Second Language Acquisition and Culture Learning
ANTH 328-Spring 2006

Faculty: Professor Zhiming Zhao                   Office:  Sturges 13F
Class: MW  3:30-4:45, Fraser 104                 Phone:  245-5174            
Office Hours: MW 1:30–3:30                          Email:


    Applied linguistics sits at the intersection of education and language study. This course addresses its major concerns in the study of classroom bilingualism, including culture learning -- a contributing factor in the success and failure of second language acquisition. Course emphasis will be on the theories and frameworks that have been developed in the analysis of teaching and learning in the second language classrooms. The topics of investigation will include language teaching theories, analytic models for second-language development, strategies of teaching culture in the L2 (second language) classroom, issues of intercultural communication, and the research tradition of educational ethnography.


    • Students will demonstrate an interdisciplinary knowledge about the linguistic
  and cultural aspects of second language acquisition by taking a midterm and a
  final examination.
    • Through classroom presentations, students will demonstrate an ability to think
       critically and address theoretical issues in the curriculum and pedagogy of
   second language acquisition.
    • Students will demonstrate an understanding of research on second language
       classrooms through the development of an ethnography of schooling that
       consists of 12 -15 pages.
    • Students will cultivate a willingness and ability to appreciate multiculturalism
   and multilingualism by engaging in classroom discussions that focus on the need
   to incorporate cultural learning into second language acquisition. 


     1. Second Language Acquisition. By Susan M. Gass & Larry Selinker.
            Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1994.
     2.  Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching. Eds. By Sandra Lee McKay &
            Nancy H. Hornberger, 1996


1. Culture in Second Language Teaching and Learning.  By Eli Hinkel (ed).
         Port Chester, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1999.
    2. Second Language Classrooms: Research on Teaching and Learning. By Craig
    Chaudron . Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2nd ed, 1998.
    3. Ethnographic Eyes. By Carolyn Frank. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann, 1999.
    4. Pathways to Culture. By Paula R. Heusinkveld (ed.). Yarmouth, ME:
     Intercultural Press, 1997.


    There will be two exams, each of which consists of short answers and essay questions.

    For the term paper assignment, you have two options: either to do an ethnography of schooling on L2 learning to reveal its intimate relationship to culture or write a critical essay of the literature on a topic approved by the instructor. Among the possible topics are L2 teaching in relation to interlanguge, pragmatics, gender, curriculum designing, language engineering, multilingualism, etc. A prospectus with the thesis statement and outline of your term paper will be due on November 12, and it accounts for 10% of the term paper grade. The term paper must be typed with double spacing and contain 12 or more pages, including a bibliography of at least 8 reference sources. You will need to follow the format provided at the end of this syllabus for quotations, citations, and references. Deviations will affect your grade.


            Midterm             30%
            Final Exam            30%
            Term Paper            30%
            Participation            10%

    As a rule, there will be no make-up for exams. Any possible make-up will be given only under emergency situation, for which you have to petition along with official document. Late submission of your written assignments will unexceptionably bring grade deduction. Typist or computer failure is no excuse. Any suspected case of academic misconduct will be seriously dealt with.

    This is a seminar course. Participation in classroom discussions is important for your success. You are also expected to give a 15-minute presentation on a chosen topic after the midterm. For a list of possible topics, see the course schedule and pick the one that appeals to you most. The presentation is to be followed by a 10-minute session in which you will take questions from fellow students. There may be pop-up quizzes as well.

Week      Date                Topic                     Reading Assignment

One         8/25     Applied Linguistics                     SLA Chapter 1
         8/27    The Nature of Language                 Lecture
Two          9/1             Language Teaching Theories                  Lecture
          9/3        Issues in Second Language Learning              Lecture

Three          9/8        Contrastive Analysis                      SLA Chapter 2                9/10        Error Analysis                          SLA Chapter 3

Four        9/15        Rethinking the Role of the Native Language          SLA Chapter 4
        9/17           Universalism and Particularism              Lecture

Five        9/22        Interlanguage and UG Hypothesis              SLA Chapter 5
        9/24        The Monitor Model                      SLA Chapter 6

Six        9/29        Interlanguage: Styles and Strategies              SLA Chapter 7   
        10/1        Interlanguage: Non-Linguistic Considerations      SLA Chapter 9           
Seven        10/6           Pragmatics                          SLA Chapter 8
        10/8        An Integrated Concept of Interlanguage          SLA Chapter 11
Eight       10/13    Fall Break
           10/15    Midterm

Nine       10/20    Culture in the L2 Classroom                      Lecture
       10/22    Language Attitudes & Motivations                SLT Chapter 1

Ten       10/27    Multilingualism                       SLT Chapter 2   
       10/29    Language Planning & Policy                   SLT Chapters 3,4

Eleven         11/3    Language and Gender                       SLT Chapter 7
         11/5    Language and Social Variation               SLT Chapters 5,6              
Twelve    11/10    Overcoming Cultural Stereotypes               PC pp. 437-460
                                         pp. 487-498
        11/12    Ethnographic Microanalysis                   SLT Chapter 8
            Your Paper Prospectus Due in Class

Thirteen   11/17    Intercultural Communication                   SLT Chapter 10
         11/19    Interactional Sociolinguistics                   SLT Chapter 9

Week      Date                Topic                     Reading Assignment

Fourteen  11/24    The Ethnography of Schooling             SLT Chapter 11
        11/26    Thanksgiving Break
Fifteen          12/1    Speech Acts                          SLT Chapter 12
          12/3    Language and Education                  SLT Chapters 13
            Term Paper Due in Class                  & 14

Sixteen      12/8    Study Day
         12/10    Take-Home Final Due          

[1]    SLA = The Second Language Acquisition   
    SLT = Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching
    PC =  Pathways to Culture

[2]    The schedule may change, depending on responses from the class on specific
    topics, but there will be no substantial change, and students can use this schedule
    as a guide for readings.

A. Citations: Give the source right after the author when he or she is mentioned; if not,
     right after the statement
       --    According to Grobsmith (1981:109), making any generalizations about             Indian life is a difficult if not impossible task.
--    It is apparent that making any generalizations about Indian life is a difficult if not impossible task (Grobsmith 1981:109).
B. Direct Quotations: Short quotations (less than three lines) are to be incorporated into
    your statements with quotation marks and double-spaced. Long quotations are to stand
    by themselves, singled-spaced, indented at both ends, and without quotation marks.

       --    As Grobsmith (1981:109) has pointed out, "Making any generalizations
        about Indian life is a difficult if not impossible task."
       --    There is a growing awareness among anthropologists that indigenous
        peoples are vulnerable to victimization by ethnocentric national policies.
            One can sympathize with the national policy of Brazil to fully
            occupy its immense territory and incorporate its internal
            frontiers into the economic life of the country. On the other
            hand, one cannot be sympathetic to national development at the
            expense of native Brazilian tribesmen (Wagley 1977:299).

C. Bibliography: Enlist your references by their authors in an alphabetic order.

    Aberle, David F.
        1966    The Peyote Religion Among the Navajo. Chicago, IL: Aldine.

    Kemnitze, Louis
        1970    “The Cultural Provenance of Objects in Yuwipi.” Ethos 1:4-5.

    Lucy, John A.
        1985    “The Linguistic Mediation of Thought.” In E. Mertz, ed.
            Semiotic Mediation, pp. 73-88. New York, NY: Academic Press.

    1. The book title is italicized. It is preceded by the year of publication and
        followed by the place of publication (city, abbreviation of the state: name of
        the publisher).
    2. The title of an article, however, is given in quotation marks. The journal or
        newspaper in which an article is published is to be italicized. The numbers
        after it stand for the issue of the journal and the page numbers of the article.
    3. If an article is included in an edited collection of papers, first the editor, then
    the book title, and finally the page numbers of the article must be specified.
    Again, the place of publication and the publisher come last.