, case studies and ethnographies. SLA research also seeks to apply SLA theories to classroom teaching, curriculum design and assessment, with the aim of answering the question: What effects does instruction have on second language acquisition?

Researchers in this area include:

Associate Professor Lesley Harbon Associate Dean, International; Curriculum Coordinator, Languages, BEd(Secondary) combined degrees
Keywords: intercultural languages education, language teacher professional development, immersion languages education
Dr Aek Phakiti Senior Lecturer in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
Keywords: strategic competence, metacognition, second language reading, language testing and assessment, second language acquisition, research methods
Associate Professor Huizhong Shen Associate Professor in TESOL
Dr Marie Stevenson Lecturer in TESOL; Convenor of MEd TESOL
Honorary Senior Lecturer Lindy Woodrow Honorary Senior Lecturer in TESOL; Director, China Education Centre; Research Training Manager
Keywords: English-language learning, Confucian-heritage learners, second-language motivation, anxiety and self-beliefs, academic writing, international students