Graduate degree: Ph.D. in second language acquisition
Faculty: https://flare.uiowa.edu/affiliated-faculty
Website: https://flare.uiowa.edu/second-language-acquisition-phd-program

Second language acquisition (SLA) is a multidisciplinary field whose goal is to understand the processes that underlie non-native language learning. The doctoral program in second language acquisition draws from varied academic disciplines, among them linguistics, psychology, psycholinguistics, sociology, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, and education.

The interdisciplinary Ph.D. in second language acquisition is sponsored by Foreign Language Acquisition Research and Education (FLARE). More than 20 faculty members affiliated with SLA are drawn from various departments in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Education.

Three students collaborating in class photo.

Second Language Acquisition is one of the units in the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Graduate Program of Study

Major

The Center for Language and Culture Learning (CLCL) provides a wide variety of services and facilities to the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, including a 54-computer Instructional Technology Center (ITC) and six "All in One" studios/small group study rooms, each equipped with video production and editing software. The CLCL also has a digital media and hardware collection available for checkout.

Directed Independent Language Study (DiLS), administered by the Center for Language and Culture Learning in the Division of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures, offers students guidance on engaging in self-instruction in languages that are not currently taught in the division. Any current University of Iowa student, staff, or faculty member who is interested in pursuing language study to enhance their professional research or academic profile can take advantage of this program. With the support of CLCL staff members, learners design their own study plans to learn basic language skills or improve upon existing skills in preparation for study or research abroad, and are paired with a language and culture consultant when possible. 

Second Language Acquisition Courses

SLA:3302 Introduction to Chinese Linguistics 3 s.h.

Aspects of modern Chinese linguistics, such as Chinese phonology, syntax, pedagogical grammar, history of the language. Taught in English. Same as CHIN:3302, LING:3302.

SLA:3400 Articulatory and Acoustic Phonetics 3 s.h.

Production and transcription of sounds in human languages; physics of sound, computer analysis of speech sounds. Offered fall semesters. Same as LING:3005.

SLA:4300 Introduction to Spanish Syntax 3 s.h.

Basic principles of generative syntax as applied to analysis of Spanish syntactic structure; extensive syntactic analysis. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisites: SPAN:3100. Same as SPAN:4150.

SLA:4301 Introduction to Spanish Phonology 3 s.h.

Sound patterns of Spanish; how various theoretical approaches solve basic problems in Spanish phonology; identification of linguistic universals, how they are manifested in the sound structure of Spanish. Taught in Spanish. Same as SPAN:4100.

SLA:4401 Methods of Teaching English as a Second Language 3 s.h.

Observations of ESL and intensive English classes at the University; design and presentation of short lessons, text evaluation, demonstrations of innovative approaches of the last decade; materials. Offered spring semesters. Prerequisites: LING:3005 and LING:4040. Same as LING:4050.

SLA:5000 Teaching and Learning Languages 3 s.h.

Readings in pedagogical theory and practice, second language acquisition; experience designing activities for teaching and assessment with critiques based on current theories and approaches; development of reflective practices toward one's language teaching. Taught in English. Same as FREN:5000, GRMN:5001, SPAN:5000, WLLC:5000.

SLA:5010 Introduction to Syntax 3 s.h.

Methods and argumentation for formal analysis of sentence structure through induction from language data of central concepts and relations; hypothesis testing, empirical bases of theoretical concepts. Corequisites: LING:5000. Same as LING:5010.

SLA:5020 Introduction to Phonology 3 s.h.

Analysis of sound systems, focus on early generative phonological theory; extensive practice in analysis using data from a variety of languages; linguistic argumentation. Prerequisites: LING:3005. Same as LING:5020.

SLA:5401 First Language Acquisition 3 s.h.

Child language from a crosslinguistic perspective. Prerequisites: LING:3005 and (LING:4040 or LING:5010). Same as LING:5030.

SLA:6010 Syntactic Theory 3 s.h.

Current syntactic theory examined through analysis of data sets, readings in recent research; emphasis on argument construction, statement of formal principles. Offered spring semesters. Prerequisites: LING:5010. Same as LING:6010.

SLA:6011 Phonological Theory 3 s.h.

Post-SPE phonological theory, including autosegmental phonology, feature geometry, the syllable, optimality theory. Prerequisites: LING:5020. Same as LING:6020.

SLA:6301 Topics in Spanish Language Acquisition 3 s.h.

Theoretical linguistic approaches to monolingual, bilingual, and second language acquisition of Spanish and Portuguese; varied topics. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: at least one course in linguistics (e.g., general introduction to linguistics). Same as SPAN:6150.

SLA:6302 Topics in Comparative Romance Linguistics 3 s.h.

Comparative study of phonology, morphology, or syntax of the main Romance languages as informed by linguistic theory; diachronic or synchronic perspective. Taught in English. Recommendations: additional graduate coursework in linguistics. Same as LING:6190, SPAN:6190.

SLA:6303 Spanish Phonology 3 s.h.

Modern approaches to synchronic phonology as applied to Spanish; focus on traditional descriptive problems, recent generative analyses. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: phonology or linguistics course. Same as SPAN:6110.

SLA:6304 Spanish Syntax 3 s.h.

Spanish syntactic constructions examined in framework of selected syntactic theory; emphasis on development of syntactic argumentation. Taught in Spanish. Requirements: one course in syntax. Same as SPAN:6120.

SLA:6452 Topics in Second Language Acquisition 3 s.h.

Overview of current second-language acquisition research in the generative linguistic framework; focus on characterizing second language learners' linguistic competence and how it is constrained by principles of universal grammar. Offered fall semesters. Prerequisites: (LING:3010 or LING:5010) and (LING:3020 or LING:5020). Same as LING:6080.

SLA:6500 Issues in Foreign Language Education 3 s.h.

Theoretical perspectives of pivotal research issues at the forefront of foreign language education; systems available to foreign language professionals for disseminating research. Same as EDTL:6480.

SLA:6501 Reading in a Second Language 3 s.h.

Current theory, research, practice in second language reading field; role of textual features and the reader in reading comprehension. Same as EDTL:6484.

SLA:6502 Principles of Course Design for Second Language Instruction 3 s.h.

Contemporary views of second language curriculum design; guidelines necessary for the creation of prototypical curriculum units to be transposed into classroom-ready forms; for individuals interested in foreign language materials development. Same as EDTL:6497.

SLA:6503 Fundamentals of Second Language Assessment 3 s.h.

How to write language tests; discussion of fundamental issues in development of new tests or selection of existing tests. Same as EDTL:6400.

SLA:6504 Second Language Program Management 3 s.h.

Preparation for supervising, administering foreign language programs at all levels; for precollegiate language teachers and graduate students. Same as EDTL:6402.

SLA:6506 Multilingual Education and Applied Linguistics 3 s.h.

Introduction to research in language teaching and learning, drawing on theories and research in applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, anthropology, and psychology; students gain understanding of fundamentals in second language acquisition, educational linguistics, applied linguistics, and methods used in teaching and learning second/foreign languages; applications and implications of research considered when reviewing multilingual education policy and practice. Same as ASIA:6483, EDTL:6483.

SLA:6901 Second Language Acquisition Research and Theory 3 s.h.

Theories regarding success and failure in acquisition of second or subsequent languages; research, issues. Taught in English. Same as ASIA:6901, FREN:6901, JPNS:6901, SPAN:6901.

SLA:6920 Multimedia and Second Language Acquisition 3 s.h.

Combination of theory and practice regarding use of multimedia and technology to enhance foreign language teaching and second language acquisition research. Taught in English. Same as FREN:6920, GRMN:6920, SPAN:6920.

SLA:6965 Topics in Second Language Acquisition: Writing 3 s.h.

Theory, pedagogy, research, and assessment in second language writing. Taught in English. Same as RHET:6965, SPAN:6965.

SLA:6970 Cultural Curriculum 3 s.h.

Culture's role in foreign/second language teaching; definition, pedagogy, assessment, and materials that allow culture to be taught and learned. Same as EDTL:6409.

SLA:7020 Readings in Second Language Acquisition arr.

SLA:7025 Special Projects in Second Language Acquisition arr.

SLA:7030 Ph.D. Thesis arr.

SLA:7401 Advanced Syntactic Theory 2-3 s.h.

Recent developments in syntax; comparison of theories, argumentation, and uses of data. Prerequisites: LING:6010. Same as LING:7010.

SLA:7404 Seminar: Problems in Linguistics 2-3 s.h.

Intensive study of theoretical and practical problems. Same as LING:7090.

SLA:7405 Teaching Chinese as a Second Language V: Seminar in Research and Design 3 s.h.

Qualitative and quantitative research design theories and techniques. Taught in English. Prerequisites: CHIN:7401 and PSQF:4143. Same as CHIN:7405.

SLA:7406 Teaching Chinese as a Second Language I: Theories and Research 3 s.h.

Research, theory on acquisition of Chinese as a non-native language. Taught in English. Same as CHIN:7401.

SLA:7804 Teaching Chinese as a Second Language IV: Testing and Assessment 3 s.h.

Overview of goals, concepts, principles, research, and issues in assessment and testing of Chinese as a second language; knowledge of Chinese required. Taught in English. Same as CHIN:7404.