Taking it Further...

So you've discovered something new about Language Acquisition, but what about studying this at university? How can research into this field be useful for the future and for everyday life?

Below is an interview with Lewis Clarke: a second year student who is currently studying Language Acquisition here at The University of Sheffield. We were interested in finding out about his experiences and his views on:
  • What does academic study into Language Acquisition involve?
  • What were his reasons were for choosing this module?
  • What is his favourite aspect of the module?
  • Is studying Language Acquisition important? Does it help in everyday situations?

Second Year Language Acquisition Student

We also caught up with Gary Wood: a lecturer at The University of Sheffield and Convenor for Language Acquisition within the Department of English Language and Linguistics. We wanted to step into the world of language acquisition through the eyes of an expert, focusing particularly on:
  • Gary's background in linguistics and his area of research within language acquisition
  • Why he would encourage students to study language acquisition at Undergraduate level
  • Why language acquisition is useful as a discipline of Linguistics

Interview with Gary Wood

We have provided you with just a small insight into the wonderful ways children manage to acquire language, but it does not end here...

For those of you who have been filled with enthusiasm for this fascinating subject, we recommend checking out the following:
Language Acquisition - General Information

  • Crystal, D., (2010). The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bee, H., (1992). The Developing Child. 6th edition. Cornell University, USA: HarperCollins College Publishers.
  • Bloom, P., (1993). Language Acquisition. University of Michegan, USA: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
  • O'Grady, W.D., (2005). How Children Learn Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Tomasello, M., (2005). Constructing a Language: A Usage Based Theory of Language Acquisition. USA:  Harvard University Press.
  • Piaget, G., (1959). The Language and Thought of the Child. 3rd edition. Oxon: Routledge.
  • Lust, B., (2006). Child Language: Acquisition and Growth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 

  • Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

    • Dulay, H. et al., (1982). Language Two. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
        Stephen Krashen, one of the famous reseacher in second language acquisition for 'monitor hypothesis'
        is a co-writer of this book. You can find information of various key aspects considered important in
        aquiring second language, such as age, environment, personality, and also organizing curriculum in
    • Ellis, R., (1997). Second Language Acquisition.  Oxford: Oxford University Press.
        This book is really small and short, but fully explains key notions and give concise overview for many
        topics in second language acqusition. It is suitable for beginners who start to have interest in second
        language acquisition.
    • Ellis, R., (1985). Understanding Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
        This book can be regared as extended version of the book right above (Second Language Acquisition
        (1997)), covering major areas of second language acquisition.
    • Ortega, L., (2009). Understanding Second Language Acquisition. London: Hodder Education. 
        This book has been published recently, so including the most up-to-date research results, and clearly
        organized tons of information. Highly suggested as a textbook for students who study applied
        linguistics, foreign language education, TESOL, and education. Also for the students of developmental
        psycholinguistics, psychology, and congnitive science.
    • Bee Chin, N. and Wigglesworth. G., (2007). Bilingualism: An advanced reading book. Oxon: Routledge. 
    • Pavlenko, A., (2010). Thinking and Speaking in Two Languages. UK: Short run Press Ltd. 
    • Paradis, J., Genesee, F. and Crago, M, B., (2010). Dual Language Development and Disorders: A Handbook on Bilingualism and Second Language Learning. Baltimore, USA: Paul H Brookes Publishing Company.
    Language Acquisition in Exceptional Circumstances
    • Bishop, D. and Mogford. K., (1993). Language development in exceptional circumstances.  Hove, UK: Psychology Press Ltd.

    This book is great if you wish to get a general insight into the language development of deaf, blind, feral and bilingual children. 

    • Perez-Pereira, M. and Conti-Ramsden, G., (1999). Language development and social interaction in blind children. Psychology Press Ltd: Hove, UK. 

    This book takes the work of various researchers over the past 50 years and gives an in-depth analysis on their findings on blind children's language development. If you have an interest in this area, this book is an essential read.

    Useful Sites
    This page is great if you want to have a look over some A level standard material on language acquisition. It also has a very useful and in depth section on stages of acquisition.
    This website introduces you to another influential linguist in the field of language acquisition, Steven Pinker, and to the idea of a 'grammar module'.
    This page covers a series questions that you may still have about language acquisition. It also has some exta information on bilingual and multilingual language acquisition.