Child Language Development

The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 06 October 2022
Friday 16 December 2022
22 March 2022


Requisites for this module


LG116, LG215, LG219, LG358

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
4. Cultivate group work skills with a group presentation and learning activities

Module information

Week Topic
2 Introduction to psycholinguistics CDL
3 Speech perception CDL
4 Phonological development CDL
5 Learning words CDL
6 Language structure: Syntax LL
7 Language structure: Morphology LL
8 Discourse and communication LL
9 Developmental language disorders LL
10 Later development and reading LL
11 Bilingualism and multilingualism CDL

Learning and teaching methods

This course consists of 10 weekly 2-hour lectures and 1-hour classes taught by a assistant lecturer (AL). Students are expected to attend both lectures and classes regularly, to participate in class work as required, and to actively contribute to discussions. Reading will be expected in advance of lectures.


  • 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 Weighting
Coursework   Essay 1    40% 
Coursework   Presentation evaluation    5% 
Practical   Quiz 1 (via Moodle)     
Practical   Quiz 2 (via Moodle)     
Practical   Quiz 3 (via Moodle)     
Practical   Quiz 4 (via Moodle)     
Practical   Quiz 5 (via Moodle)     
Practical   Group Presentation     35% 

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
Claire Delle Luche, 4.313, 872113, c.delleluche@essex.ac.uk Laurel Lawyer, 4.340, 872087, l.lawyer@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Sam Christian D'Elia
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
Language and Linguistics

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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