PL3LDG-Language in Genetic Disorders

Module Provider: Clinical Language Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: PL1GM Grammar and Meaning or PL1GML Grammar and Meaning and PL2GM2 Grammar and Meaning 2 or PL2GM2L Grammar and Meaning 2 or
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Vesna Stojanovik


Type of module:

Summary module description:
The module focuses on different aspects of language development in populations affected by genetic disorders (specifically children with Williams syndrome and those with Down syndrome). Different aspects of language development are covered, including early language development, phonological and lexical development, grammatical and pragmatic development.


The module aims: 1) to familiarise the students with current research on language development and impairment in populations affected by genetic disorders, and in particular those affected by Williams and Down syndrome; 2) to provide a wider theoretical context within which research on language in genetic disorders is particularly relevant. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the modules, the students will be able to:

• Show in-depth knowledge of the language characteristics of populations with Williams and Down syndrome

• Show clear understanding of, and critically evaluate the argument that individuals with Williams and Down syndrome provide evidence for innate modularity

• Clearly articulate their views on current theoretical debates in the field of language in genetic disorders

• Present their ideas logically and effectively

Additional outcomes:
•Working as part of a group
•Critical thinking
•Presentation skills

Outline content:
The module will provide the students with in depth knowledge of up to date research on, and understanding of how speech, language and communication develops in children affected by two different genetic disorders (Williams syndrome and Down Syndrome), areas of linguistic and cognitive strengths and weaknesses in the two populations and current theoretical explanations of the language and cognitive profiles.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be 3 hours of lectures and 12 hours of student-led seminars. Gorups of students will present different research papers each week. During the seminars, specific research papers will be discussed in depth and students will be expected to have read the papers and to contribute to the discussion. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 3
Seminars 12
Guided independent study 85
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:
2 hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
The examination is open. Students will be provided with the paper one week before sitting the examination.

Formative assessment methods:

There will be plenty of opportunities during the sessions to get feedback on your understanding and knowledge; this will be done via structured worksheets and discussions. Also students will get feedback on their presentations of papers.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (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.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-assessment will be by a two-hour written examination by September

    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: 20 April 2018


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