English and drama

Child Language Acquisition

Module code: Q1079
Level 5
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

In this module, you explore how children learn their first language. 

During the module we'll look at language data from children and their carers to investigate questions such as:

  • what processes are involved in learning language and learning to use it?
  • to what extent is language an innate faculty in humans?
  • does it matter how we talk to children or will they acquire good language skills regardless?
  • does one lose language-learning ability as one gets older?
  • is language learning dependent on general cognitive abilities or intelligence?
  • to what extent are language acquisition processes universal or language-specific?

Module learning outcomes

  • Show an understanding of the proposed chronology of language acquisition and the reasons it may vary.
  • Critically assess the major hypotheses concerning language acquisition and the strengths and weaknesses of the evidence used in evaluating them.
  • Synthesise material from seminar discussions into cogent reports
  • Find and use research resources on first language acquisition in order to develop and communicate particular specialised knowledge in one or more aspects.