Germanic Languages | ACQ of German as a 1st/2nd Language
G540 | 27470 | Rex Sprouse


GER G540: Acquisition of German as a First and as a Second Language
Fall 2007, MW 5:30pm-6:45pm, BH 208
SLST S600: Topics in Second Language Studies: The Bilingual Mental

Instructor: Rex A. Sprouse

NOTE: Students who enroll in GER G540 are expected to write a final
course paper dealing with a topic relevant to German (or to at least
one Germanic language other than English) as an L1 or as an L2.
Students should NOT expect that all of the course material will be
concerned with the acquisition of German. The PRINCIPLES considered
should be applicable to the acquisition of any language.

This course will consider the lexicon in second language acquisition
from a variety of perspectives, TENTATIVE including:
„«	Acquisition: Are there observed ways in which L1 lexical
acquisition fundamentally differs from L2 lexical acquisition? To
what extent can the early stages of L2 acquisition be properly
characterized as ˇ§relabelingˇ¨ the L1 lexicon with sound sequences
based on perception of input (Lefebvre/Sprouse)?
„«	One lexicon or two: Do L2ers begin to construct a second
lexicon for their new language or does a single lexicon somehow
expand to contain every more labels that are gradually
differentially by the acquisition of semantic and morphosyntactic
features associated with the new labels?
„«	Language production: What can code switching and related
phenomena show us about how bilinguals access lexical items? Does
speaking one language somehow suppress access to the lexicon of the
other language, under normal circumstances? Why do bilinguals do as
well as they generally do at keeping the two languages separate in
rapid, spontaneous speech?
„«	Language processing: How do bilinguals access the lexicon in
language processing?
„«	Pedagogical: Are there special pedagogical techniques that
can demonstrably enhance or inhibit acquisition of a target-like
lexicon in adult L2 learners?

Aitchison, Jean (1987) Words in the Mind. Oxford: Blackwell.
Singleton, David (1999) Exploring the Second Language Mental
Lexicon. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Additional materials:
Primarily recent journal articles available online. Participation in
class discussion, presentations, and a final course paper form the
course requirements.

Roughly the final six weeks of the course will be devoted to
original research on the L2 mental lexicon. The precise form,
format, nature, and topic(s) of this research will emerge from
readings and discussion during the first nine weeks of the course.
Each studentˇ¦s final course paper will reflect the work that he or
she will have been able to complete by the end of the term.