LG513-7-AU-CO:
Individual Differences in L2 Learning

The details
2020/21
Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Autumn
Postgraduate: Level 7
Current
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
15
14 May 2020

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

MA Q11012 Applied Linguistics,
MA Q14012 Language in Society

Module description

This module introduces you to selected psychological factors that interact with the processes and outcomes of second language (L2) learning. You will become familiar with concepts such as language learning aptitude, cognitive and learning style, language learning strategies, metacognition, and working memory. We will discuss the definitions and measurement of these factors, their relationship with each other and with L2 achievement, and their practical relevance in the L2 classroom.
In addition, you will be given the opportunity to carry out your own small-scale empirical project during which you collect and analyse data on a selected individual difference variable in a single participant by means of a mixed-methods approach, e.g. on the basis of a test or questionnaire and an interview. An introduction to methodological issues will be provided, focusing on questionnaire design and interview preparation.

Module aims

This module introduces you to selected psychological factors that interact with the processes and outcomes of second language (L2) learning. You will become familiar with concepts such as language learning aptitude, cognitive and learning style, language learning strategies, metacognition, and working memory. We will discuss the definitions and measurement of these factors, their relationship with each other and with L2 achievement, and their practical relevance in the L2 classroom.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, you will have attained an overview of a range of cognitive variables that are relevant in the field of L2 learning. You will also have gained insight into how the theoretical definitions and the measurement of these variables have changed over time. By conducting your own case study, you will have had the chance to deepen your understanding of theoretical issues through the application of selected concepts in an empirical context. This type of work will help you with identifying and overcoming some of the methodological challenges posed by small-scale studies in the field of L2 learning and education. Furthermore, gaining some hands-on experience with data collection and analysis will serve as useful preparation for MA projects conducted later in the year.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

We will have one 2-hour class each week for 10 weeks. Approximately one hour will be taught as a lecture and the other hour as a seminar. Lectures provide an overview of key theoretical insights, empirical research findings, and methodological issues; seminars are based on student-centred tasks such as follow-up exercises and discussion of issues brought up in the lectures and associated module readings. Discussion and questions are encouraged throughout.

Bibliography*

  • Carol Griffiths. (2008) Lessons from good language learners, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. vol. Cambridge language teaching library
  • Louis Cohen; Lawrence Manion; Keith Morrison. (©2018) Research methods in education, London: Routledge.
  • Zoltán Dörnyei; Stephen Ryan. (2015) The psychology of the language learner revisited, New York, NY: Routledge. vol. Second language acquisition research series
  • Dörnyei, Zoltán. (2005) The psychology of the language learner: individual differences in second language acquisition, Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Assignment     100% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Karen Roehr-Brackin, email: kroehr@essex.ac.uk.
Karen Roehr-Brackin
Karen Roehr-Brackin, 3.306, X2189, kroehr@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
No
No
Yes

External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 20 hours, 20 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Linguistics

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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