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Contexts of Instructed Second Language Acquisition (ISLA)

Code: 44031 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
4313157 Advanced English Studies OT 0 1
The proposed teaching and assessment methodology that appear in the guide may be subject to changes as a result of the restrictions to face-to-face class attendance imposed by the health authorities.


Elisabet Pladevall Ballester

Use of Languages

Principal working language:
english (eng)


Elisabet Pladevall Ballester


- Students are expected to have a C1 level of English according to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) to follow the course as well as oral and written English academic skills.

- Students are expected to have basic knowledge of linguistics to follow the course.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This course aims at exploring Instructed Second Language Acquisition in different contexts: English as a Foreign Language contexts, immersion, CLIL, EMI and Study Abroad. We will analyse L2 knowledge and different types of instruction and how these are acquired in different contexts. The course will also explore individual differences in language learning.


  • Analyse the relationship between factors, processes or phenomena in the acquisition of English as a second language, its learning and teaching methods, and its literature, history and culture.
  • Apply methodological knowledge of statistical analysis and data generation, treatment and codification of multilingual databases, analysis of literary texts, etc. to research.
  • Critically argue, issue judgements and present ideas on the basis of the analysis of information originating from scientific production in these areas.
  • Develop autonomous learning skills applicable to the research process.
  • Distinguish and contrast between the different methodological and theoretical models applied to the academic study of the acquisition, teaching and use of English as a second language in multilingual and multicultural contexts, literary studies and cultural studies.
  • Resolve problems in multicultural academic and/or professional environments associated with the studies of the acquisition, teaching and use of English as a second language in multilingual and multicultural contexts, and the literature and culture of this language.
  • Show respect towards the opinions, values, behaviours and/or practices of others.
  • Use new technologies for capturing and organising information relevant to lifelong learning and problem-solving in professional activities.
  • Use the English language for academic and professional purposes related to research into the acquisition, teaching and use of English as a second language in multilingual and multicultural contexts, literary studies and cultural studies.
  • Work effectively in teams in multilingual, multicultural and interdisciplinary professional and/or academic environments.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Critically read academic articles on the characteristics of bilingual education and the implementation of CLIL teaching in Europe, and Spain in particular.
  2. Design activities and questionnaires to evaluate the effects of CLIL teaching.
  3. Design didactic activities associated with a non-linguistic context and adapt them to the linguistic-cognitive profile of pupils at a primary and/or secondary education centre.
  4. Develop autonomous learning skills applicable to the research process.
  5. Distinguish CLIL teaching from the models of bilingual education and the teaching of second languages.
  6. Draft a CLIL didactic unit, considering the different types of objectives in this teaching approach.
  7. Evaluate CLIL programmes both in terms of organisation at the centre and of didactic planning.
  8. Explain the advantages and difficulties inherent to the implementation of CLIL teaching.
  9. Explain the differences between the different models for the evaluation of the results of learning in a CLIL class.
  10. Explain the relationship between the cognitive and linguistic objectives of a CLIL didactic unit.
  11. Identify the basic theoretical principles in the teaching of CLIL and its contribution to the development of multilingualism and multiculturality.
  12. Show respect towards the opinions, values, behaviours and/or practices of others.
  13. Use new technologies for capturing and organising information relevant to lifelong learning and problem-solving in professional activities.
  14. Work effectively in teams in multilingual, multicultural and interdisciplinary professional and/or academic environments.
  15. Write advanced academic texts on the different models of bilingual education.


1. Instructed Second Language Acquisition (ISLA)

2. The nature of L2 knowledge and types of instruction

3. English as a Foreign Language (EFL) programmes

4. Study Abroad programmes

5. Immersion, CLIL and EMI programmes.

6. Individual differences in language learning.


Lectures, practical sessions, guided readings, class discussions, project work, bibliographical research, oral presentations.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Directed activities (lectures, practical sessions) 30 1.2 12, 4, 5, 15, 11, 1, 14, 13
Type: Supervised      
Supervised activities (assignments, readings, oral presentations) 35 1.4 7, 4, 3, 2, 15, 8, 10, 9, 1, 6
Type: Autonomous      
Autonomous activities (personal study, readings, bibliographical research) 60 2.4 7, 12, 4, 3, 2, 15, 1, 6, 14, 13



Oral presentation: 20%

Exam: 40%

Final term paper: 40%

Students will obtain a Not assessed/Not submitted course grade unless they have submitted more than 40% of the assessment items.


Procedure for Reviewing Grades Awarded

On carrying out each evaluation activity, lecturers will inform students (on Moodle) of the procedures to be followed for reviewing all grades awarded, and the date on which such a review will take place.


Re-assessment for this subject will be undertaken on an item-by-item basis, for which the following conditions are applicable:

-       The student must previously have submitted a minimum of two-thirds of the course-assessment items.

-       Any item awarded a grade of less than 4 may be re-assessed. The grade for those items awarded 4 or higher will be included in the calculation of the global average grade for the subject.

-       The maximum grade for re-assessed items is 5.

Assessment Activities Excluded from Reassessment

The following activities are not eligible for reassessment: Oral presentation


VERY IMPORTANT: Total or partial plagiarism of any of the exercises will automatically be considered “fail” (0) for the plagiarized item. Plagiary is copying one or more sentences from   unidentified sources, presenting it as original work (THIS INCLUDES COPYING PHRASES OR FRAGMENTS FROM THE INTERNET AND ADDING THEM WITHOUT MODIFICATION TO A TEXT WHICH IS PRESENTED AS ORIGINAL).    Plagiarism is a serious offense. Students must learn to respect the intellectual property of others, identifying any source they may use, and take responsibility for the originality and authenticity of the texts they produce.

In the event of a student committing any irregularity that may lead to a significant variation in the grade awarded to an assessment activity, the student will be given a zero forthis activity, regardless of any disciplinary process that may take place. In the event of several irregularities in assessment activities of the same subject, the student will be given a zero as the final grade for this subject.

In the event that tests or exams cannot be taken onsite, they will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools (original weighting will be maintained). Homework, activities and class participation will be carried out through forums, wikis and/or discussion on Teams, etc. Lecturers will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Exam 40% 5 0.2 7, 5, 15, 8, 10, 9, 11, 1
Final term paper 40% 15 0.6 7, 4, 3, 2, 15, 1, 6, 13
Oral presentation 20% 5 0.2 7, 12, 4, 3, 2, 6, 14, 13


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Dalton-Puffer, Christiane (2011) Content-and-Language Integrated Learning: From Practice to Principles? AnnualReview of Applied Linguistics 31: 182-204

De Graaf, Rick and Housen, Alex (2009). Investigating the Effects and Effectiveness of L2 Instruction. In M. H.Long and C. Doughty (eds.) The Handbook of Language Teaching (pp. 726-755). Oxford: Blackwell.

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Dörnyei, Zoltán (2006). Individual differences in second language acquisition. AILA Review, 19, 42-68. 

Dörnyei, Zoltán & Csizer, Kata. (1998). Ten commandments formotivating language learners. LanguageTeaching Research, 2: 203-229.

Ellis, Rod (2008). Principles of Instructed second language acquisition. CAL Digest, available athttp://www.cal.org/resources/digest/instructed2ndlang.html

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Lambert, Craig and Oliver, Rhonda (2020). Using Tasks in Second Language Teaching: Practice in Diverse Contexts. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Lasagabaster, David and Sierra, Juan Manuel (2010) Immersion and CLIL in English: more differences than similarities. ELT Journal, 64/4: 367-375.

Lightbown, Patsy and Spada, Nina (2006) How Languages are Learned. 3rd Edition. Cambridge: CUP.

Loewen, Shawn (2015). Introduction to Instructed Second Language Acquisition. New York: Routledge.

Loewen, Shawn and Sato, Masotoshi (2019). The Routledge Handbook of Instructed Second Language Acquisition. Abingdon-on-Thames: Routledge.

Long, Mike (2015). Second Language Acquisition and Task-Based Language Teaching. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.

Lundberg, Ingvar. (2002). Second language learning and reading with the additional load of dyslexia. Annals of Dislexia, 52.1, 165-187.

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Nikula, Tarja, Dafouz, Emma, Moore, Pat, and Smit, Ute (2016). Conceptualising Integration in CLIL and Multilingual Education. Bristol: Multilingual Matters.

Ortega, Lourdes (2009). Understanding Second Language Acquisition, London: Hodder Education.

Philp, Jenefer., Adams, Rebecca, and Iwashita, Noriko (2014). Peer interaction and second language learning. Routledge.

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Pladevall-Ballester, Elisabet (2019). A longitudinal study of primary school EFL learning motivation in CLIL and non-CLIL settings. Language Teaching Research 23(6), 765-786. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168818765877

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Pladevall-Ballester, Elisabet (2016). CLIL subject selection and young learners’ listening and reading comprehension skills. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 26(1), 52-74  DOI: 10.1111/ijal.12079

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Vraciu, Alexandra and Pladevall-Ballester, Elisabet (2020). L1 use in peer interaction: exploring time and proficiency pairing effects in primary school EFL. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. DOI: 10.1080/13670050.2020.1767029