Second Language Acquisition


a) To provide students with opportunities to develop in-depth knowledge of models of analysis and
fundamental theoretical concepts in the area of Second Language Acquisition
b) To enable students to develop skills which will enable them to research and interpret information autonomously and to critically evaluate competing theoretical proposals
c) To provide students with training in the scholarly presentation of published work in the area, as well as of their own research work, encouraging them to develop the ability to construct clearly structured arguments
d) To enable students to develop the ability to apply theoretical knowledge and methodological tools in original research in the area of Second Language Acquisition

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Maria Lavadinho Madeira


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language





Doughty, C. & C. Long (eds) (2003) The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Blackwell.
Geeslin, K. (2014) (ed.) The Handbook of Spanish Second Language Acquisition. Wiley-Blackwell.
Herschensohn, J. & M. Young-Scholten (eds) (2013) The Cambridge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. CUP.
Mackey, A. & S.M. Gass (eds.) (2012) Research Methods in Second Language Acquisition: A Practical Guide. Wiley-Blackwell.
Montrul, S. (2004) The Acquisition of Spanish: Morphosyntactic development in monolingual and bilingual L1 acquisition and adult L2 acquisition. John Benjamins.
Pires, A. & J. Rothman (eds) (2009) Minimalist Inquiries into Child and Adult Language Acquisition: Case Studies across Portuguese. De Gruyter.
Slabakova, R. (2016) Second Language Acquisition. OUP.
White, L. (2003) Second Language Acquisition and Universal Grammar. CUP.
Whong, M., K.-H. Gil & H. Marsden (eds.) (2013) Universal Grammar and the Second Language Classroom. Springer.

Teaching method

The course will be taught through expository seminars which also include discussions on the readings and topics under examination. There will also be regular tutorial sessions.

Evaluation method

Elaboration of two reviews of articles mentioned in class(40%), Individual project (presented orally and in writing), supported by bibliography and other documentation, resulting from autonomous research (45%), Participation in the seminar discussions (15%)

Subject matter

1. Key concepts and research questions in L2 acquisition.
2. Methods of data collection in L2 acquisition.
3. L2 acquisition and development - the generative approach.
4. The development of lexical and grammatical knowledge: (functional) morphology, syntax and semantics.
5. The acquisition of properties on the interface between syntax and other grammatical and cognitive domains.
6. The critical period hypothesis.
7. Bilingual acquisition in childhood.
8. L3 acquisition.
9. L2 acquisition and language teaching and learning.