PL3LI-Specific Language Impairment

Module Provider: Clinical Language Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring 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:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Mr George Pontikas


Summary module description:
In this module students explore current theoretical topics in the field of specific language impairment.

This module aims to introduce and develop a range of current theoretical and research topics within the field of communication impairment. The focus will be on specific language impairment and on the application of linguistic theories as well as the synthesis of theoretical knowledge to clinical data.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module it is expected that the student will be able to: •identify, discuss and critically appraise the major themes and debates in the current research literature on Specific Language Impairment (SLI); •identify and interpret theoretical issues and linguistics aspects of communication impairment with specific reference to specific language impairment; •transfer and apply knowledge of linguistic theory to clinical practice and the interpretation of research literature; •articulate and justify their views on the current theoretical debates in SLI; •organise their knowledge and articulate their arguments clearly and effectively.

Additional outcomes:
Students will be given insight into the presentation of SLI across a variety of different languages, which will further inform their conceptualisation and theoretical understanding of these impairments. The module encourages the development of critical analytical skills and academic writing abilities and note-taking skills.

Outline content:
The module develops students' theoretical understanding of specific language impairment and is organised around seminal papers in theoretical issues associated with this impairment. Explanations for impairment of syntax and/or semantics is explored with consideration given to theories of SLI as a deficit in linguistic knowledge versus a deficit in a general or more specific processing capacity. The approaches of modularity and interaction in language development and impairment are considered and the role of cognitive neuropsychology in informing developmental disorder is discussed.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be two lectures on SLI characteristics and theories followed by eight seminars based on research papers. Seminars will consist of student presentations. Students are expected to have read the papers before the seminar so that they can contribute to the discussion and evaluation of the accounts.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 3
Tutorials 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

Other information on summative assessment:
The examination is questions by prior disclosure. Students will be provided with the paper one week before sitting the examination. 

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:
    One two-hour paper.

    Requirements for a pass:

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-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: 31 March 2017

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