Current Issues in Bilingualism and Acquisition
Run by School of Arts, Culture and Language
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Eirini Sanoudaki
Overall aims and purpose
This is a project-based module.The module is a survey of current research and approaches to the study of bilingualism and language acquisition, aiming to enable students to conduct their own research within these fields. It provides an overview of major empirical issues and findings concerning bilingualism and language acquisition, and their implications for research and linguistic theory. The module will have two strands: a bilingualism strand (for MA Bilingualism students) and a language acquisition strand (for MSc Language Acquisition and Development students). This will be reflected in the assessments. Students on other degrees may choose which strand to follow.
• to develop students’ understanding of current research and approaches to the study of bilingualism and language acquisition.
• to enhance students’ appreciation of theoretical and empirical issues concerning bilingualism and bilingual or multilingual language use.
• to enhance students’ awareness of the implications of current findings for acquisition research and linguistic theory.
• to provide training in how to conduct research in this area of study.
Topics will change from year to year and may include: 1. Bilingual social interaction 2. Bilingual first language acquisition 3. Second language acquisition 4. Multilingualism 5. Issues of identity 6. The bilingual brain.
The student can demonstrate a clear and accurate understanding appropriate for postgraduate study of the area they have chosen to research; and display evidence of having consulted many relevant readings, making clear and accurate reference to those source materials, free from misunderstanding and errors of content, and is free from irrelevant material. Students will also display a better than average standard of understanding and/or knowledge of all LOs.
The student has revealed a thorough understanding of the area appropriate for postgraduate study that they have chosen to research, both in terms of content and theory; is able to apply complex concepts clearly and accurately; display evidence of detailed critical thought; clear, and logical extended argument; and display communicative competence, free from irrelevant material and errors of spelling and punctuation. Students will have achieved a thorough/excellent understanding and/or knowledge in all LOs.
The student can demonstrate a minimum level of understanding appropriate for postgraduate study of the area they have chosen to research and must involve critical analysis of existing research into Bilingualism and/or Language Acquisition. The answer must show evidence of background study of primary sources and literature, going beyond material discussed in lectures. The answer must be relevant to the research topic chosen. Students will also display the minimum acceptable standard of understanding and/or knowledge of all LOs.
Students will be able to critically present and discuss at an advanced level key facts, concepts, ideas and approaches relating to the study of bilingualism and language acquisition.
Students will be able to analyse and critically evaluate at an advanced level competing theories and theoretical controversies in the study of bilingualism and language acquisition.
Students will be able to compare and critically evaluate at an advanced level the relative and complementary merits of various kinds of competing methodologies, and select an appropriate methodology for investigating specific phenomena.
Students will be able to design and present at an advanced level a research investigation in this area of study.
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Teaching and Learning Strategy
In their own time, students will be expected to do further reading, go through materials covered in class and do further research on the topics, and prepare assignments.
One 2-hour lecture per week (over 11 teaching weeks)
One 1-hour seminar per fortnight (5 over the 11 weeks).
Directed Reading - students are given required reading each week (of about 2 hours) on the topic of that week's lecture.
Students are encouraged to see the lecturer on a one-to-one basis during published office hours (or by appointment) to discuss issues with the module content, seek clarification on topics and discussions, and discuss feedback on assessments and class exercises.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
Subject specific skills
- Research skills - students will be able to undertake advanced independent research, involving formulating a research question, identifying and deploying appropriate linguistic methodology (theoretical or empirical), data collection techniques (experimental or field-based), as well as the selection and application of appropriate theoretical frameworks in order to adequately analyse and interpret data.
- Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies to an advanced standard.
- Oral presentation skills & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in oral form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies, to an advanced level.
- Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse and interpret data accurately and to draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
- Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate to an advanced standard a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
- Independent investigation - students will develop the ability to plan, design and execute a highly original and significant piece of research or inquiry, either independently or as a member of a team in order to discover a specific solution to an outstanding issue or question through searching out and synthesising written, visual and oral information. Students will also develop skills of independent investigation, including interacting with peers and participants/informants.
- Personal organisation - students will develop the ability to undertake self-directed study and learning with appropriate time-management
- Learning to learn - students will learn to reflect upon, modify and improve their learning strategies
- Information technology - students will develop the ability to use computing and IT skills in order to find, store, interpret and present information, to produce a range of electronic documents and to use software confidently
- Effective communication - students will develop the ability to communicate effectively, appropriately and confidently, in a range of contexts, to different audience types, and making use of a range of supporting materials
- Working effectively with others - students will develop the ability to work well with others as part of a group or a team
- Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity.
- Knowledge of linguistic theory and application - students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of terms, issues, principles, aspects and best practices related to the study of human language and linguistics.
- Understanding of the nature and organisation of language - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.
- Understanding the nature of commonalities and differences across languages - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to universals and diversity exhibited by and across languages.
- Knowledge of the relationship between language and society, culture, and/or embodied experience - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to the complex interdependent relationship between language, society culture and/or embodied experience.
- Knowledge of the relationship between language and mind/brain - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to the complex interdependent relationship between language and mind/brain.
- Understanding of the nature of bi/multilingualism - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of bilingual and multilingual individuals and communities.
Resource implications for students
Talis Reading listhttp://readinglists.bangor.ac.uk/modules/qxl-4435.html
Courses including this module
Compulsory in courses:
- Q1AN: MA Bilingualism year 1 (MA/BILING)
- Q103: MArts Cognitive Linguistics year 4 (MARTS/COGL)
- Q1BB: MSc Language Acquisition & Development year 1 (MSC/LAD)