Second Language Acquisition and Teaching


(a) To become acquainted with the main concepts and research questions in the domain of Second Language (L2) Acquisition
(b) To recognise the relevance of this scientific domain to language teaching
(c) To acquire skills which will allow the student to research and interpret information autonomously, developing the ability to reflect critically and to evaluate different theoretical proposals

Specific knowledge and skills:
(a) Ability to identify characteristics which distinguish L2 from L1 acquisition
(b) Ability to identify and characterise factors which are relevant in L2 acquisition
(c) Ability to describe properties of the acquisition of L2 Portuguese at different levels
(d) Ability to identify differences and similarities between L2 children and adults
(e) Ability to compare L2 acquisition and other types of language acquisition
(f) Ability to apply knowledge of L2 acquisition to language teaching

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Maria Lavadinho Madeira


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Available soon


Bizarro, R., M.A. Moreira e C. Flores (2013) (orgs.) Português Língua Não Materna: Investigação e Ensino. Lisboa: Lidel.

Ellis, R. (2015) Understanding Second Language Acquisition (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Ellis, R. & N. Shintani (2014) Exploring Language Pedagogy through Second Language Acquisition Research. Routledge.

Gass, S. & L. Selinker (2008) Second Language Acquisition: An introductory course. Routledge, 3rd ed.

Madeira, A. (2017) Aquisição de língua não materna. In M.J. Freitas e A.L. Santos (eds.) A aquisição de língua materna e não materna. Questões gerais e dados do Português. Textbooks in Language Sciences, Language Science Press, 305-330.

Mitchell, R., F. Myles e E. Marsden (2013) Second Language Learning Theories, 3rd ed. Routledge.

Ortega, L. (2009) Understanding Second Language Acquisition. London: Hodder Education.

Teaching method

The seminar is structured in modules. Each module is organised as follows: video lessons and other video resources, presenting the contents of the syllabus; different resources (summaries, schemata, tables, images, etc.); bibliographic references and links to online references. All resources and interaction with the students will be predominantly moodle-based.

Evaluation method

Método de avaliação - (a) Participation in online sessions and discussion forums(10%), (b) Individual and collaborative activities, which are to be completed throughout the semester(40%), (c) Final assignment, which will provide a global assessment of both the knowledge and skills acquired by the students(50%)

Subject matter

1. Specificities of L2 acquisition and learning
2. The role of crosslinguistic knowledge
3. The development of grammatical and pragmatic knowledge
4. Age and critical period effects; child L2 acquisition
5. The role of individual factors in L2 acquisition
5.1. Learning contexts
5.2. Individual differences: e.g. motivation, attitudes, learning styles
6. Other types of acquisition: bilingual acquisition, heritage language and L3
7. L2 acquisition and language teaching


Programs where the course is taught: