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Language Acquisition 5: Theories and Research Methods in Applied Linguistics


Admission requirements

Pass marks for Language Acquisition 1 and Language Acquisition 3, or equivalent.


In this course you will learn about research in theoretical and applied linguistics. You will apply your knowledge in a collaborative research project with three of your peers, which you will present in a final essay.
In the first half of the course you learn about approaches to research in linguistics by reading and critically analysing scholarship related to a course theme (e.g., language and identity). Through lectures, assigned readings, and seminar discussions, you will have opportunities to explore how linguists design and report on their research. Through this process you will learn how to critically evaluate empirical reserach, formulate research questions, identify appropriate research methods, ground your study in relevant scholarship, and organise your report. You will also begin designing your research by formulating questions, reading about your topic, and identifying relevant theories and methods in collaboration with 3-4 of your peers.
In the second half of the course you and your research team will undertake your research and report your findings in an essay. You collaborate with your team and tutor to collect and organise language-use data from various sources (e.g., surveys, interviews, literature, corpora, digital media), analyse the data, and write the report. To support your work, your team will meet each week with your tutor discuss your research and drafts of your writing. At the end of the course your team will submit a polished, edited version of your research report.

Course objectives

  • Develop your knowledge of theory and research in applied linguistics

  • Learn methods for collecting and analyzing data

  • Write an academic essay in English at CEF-level C1

  • Engage in collaborative research

  • Develop, revise and edit writing based on reviews

  • Critically evaluate empirical research


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture

  • Seminar

  • Research

Assessment method


  • Research report: You will be awarded a mark for your individual contribution to the research report, as well as a group mark. Neither of these marks may be lower than 6.0 for a pass mark for the course.

  • Seminar participation, including participation in ongoing peer review: 30%

Please note that you are only allowed to start work on the research report in the second half of the course if you have attended the tutorials in the first half of the course having completed the assigned readings. In order to participate in the second half of the course, you can have missed no more than two tutorial sessions in block I. To pass the course, you can miss no more than three sessions for the semester.


  • End-of-term research essay: 70% (35% research report and 35% group mark)

  • Seminar participation: 30%


The end-of-term essay can be resubmitted if the score is between 4.5 and 5.5. This essay resit will constitute for 100% of the final grade. Please note that there is no resit for the seminar participation score.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Course readings will be made available on Brightspace via open access and Leiden University Library resources.


Enrolment through My Studymap (Login | Universiteit Leiden) is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

Students other than from the BA English language and culture cannot take this course.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Student administration Arsenaal


Not applicable.