The Personal MA TESOL: Second Language Acquisition

Lightbown. Spada. Lightbown. Spada. Lightbown. Spada. During the first year of my master’s program, these were among the most common names encountered (not to mention Nunan, Krashen, Ellis, and others). I always thought it was rather funny when students, who had either encountered the name too many times or never bothered to read it and just skimmed , would constantly write “Lightbrown,” adding in the extra r. Lightbrown. Lightbown.

There are a pleth ora of books on SLA (second language acquisition) and “How Languages Are Learned” is among the best. As most SLA books do, they start off with a discussion of first language acquisition compared to second language acquisition and then run through a gamut of different theories. What makes this book great is that is is easily read and contains accessible language, which is important as a foundations book. This is written to serve as an introduction to SLA, and therefore clarity in language is imperative. All in all, this book serves as a great foray into a complex and tenuous subject.

In addition to the Lightbown and Spada book, those looking into SLA would want to check out these free online resources:

Please feel free to add more important SLA readings in the comments below.

One thought on “The Personal MA TESOL: Second Language Acquisition

  1. David Harbinson says:

    I love Lightbown and Spada’s book. I think it is a really good introduction to SLA. I believe that it’s just been updated to a fourth edition now.

    Vivian Cook also has quite a lot of information on his site: There are a lot of links that take you to his freely available writings. There’s also a video that he recorded for on YouTube where he talks about some of the key concepts of SLA as far as language teachers are concerned

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