Child Language Development

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
26 March 2021


Requisites for this module


LG116, LG215

Key module for


Module description

This module provide students with an introduction to a number of contemporary issues in the study of the acquisition of language as well as the study of some developmental language disorders. Topics will include the development of speech sounds, words, and grammar in typically developing children. The module may also introduce topics in bilingual language acquisition and in developmental language disorders, such as dyslexia.

Module aims

This module aims to:
• Provide students with an introduction to contemporary issues in the study of the acquisition of language and developmental language disorders.
• Demonstrate the importance of psycholinguistics to other disciplines, particularly psychology and cognitive science.
• Question and challenge stereotypical views on language acquisition, language processing, and disorders of language.
• Enable students to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to go on to second year courses in linguistics.
• Promote the acquisition of ‘transferable skills’ (e.g., data analysis, report writing, bibliographical referencing, etc.), which will be useful both inside and outside of academic contexts.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to:
1. Define key terminology related to first language acquisition and psycholinguistics
2. Understand the basic stages in of the acquisition of linguistic knowledge
3. Critique evidence used to support theories of first language acquisition

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

2 hours per week - confirmed details will be announced at the start of the academic year.


  • Erika Hoff. (2014) Language development, Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay 1  20/11/2020  40% 
Practical   Quiz 1     
Practical   Quiz 2     
Practical   Quiz 3     
Practical   Quiz 4     
Practical   Quiz 5     
Practical   Group Presentation  18/12/2020  40% 

Additional coursework information

Extra credit may be available for students who wish to participate in psycholinguistic experiments in Autumn term. Successful completion of one experiment will result in an additional 2% added to their final mark. Participation in these experiments is strictly voluntary and students will not be penalized for lack of participation. To participate, students will need to sign up for an experiment listed on the SONA website. Experiments last approximately 30-60 minutes and typically take place in the Languages and Linguistics department.

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Claire Delle Luche, email: c.delleluche@essex.ac.uk.
Dr Claire Delle Luche & Dr Laurel Lawyer
Claire Delle Luche, 4.313, 872113, c.delleluche@essex.ac.uk Laurel Lawyer, 4.340, 872087, l.lawyer@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Christopher Lucas
University of London
Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics
Available via Moodle
Of 317 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
317 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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