TESOL coursesSecond Language Acquisition
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Online Second Language Acquisition (SLA)

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Better learning requires better learners!

Give us three weeks (for full-time participants) or six weeks (for half-time participants), and our course will make you a better language learner.

Now fully online—you don’t need to leave home!
Our pre-field Second Language Acquisition (SLA) course is designed to equip you with the essential knowledge and skills you need in order to become a more efficient and effective language learner.

This course will help you to reach more quickly your short-term goal of handling daily tasks in your new language (e.g., conversing with your neighbors), and it will also help you to be a more successful cross-cultural communicator who is able to make significant long-term contributions within your new community (e.g., talking with others about life's most important issues).

Our approach is to show you how to make the most of your learning situation, whether you will be going to a language school, working individually or in small groups with a language tutor and some learning materials, or designing your own learning program from scratch and implementing it with language helpers. Whatever language you will be learning, and whatever your learning context, be assured that our goal is for everything in our SLA learner-training curriculum to be applicable to your very practical needs as a learner.

Although most participants take this course for non-credit, it can also be taken for four hours of credit or for non-credit. (Credit enrollment is available for summers only.)

Our goal at ICCT is to equip you with the abilities and strategies shared by good language learners. To this end, our SLA course consists of three interrelated components.

Foundations Sessions

These sessions provide an overall framework for the course. They deal with the "what" and the "how" of language learning. For example, what does it mean to know a language? In order to know a language, exactly what do you need to learn, and what skills must be developed? How should you go about the learning process? How can you capitalize on your innate learning strengths? How can you make the most of a language school or a structured tutoring situation? How can you learn from ordinary native speakers? How can you learn from your successes, and how can you make your mistakes work for you?

Practical Phonetics

This component prepares you to learn to hear and pronounce your target language more accurately. We focus on the most important phonological features (e.g., sounds, intonation, stress patterns) of the world's languages as well as the phonological features of your target language.

Language Learning Techniques

Our LLT sessions (a) equip you with a variety of techniques and procedures to use in your on-field learning and (b) give you an opportunity to focus on your target language. You will discover a great deal about your personal learning strengths and challenges, including particular strategies that work best for you, and you will gain confidence in your ability to tackle a new language as you work with a native speaker of another language. (For most of our SLA students, their language helper is a native speaker of their target language.)

Additional Information

To learn more about how the online course works, check out our FAQs document (pdf), and to find out what others have to say about it, click on Hear from former students.

Before you submit your application for this class, we want to be sure that this online course is a good fit for you as a learner and also an appropriate choice at this particular time in your life. Please see Questionnaire: Is this online SLA course right for me?


The Institute for Cross-Cultural Training (ICCT) is a department of
the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois
Phone: 630-752-7950 • Fax: 630-752-7125

CONTACT ICCT: ICCT@wheaton.edu