spring 2017

ENG-1040 Language Acquisition - 10 ECTS

Last changed: 28.03.2017

The course is provided by

Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education


Tromsø |

Application deadline

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

Type of course

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

Admission requirements

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

Application code (Nordic applicants): 9199

Course content

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.

Recommended prerequisites

LRU-1301 English 5.-10. Year: Language and Didactics

Objectives of the course

Knowledge: 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

  • be able to identify different characteristics of (English) child language
  • be able to identify different characteristics of second language acquisition
  • have a general overview of when different structures are acquired in first language acquisition
  • be aware of differences between acquiring a native and a foreign language
  • have some knowledge of different theoretical approaches to both first and second language acquisition.

Skills: Having completed the course, the students should

  • have an overview of various methods used in language acquisition studies
  • be able to describe child language data
  • be able to anticipate what kinds of errors Norwegian learners of English will make
  • be able to discuss issues related language acquisition both orally and in writing.

Language of instruction

Language of instruction and examination is English.

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 26.05.2017

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


Recommended reading/syllabus

To be announced.


Yulia Rodina

Phone: +4777660257 yulia.rodina@uit.no