|| This research looks at the theory and practice behind acquiring a second language and determines what the key pedagogical factors are behind second language acquisition (SLA). These pedagogical factors are examined in terms of their relevance and priority in overall SLA as well as in the key skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening in SLA. Primary research is completed using interviews with second language experts and a focus group with second language instructors. The findings highlight that a number of general learning and second language acquisition theories are relevant in practice today with Vygotksy's sociocultural theory the most prominent. The following eight pedagogical factors are found to be the most important in second language acquisition; active learning, autonomy, scaffolded learning, critical thinking, Learner collaboration, context, authentic communication and practice. The findings of this research provide a guide for SLA practitioners in higher education to bridge the gap between theory and practice in the development of curriculum and instruction plans. They also provide direction to industry by highlighting the key areas that require research and development.