PLMML-Multilingualism and Impairment Across the Lifespan

Module Provider: Clinical Language Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Ludovica Serratrice


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module addresses child language development and outcomes in a bilingual setting as well as language impairment in bilingual or multilingual individuals, children and adults.


This module examines multilingualism and impairment in children and adults. The first part of the module examines language acquisition in bilingual children addressing types of bilingualism, and factors that affect language development in bilingual children, such as the role of input and exposure, socio-economic status, and the role of the first language. The second part of the module examines language impairment in bilingual children and adults addressing developmental and acquired language disorders in individual case studies or groups of individuals with affected linguistic performance. Research papers will be critically discussed in relation to theory, design, and material used. Students will be expected to take an active role in literature searches, in the identification of key issues in the field of bilingualism and language impairment, and in the class discussion of research findings and avenues for further research.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to: • Demonstrate knowledge of different types of bilingualism and factors that affect language development in bilingual children; demonstrate knowledge of the heterogeneity of developmental and acquired language disorders in bilingual and multilingual individuals • Understand the role of internal and external factors in bilingual language acquisition; •Understand the importance of diagnosis of language impairment in children with suspected SLI in both languages of the child; also, understand the different domains in each language of the bilingual child which can be affected by the impairment. • Synthesise ideas and controversies in the field of bilingualism and language impairment. • Engage in critical reflective thinking. • Develop assessment material for research/clinical practice.

Additional outcomes:

Students will be able to make connections between theoretically driven notions of bilingualism and language impairment and develop their ideas in a viable project proposal that could form the core of a funding bid.

Outline content:

This module consists of ten three-hour sessions on aspects of child and adult bilingualism and language impairment in multilinguals. In addition to tutor-led sessions, students will take an active role in student-led sessions in which they will:

1) deliver oral presentations of research papers

2) discuss a series of seminal papers in the field. 

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Ten three-hour sessions once a week for 10 weeks, consisting of lectures, seminars, and workshops.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Project output other than dissertation 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

1) A 2000 word review of a research paper on acquisition or developmental language disorders in bilingual or multilingual individuals in Week 11 of the Autumn term. 

2) A 3,500 research proposal in Week 2 of the Spring term. 

Formative assessment methods:

Ample opportunities for feedback during discussions on research papers and material design during lectures and seminars.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Students will resubmit failed coursework by 1st September

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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