University-level courses

These courses may be offered as full-semester courses or as intensive courses over a shorter period.

1. How languages are learned: Introduction to studies in second language acquisition. Based on the 2013 edition of Lightbown & Spada’s How Languages Are Learned, Oxford University Press, this course provides an overview of research on first and second language acquisition, individual differences in language learning success, and approaches to analyzing learners’ evolving linguistic abilities. Research on the relationship between teaching and learning is a major focus of the course.

Target audience: Undergraduate or masters students in programs for second and foreign language teachers.

2. Classroom-centered research on language learning and teaching: Research methods and research findings. This course is a review of research on the ways second language learning and teaching have been studied in classrooms around the world. The most widely used observation instruments are introduced, and students gain experience in using these tools to describe and evaluate instructional events.

Target audience: M.A. and PhD students in second and foreign language teaching and learning.

3. The role of practice in second language learning: Research from cognitive psychology and applied linguistics. Recent research has revived interest in practice. No longer seen as rote drill and habit formation, practice is increasingly understood in terms of cognitive skill development and transfer appropriate processing. Students review research on practice and propose research projects of their own.

Target audience: Researchers and graduate students in applied linguistics.

4. Multilingual Development in Early Childhood: Simultaneous, Additive, and Subtractive Multilingualism. It is widely thought that the most favorable period for second language acquisition is early childhood. Studies of simultaneous bilingualism tend to confirm that children can master more than one language. However, studies also show that children may fail to develop one or more of their languages to a high level or forget a language they once knew well. Furthermore, the success of early simultaneous bilingualism cannot be used as support for certain types of educational programs in which second languages are introduced in early childhood.

Target Audience: Students in teacher training programs or graduate students in applied linguistics and language education programs.

5. Content-Based Foreign Language Teaching and Learning. More and more schools offer instruction that combines the learning of a second or foreign language with the learning of academic content. This approach is potentially efficient and effective, but it is not easy for teachers or for learners. Research in CBLT programs, from immersion to CLIL (content and language integrated learning) , shows that professional development and the setting of realistic goals are crucial to success.

Target Audience: Teachers in CBLT programs and students in teacher training programs or graduate students in applied linguistics and language education programs.