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This subject is an overview of some principal issues in first language acquisition, including children's language development (from pre-speech onwards), grammatical, semantic and pragmatic development, and the continued development of language through the school years. The variability and individual differences in relation to current theoretical models of language acquisition and cognitive and social development will also be examined. Focus is on the acquisition of English, but cross-cultural material will be included for comparison.
Intended learning outcomes
On successful completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to draw on and critically evaluate knowledge of how the linguistic system develops in the child, including the sound system, grammar, meaning, pragmatics, and awareness of language;
- have positioned themselves within theoretical debates in first language acquisition research;
- be able to confidently deploy discipline specific research skills using primary and secondary sources and empirical data with a strong sense of research ethics and intellectual integrity;
- be able to proficiently employ learning and research technologies as well as field-specific technologies such as the CHILDES database;
- have attained advanced abilities in writing and other modalities;
- have consolidated their understanding of social and cultural diversity and how they impact first language acquisition;
- lead collaborative activities to address complex tasks in diverse learning settings.
At the completion of this subject, students should:
- be able to think critically;
- be able to effectively communicate ideas in writing;
- be able to make a brief presentation.
Last updated: 4 December 2021