Child Language Development

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Child Language Development

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
    Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Pre-requisites: LS1SG Sounds, Grammar and Meaning LS1ELS English Language and Society
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This module aims to provide students with an understanding of language development in typical healthy 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;
    ? describe some of one of the commonly used measures of language development;
    ? code children?s transcripts in accordance with given conventions;
    ? analyse child language data through a set of computational resources;
    ? describe 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 the students to the type of descriptive 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 important element of this part of the course.

    The second part of the module continues the data-driven approach but links it to other, more general issues such as neural development, bilingualism and atypical language development. 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 and practical workshops based on tasks and analysis of data; practical computer-aided language analysis.

    Contact hours:
    Lectures 16
    Practicals classes and workshops 4
    Guided independent study 180
    Total hours by term 200

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written exam 60
    Report 35
    Set exercise 5

    Other information on summative assessment:
    ? Students will analyse transcribed data and use it to report on the development of a child (1000-1250 words). (35%)
    ? 5 multiple-choice questionnaires on the topics discussed in class. (5%)

    Length of examination:
    A three-hour end-of-year examination in which students are required to answer three questions, of which one will entail analyzing an unseen sample of child language. (60%)

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework by 22 August and/or re-examination in August of the year the course is taken.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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