Second Language Learning

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
05 June 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA QX41 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ24 English Language and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q143 Language Studies (4 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA Q102 Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA R999 Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RQ99 Modern Languages and English Language (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RQ98 Modern Languages and Linguistics (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA R8T8 Modern Languages and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA R8T9 Modern Languages with Latin American Studies (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RT99 Spanish, Portuguese and Brazilian Studies (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA QP13 English Language with Media Communication (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q121 Linguistics with Data Science (Including Foundation Year),
BA R107 Language Studies with Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R115 Language Studies and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA R117 Language Studies and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q912 Modern Languages Translation, Interpreting and Cultural Mediation (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

This module is designed to prepare students wishing to join a degree course in the Department of Language and Linguistics. It considers some of the theoretical underpinnings of second language acquisition and how these considerations can help inform second language teaching and learning.

The areas of focus will include the learner, the classroom environment and society.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To introduce and explain linguistic terms related to language acquisition and language learning.

  • To raise students' awareness of key issues and current debate within second language learning and how languages interact with society.

  • To broaden students' knowledge of linguistic theory through the application of theory.

  • To support students to develop key communication, teamwork and employability skills.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Account for some of the key considerations between language learning and language acquisition.

  2. Understand the role of the learner and the teacher in the second language classroom.

  3. Demonstrate awareness of the roles second languages play in society.

  4. Demonstrate knowledge of key linguistic concepts and theories and have the skills to carry out linguistic analyses.

  5. Interpret linguistic research and apply it to the study of linguistics.

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, students will have practised the following transferrable skills: 

  1. Self-motivation / taking responsibility.

  2. Problem-solving: through data analysis.

  3. Teaching practice.

  4. Growth mindset through reflective practices (self/peer-to-peer) and individual tutorials.

Module information


  • Second Language Acquisition.

  • Second Language Learning.

  • The learner and individual differences.

  • L2 competence and proficiency.

  • Motivation in Second Language Learning.

  • The classroom environment and instructed Second Language Learning.

  • Classroom research.

  • The Second Language environment and the role of the second language in society.

  • Summer term: student-led sessions on topics of interest.

Learning and teaching methods

This module will be delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture per week.
  • One 2-hour seminar per week.

Teaching and learning on Essex Pathways modules offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competencies to study at the undergraduate level, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience. All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner.

Students will be expected to have done the prescribed reading for the sessions so that they can fully participate in discussions. The field of linguistics will be introduced at a level accessible to all students and no prior knowledge of the discipline area is required.

Learning support

Students are expected to engage with Moodle for materials and support activities for their continuous learning opportunities. Students will be supported in their research skills, essay writing, referencing and bibliographical procedures within this discipline. Students are also supported through the Listen Again facility and the use of technology in their teaching and learning.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography for this year.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   IA150 - Group Discussions    30% 
Coursework   IA150 - Formative Reading-to-Write Task 500 Words  01/11/2023  0% 
Coursework   IA150 - Essay 750 Words  06/12/2023  25% 
Coursework   IA150 - Portfolio 1,000 Words  27/03/2024  40% 
Coursework   IA150 - Participation  13/05/2024  5% 

Additional coursework information

Formative assessment

  • Reading-to-write task. Summary of key learning/acquisition concept (500 words) due in week 6.

Summative assessment

  • An essay exploring the differences between second language acquisition and second language learning, or the learner.
  • A portfolio consisting of two guided classroom observation task sheets and related reflections on processes.
  • • Group discussions on the role of second language in society. This element of assessment supports the RADS research task but from a subject point of view (7 mins per person, 30%).
  • Participation mark consisting of contribution to team teaching and peer support.

Reassessment strategy

  • Failed coursework - resubmit a piece of coursework (1,000 words) which will be marked as 100% of the new module mark. The reassessment task will enable the relevant learning outcomes to be met.
  • If the group discussion has been failed or has not been attempted, students will also be required to submit a 500-word presentation in notes/slides format. The weighting will be divided equally between the assignment and the 500-word presentation.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Ritta Husted, email: rhuste@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Ritta Husted
Becky Humphreys (becky.humphreys@essex.ac.uk or 01206 872217)



External examiner

Miss Jan O'Driscoll
University of Chester
Dean of Lifelong Learning and Director of Foundation Years
Available via Moodle
Of 88 hours, 86 (97.7%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Essex Pathways

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