Skriv ut Lukk vindu


Vår 2015

ENG-1040 Language Acquisition - 10 stp

The course is administrated by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education

Type of course

The course is directed at teacher training students, but may be taken as a single course.
The course LRU-1301 Engelsk 5.-10. trinn: språk og didaktikk is recommended, but not required.

Course contents

As adults we tend to take our own language competence for granted. This soon changes when we are faced with the prospect of learning a foreign language. This humbling experience has a tendency to make us realise how incredibly complex languages are and how much effort goes into learning them. Yet, very young children seem to acquire their native language effortlessly and in the course of a very short time. In this course, we will first study how children acquire their first language and then consider how a second language is learned. To what extent are the two situations different and to what extent the same? We will consider several aspects of first and second language acquisition, such as phonology, morphology, syntax and pragmatics. The emphasis will be on the acquisition of English as a native and a foreign language, but comparative elements may also be included; especially the first language acquisition of English will be compared to the acquisition of Norwegian.

The course will provide the students with a good background in how English is acquired as a first and a second language, as well as some information on the acquisition of Norwegian, and the combination of these will provide them with a better basis for understanding the error patterns that can be observed in the English of Norwegian learners.

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for the spring semester and 1 December for the autumn semester. Exchange students: 1 October for the spring semester and 15 April for the autumn semester

Admission requirements

Higher Education Entrance Qualification (generell studiekompetanse) or prior learning and work experience (realkompetanse).

A good command of oral and written English is required.

Application code 9199

Objective of the course

Knowledge and understanding:
At the end of the course, the students should have a good knowledge of the acquisition of English as a native and a foreign language.
This means that they should



Having completed the course, the students should

Language of instruction


Teaching methods

The course will be taught four hours per week and will consist of lectures and seminars.

Quality assurance:

The course undergoes a midterm evaluation or an end-of-term evaluation every third year.


Coursework requirement:

One oral presentation.

Assessment method:

A 4-hour school exam.

The obligatory coursework requirements must be approved in order to take the final exam.

Performance in the course will be assessed on an A-F grades scale. Grades are A-E for passed and F for failed. A re-sit examination is offered in the event of an F grade. The deadline to register for a re-sit examination is January 15th for the autumn semester and August 15th for the spring semester.

Date for examination

Written 19.05.2015

The date for the exam can be changed. The final date will be announced at your faculty early in May and early in November.

Recommended reading/syllabus

Textbook: Patsy M. Lightbown & Nina Spada (2013). How languages are learned. Oxford Handbooks for Language Teachers. (4th edition).

Compendium for ENG-1040 Language Acquisition

Both are/will be available at the bookstore "Akademisk Kvarter".


The Compendium includes:

1. Roeper, T. (2007) The prism of grammar: How child language illuminates Humanism. Chapter 2. pp-19-29. ISBN: 978-0-262-18252-2, ib., 0-262-18252-1, ib.

2. Pinker, S. (1994). The Language Instinct. Chapter 2, Chatterboxes. pp. 25-54 (same as in Compendium ENG-1040 Spring 2014). ISBN: 978-0-1401-7529-5, h., 0-14-017529-6, h.

3. Crain & Lilo-Martin (1999) Linguistic Theory and Language Acquisition. Chapter 3: Stages of Language Acquisition. pp. 25-32 (same as in Compendium ENG-1040 Spring 2014). ISBN-13: 978-0631195368 ISBN-10: 063119536X

4. O¿Grady, W. How Children Learn Language. Chapter 4. Words all in a row. pp. 80-113 (same as in Compendium ENG-1040 Spring 2014). ISBN: 0-521-82494-x, ib., 0-521-53192-6, h., 978-0-521-53192-4, h.

5. Saffran, J.; Senghas, A. & Truswell, J. (2001). The acquisition of language by children, PNAS, vol.98, no.23, pp. 12874-12875

6. Senghas, A. Language Emergence: Clues from a New Bedouin sign language. Current Biology, vol 25, no 12.

7. Stager, C. & Werker, J. (1997) Infants listen to more phonetic detail in speech perception than in word-learning tasks. Nature, vol 388, pp-381-382.

8. Kroll, J. F., & Bialystok, E. (2013). Understanding the consequences of bilingualism for language processing and cognition. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25, 497¿514.

9. Roeper, T. (2007) The prism of grammar: How child language illuminates humanism. Chapter 5: pp. 63-87. ISBN: 978-0-262-18252-2, ib., 0-262-18252-1, ib.

10. Westergaard, M. (2003) Unlearning V2. (same as in Compendium ENG-1040 Spring 2014). EUROSLA Yearbook 2003. pp. 77-101. ISBN 9789027254535 (Eur)

11. Mihalicek, V. & Wilson, C. (2011) Language Files: Materials for an introduction to language and linguistics. 11th edition: Chapter 8: Language Acquisition. pp. 311-353. ISBN-13: 978-0814251799 ISBN-10: 081425179X

Lectures Spring 2015
First lecture is Tuesday 13 January at 08:15-10-00
Lecture and seminar Tuesdays at 08:15-12:00

stip. Natalia Mitrofanova
stip. Marta Velnic