Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code ENGL256
Coordinator Dr U Kania
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2022-23 Level 5 FHEQ Second Semester 30


The aims of this module are:
To make students aware of the scope, history, and the main findings of the field; to familiarise students with the most important theoretical and methodological issues in the area of child language acquisition; to give students the opportunity to critically reflect upon the representation of child language research in popular media; and to provide students with experience in conducting their own small scale (corpus-based) research in the area of child language acquisition.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of both the scope of child language acquisition in relation to other linguistic disciplines and some of the major findings within the field

(LO2) Demonstrate the ability to critically compare and evaluate relevant theoretical concepts and different methodological approaches within the field of CLA

(LO3) Demonstrate the ability to critically reflect upon the way in which CLA findings are made available to a lay audience via popular media

(LO4) Demonstrate an understanding of basic principles of relevant methodology that allows you to analyse corpus data from a CLA perspective

(S1) Problem solving/ critical thinking/ creativity analysing facts and situations and applying creative thinking to develop appropriate solutions

(S2) Information technology (application of) adopting, adapting and using digital devices, applications and services

(S3) Information literacy online, finding, interpreting, evaluating, managing and sharing information

(S4) Learning skills online studying and learning effectively in technology-rich environments, formal and informal

(S5) Literacy application of literacy, ability to produce clear, structured written work and oral literacy - including listening and questioning

(S6) Media literacy online critically reading and creatively producing academic and professional communications in a range of media

(S7) Research management; developing a research strategy, project planning and delivery, risk management, formulating questions, selecting literature, using primary/secondary/diverse sources, collecting & using data, applying research methods, and applying ethics

(S8) Self-management; readiness to accept responsibility (i.e. leadership), flexibility, resilience, self-starting, initiative, integrity, willingness to take risks, appropriate assertiveness, time management, and readiness to improve own performance based on feedback/reflective learning



Topics covered will typically include:
Introduction: overview of the module/assessment and the field of child language acquisition
Investigating child language acquisition: methodology (experiments, corpus-based approaches)
Theories of Language acquisition: generative vs. usage-based approaches, lge. as a uniquely human ability
Phonological development: prelinguistic abilities, protowords, first 'words'
Bilingualism/Multilingualism I: the bilingual brain, bilingual research methods
Bilingualism/Multilingualism II: code-switching
What’s in a word?: holophrases, lexical semantics
Becoming a word-maker: morphological development
Syntax: from holophrases to multi-word utterances
Pragmatic development I: acquiring speech acts
Pragmatic development II: acquiring irony/humour

The module will make extensive use of Canvas (providing most required readings, the reading list, supplementary material).

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Workshop (whole cohort)
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Each week, there will be 2 x 1-hour interactive workshop providing an introduction to/overview of one particular topic (recommended reading will consist of a chapter from a textbook)

Teaching Method 2 - Tutorial (small group)
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: The tutorials (1 x 1-hour per week) are designed as a follow-up to the workshop to allow for in-depth discussions/further exercises.

Teaching Method 3 - Screening
Description: There will also be 4 screenings of relevant documentaries throughout the semester, allowing for a closer look at how information on CLA research methods/findings are made available to a lay audience (this also forms the basis for assessment 1 - worth 20% of overall mark).
Attendance Recorded: Not yet decided

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours     11



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 259


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Open-Book Exam (Extended)/Take-Home Paper Scheduled by SAS, 24 hours duration, re-sit opportunity, anonymous  24    40       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Formative assessment (plan/outline/tentative bibliography for coursework 2), week 7         
Coursework 1 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When): week 9    10       
Coursework 2 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When): week 10    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.