LS2DCL-Child Language Development

Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: LS1SG Sounds, Grammar and Meaning LS1ELS English Language and Society
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Fraibet Aveledo


Summary module description:

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of language development in typical healthy children, together with the experience of encoding child language data and using a computer program to analyse it. It thus affords a benchmark and a system of analysis for interpreting abnormal language development.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•identify and describe the main stages of early language development in the phonology, grammar, lexis and morphology of English;
•identify evidence of these stages in transcript data and discuss the chief characteristics of speech directed at infants by adults;
•describe some of one of the commonly used measures of language development;
•code children’s transcripts in accordance with given conventions;
•analyse child language data through a set of computational resources;
•describe the patterns of child language development based upon transcript evidence.

Additional outcomes:
The module develops general analytic skills. It extends the students' ability to undertake linguistic analysis of various kinds (syntactic, morphological, lexical, phonetic) by comparing data at different stages of development. It develops the ability to carry out computer-aided analysis and interpretation. It also exposes the students to the type of descriptive statistical analysis used in empirical measures of language performance.

Outline content:
The first half of the module focuses on the documented grammatical development of one child, and students will learn to transcribe and analyse child data, and to understand the phases of early development of lexicon, morphology and syntax. The difficulties of encoding certain linguistic features will be discussed. Students will be introduced to current computational resources; hands-on practice in the transcription and analysis of child data is an important element of this part of the course.

The second part of the module continues the data-driven approach but links it to other, more general issues such as neural development, bilingualism and atypical language development. There will also be an analysis of the speech directed at children by their carers. Emphasis will be laid throughout on using child language data to apply linguistic concepts from core modules. There will be set reading each week.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and practical workshops based on tasks and analysis of data; practical computer-aided language analysis.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 16
Practicals classes and workshops 4
Guided independent study 180
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Report 35
Set exercise 5

Other information on summative assessment:
•Students will analyse transcribed data and use it to report on the development of a child (1000-1250 words). (35%)
•5 multiple-choice questionnaires on the topics discussed in class. (5%)

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    A three-hour end-of-year examination in which students are required to answer three questions, of which one will entail analyzing an unseen sample of child language. (60%)

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework by 22 August and/or re-examination in August of the year the course is taken.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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