Monolingualism, Bilingualism and Multilingualism

Monolingualism, Bilingualism and Multilingualism
University Course Taught in English
(elective course open to both foreign and Croatian students)

Instructor: Marta Medved Krajnovic, PhD
Institution: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Univeresity of Zagreb
Language: English
Number of hours per semester: 30 hours – the course can be organised throughout a semestar (2 hours per week) or as a concentrated 3-week module (10 hours per week)
ECTS: 4 credits
Level: The course can be tailored to suit graduate and undergraduate level.

Course content: During 15 teaching units students will get familiar with the processes of first, second and foreign language acquisition, use and maintenance. Several leading theories that are trying to explain these processes will be presented and discussed. Special focus will also be put on the dynamic interaction among an individual’s languages and characteristics of a successful second / foreign language user in a global, multilingual society. Students will also be informed about research methods in language acuqisition sciencies.

UNIT 1 – introduction; defining first, second and foreign language acquisition/learning; historical overview of the respective research disciplines
UNIT 2 – the course and milestones in 1st language acquisition
UNIT 3 –  theoretical explanations of 1st language acquisition
UNIT 4 – revision: student presentations and discussion
UNIT 5 – the process of second language acquisition:  development of a learner’s language
UNIT 6 – crosslinguistic interaction and multicompetence
UNIT 7 – theoretical explanations of 2nd language acquisition (from 1970s – 1990s)
UNIT 8 – theoretical explanations of 2nd language acquisition (from 1990s – present day)
UNIT 9 – revision: student presentations and discussion
UNIT 10 – the process of foreing language learning: the role of input and interaction
UNIT 11 – individual differences in language acquisition (cognitive factors and the age factor)
UNIT 12 – individual differences in language acquisition (affective factors and strategies)
UNIT 13 – research methods in language acquisition studies
UNIT 14 – revision: student presentations and discussion
UNIT 15 –  multilingual individual in a multicultural world: opportunities and challenges

General and specific competencies: Students will get familiar with a fast developing field of language acquisition studies and gain new insights into the nature of human language capacity. The aim is also that throughout the course students develop a better understanding of their own language acquisition and language use processes, and of what is needed for a successful communication and functioning in a bilingual / multilingual environment. The students will also have an opportunity to further develop their presentation and debating skills.
Type of teaching:
seminar classes (up to 20 studends)
Type of student evaluation: Students will be assessed on the basis of three sources of data: attendance and active participation in the seminar sessions; a 5 minute written test (administered at the beginning of each new unit) checking their basic understanding of the main issues covered in the previous unit; a 10-minute presentation of readings and a discussion related to a relevant topic.
Type of course evaluation: Course evaluation process will be two-fold:
1. during Units 4, 9 and 14 students will be asked to write a personal opinion paper about the clarity and relevance of the topics presented during previous sessions;
2. University administered course evaluation questionnaire

(obligatory readings – selected chapters)
Aronin, L., Hufeisen, B. (2009) The Exploration of Multilingualism. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

– Auer, P., Wei, L. (ed.) (2007) Handbook of Multilingualism and Multilingual Communication. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
– Baker, C. (2000) The Care and Education of Young Bilinguals: An Introduction for Professionals. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
– Baker, C. (2006) Foundations of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism (4th ed.) Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
– Bhatia, T. K., Ritchie, W. C. (ed.) (2007) The Handbook of Bilingualism. Blackwell Publishing.
– Kroll, J. F., De Groot, A. M. B. (ed.) (2005) Handbook of Bilingualism: Psycholinguistic Approaches. Oxford: OUP.
– Lightbown, P., Spada, N. (2006) How Languages are Learned (3rd ed.) Oxford: OUP.
– Saville-Troike, M. (2006) Introducing Second Language Acquisition. Cambridge: CUP.

(optional readings: chapters from books and articles from journals – to be chosen on the basis of students’ language biographies and academic interests)
Cook, V. (ed.) (2002) Portraits of the L2 User. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
– Doughty, C. J., Long, M. H. (ed.) (2003) The Handbook of Second Language Acquisition. Blackwell Publishing.
– Gass, S. M., Selinker, L. (2008) Second Language Acquisition: An introductory course (3rd ed.). New York and London: Routledge.
– Gleason, J. B., Ratner, N. B. (2008) Psycholinguistics (3rd ed.) Wadsworth: Thomson Learning.
– Han, Z. (2004) Fossilization in Adult Second Language Acquisition. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
– Herdina, P., Jessner, U. (2002) A Dynamic Model of Multilingualism: Changing the Psycholinguistic Perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
– Jarvis, S., Pavlenko, A. (2008) Crosslinguistic Influence in Language and Cognition. New York: Routledge.
– Long, M. (2007) Problems in SLA. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
– Schmid, M., Kopke, B., Keijzer, M., Dostert, S. (ed.) (2007). Language Attrition: Theoretical Perspectives. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
– Singleton, D., Ryan, L. (2004) Language Acquisition: The Age Factor. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
– Wei, L., Moyer, M. G. (2008) The Blackwell Guide to Research Methods in Bilingualism and Multilingualism. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Journals: Applied Linguistics, Applied Psycholinguistics, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, Brain and Language, International Review of Applied Linguistics, Journal of  Child Language, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, Language Learning, Modern Language Journal, Second Language Research, Studies in Second Language Acquisition, TESOL Quarterly