This course aims at providing an overview of some basic concepts underlying syntax and theories of grammar. The different units (phrases, clauses and sentences) will be discussed, together with the functional relationship between them. The seminar will focus on the description and analysis of diverse areas of English syntactical structures, thereby making students capable of judging samples of language and developing their skills in linguistic analysis.
Requirements: weekly assignments, active participation in class discussions and presentation of a final written task.
Language acquisition is a vast area of research that scholars have been investigating for several decades and from various perspectives. They have mainly attempted to discover the patterns of the acquisition process in order to investigate how people learn their first and non-native languages. In the present times, multilingualism has emerged as a social phenomenon that continues to spread and transform individuals and communities around the globe. Today, monolingual speakers are the exception rather than the norm. The free will at which people travel and the migratory movements of the last decades have made cultural groups with different values, beliefs and linguistic backgrounds come together. Therefore, the influence of prior linguistic knowledge on the acquisition of a second or third language has received special attention.
In this course, we will review existing literature on first, second and third language acquisition with a special focus on bilingualism and cross-linguistic transfer. The various types of transfer models concerning to the source language will be discussed together with some possible factors affecting transfer and acquisition. We will also spend some time with learner characteristics and acquisition inside the classroom.
Requirements: weekly readings, active participation in class discussions and presentation of two written tasks (a short essay questionnaire and a final paper).