Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of language development in normal 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.


Aims:

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of language development in normal 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;

• demonstrate critical understanding of one of the commonly used measures of language development;

• make use of computational resources for the analysis of child language, and make and justify principled coding decisions;

• describe and explain 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 students to the type of general 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 importnat element of this part of the course



The second part of the module continues the data-driven approach but links it to findings in the literature relating to the development of morphology, the sound system, vocabulary and syntax. 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 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 20
       
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Report 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Coursework
students will provide a detailed report of the development of a child based upon transcripts from a database (1,500 words)
Relative percentage of coursework: 30%

Students will write an account of one area of first language development, illustrating their account with data taken from available sources (3,000 words)
Relative percentage of coursework: 70%

Formative assessment methods:

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: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-examination by coursework to be submitted by 1st 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: 10 April 2019

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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