Module Catalogue 2024/25

SPE2052 : Linguistics and Phonetics II

SPE2052 : Linguistics and Phonetics II

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Riches
  • Lecturer: Dr Cong Zhang, Dr Fiona Menger, Mrs Sarah Barnett, Dr Janet Webster, Professor Ghada Khattab
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 20.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



The linguistics component of the module builds on stage one work on syntax and semantics by introducing students to using linguistic analysis as a clinical tool. This module covers discourse and pragmatics and issues around bilingualism.
The main aims are:
1. To gain an understanding of pragmatics and the use of language in context.
2. To gain an understanding of (a) linguistic devices with a discourse function, and (b) cognitive processes involved in interpreting discourse
3. To present a survey of selected clinical linguistic analyses that may be used to assess children and adults with speech and language disorders. Social factors that pose challenges to these analyses are discussed.
4. To explore the uses of linguistic analysis procedures introduced under (2) in clinical practice, and gain practice through practical workshops.
5. To introduce students to sociolinguistics and dialectal variation.
6. To introduce unique aspects of bilingual linguistic development
7. To introduce the sociolinguistic issues around managing individual bilingual cases.
8. To introduce the methods of assessing and intervening with bilingual speakers.
9. To introduce personal cultural competence and wider legal responsibilities of speech and language therapy services in relation to multilingual clients.
10. To introduce various types of complex sentences and their role in language development and developmental disorders.
11. To introduce theories of lexical and morphological representation
12. To introduce theoretical frameworks in linguistics, e.g. generative versus constructivist accounts, and how they relate to clinical practice.

The phonetics component of this module serves as a foundation in instrumental, acoustic and advanced articulatory phonetics. The main aims are:
12. To further develop an understanding of articulatory phonetics and listening and transcription skills, building on what the students will have covered in year one.
13. To introduce the students to Acoustic Phonetics, the branch of phonetics that deals with the properties of sound waves.
14. Building upon theoretical foundations in speech production and perception, to enable students to use instrumental techniques for speech analysis, including clinical analysis of speech. The focus will be on spectrography since this is by far the most widely-used and versatile method.

In relation to HCPC Standards of Proficiency, this module addresses aspects of the following standards but is not the only module to do so:
5.0 be aware of the impact of culture, equality and diversity on practice
and its components 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6
6. understand the importance of and maintain confidentiality
and its component 6.4 Understand the need to ensure confidentiality is maintained in all situations in which service users rely on additional communication support (such as interpreters or translators)
7.0 To be able to communicate effectively
and its components 7.3, 7.5, 7.6, 7.7
12.0 understand the key concepts of the knowledge base relevant to their profession
and its components 12.5, 12.7, 12.10 and 12.13
13.0 Draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to inform practice
and its components 13.13, 13.14, 13.20

Outline Of Syllabus

The bilingualism component, allows students to gain in depth knowledge of the:
- Bilingual populations
- Bilingual language acquisition
- Code-switching
- Working with languages (and cultures) other than English
- The EAL experience including service user Involvement (see below)
- Clinical management of bilingual clients including the issue of cultural competence

The discourse and pragmatics component covers the following topics
- Meaning in context
- Cohesion and coherence
- Discourse processing
- Speech acts and intentional communication
- Discourse and exchanges
- Inference, Gricean pragmatics and Relevance Theory

In addition, the clinical linguistic component, introduces the students to:
- Collecting speech/language samples from children and adults
- Issues around analysis of speech, including sociolinguistic aspects.
- Analysis of sentence semantics
- Lexical analysis
- Grammatical analysis

And finally, the phonetics component, introduces the students to instrumental techniques and covers:
- Introduction into instrumental and acoustic phonetics
- Sound and sound waves
- Source and filter theory of speech production
- Introduction to the software Praat that will be used for instrumental analyses of speech
- Acoustic properties of sounds
- Connected speech processes
- Acoustic analysis in the assessment of consonants
- Phonological assessment of vowels (bearing in mind dialectal differences)
- Phonological assessment of prosody
- Auditory phonetics and perception of speech
- Acoustic analyses in the assessment of voice disorder
- Phonological theory and application in an SLT context

Service user involvement will include contributions from multilingual client(s) and/or their families to understand:

-       multi-lingual service user’s perspectives on their (or their family member’s) communication, disability, experiences of speech and language therapy and of wider services
-       how issues of multilingualism and cultural diversity should be accommodated in order to work effectively as speech and language therapist

In relation to the RCSLT Currciulum guidance, this module focuses on section 4.4.1, phonetics and clinical applications, general linguistics and clinical applications, psycholinguistics, conversation and discourse analysis, sociolinguistics and multilingualism.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

The intended Knowledge Outcomes for the linguistics components are:

For the bilingualism component:
To be able to define key terms such as bilingualism, EAL, and code-switching
To be able to describe sociolinguistic issues around bilingualism
To be able to explain assessment and intervention techniques unique to working with bilingual clients
To be able to explain personal and legal responsibilities in SLT practice of working with bilingual clients

For the discourse and pragmatics component, to be able
To understand which communication phenomena are studied under the heading of pragmatics.
To understand how language is adapted to context and how features of the context are used to aid
communication through language
To understand key principles underlying linguistic inference
To understand the key principles which structure discourse.
To develop an appreciation of cultural and sociolinguistic factors influencing communication

For the clinical linguistic component:
To become familiar with and practice the range of clinical linguistic analyses

And finally for the phonetics component:
To be able to identify the principal acoustic and aerodynamic properties of speech
To be able to relate articulatory and acoustics properties of speech
To be able to perform a segmentation of spectrograms using relevant information from the acoustic trace and
more general information about variability in speech
To be able to perform acoustic analyses of speech signals using a computer software (Praat) and be able to recognise the available information in distinguishing between sound categories.
To be able to discover the role of acoustic analysis in analysing disordered speech by analysing speech samples and examining relevant cases from the available literature
To be able to recognise elementary aspects of hearing and speech perception
To be able to appraise the breadth of phonological phenomena which can be incorporated under the heading
‘phonological assessment’
To be able to evaluate the practical and theoretical assumptions involved in carrying out a phonological
To be able to evaluate key issues relating to the phonetic assessment of atypical speech (diagnostic intelligibility testing, data sampling and profiling).
To be able to use their acquired knowledge of acoustic analyses in evaluating voice disorder.
To be able to identify key concepts relating to the suprasegmental features of speech (to include stress,
intonation, rhythm, voice)

Intended Skill Outcomes

The intended Knowledge Outcomes for the linguistics components are:
For the discourse and pragmatics component:
To analyse the structure of grammatical constructions with a discourse function
To identify implicit meaning, and distinguish it from explicit meaning
To identify linguistic devices used to create cohesion, and identifying factors contributing towards discourse coherence
To identify speech acts, distinguish between direct and indirect speech acts, and discuss how indirect speech acts are motivated by politeness considerations
To distinguish between conventional and conversational implicatures
To describe the processes involved in generating implicatures, e.g. implicated premise and conclusion
To describe the structure of conversational discourse

For the clinical Linguistic component:
To be able to judge when an analysis of language would be useful in evaluating a client with communication impairment
To be able to select an appropriate clinical analysis based on a sample of a client’s linguistic behaviour and carry it out

For the bilingualism component:
To be able to analyse bilingual language and correctly differentiate between language disorder and language difference.
To be able to recognise biases relating to sociolinguistic issues in themselves and others and address these appropriately and professionally.
To be able to adapt to working with bilingual facilitators and interpreters when assessing and managing any bilingual clients.
To be able to articulate responsibilities of an SLT and SLT services towards bilingual clients

And finally for the phonetics component:
To be able to use various instrumental techniques for speech analysis
To be able to listen objectively to speech and to carry out broad and narrow transcriptions of speech sounds
using the IPA transcription conventions
To be able to distinguish and produce most of the sounds of the IPA
To be able to record sound in the laboratory
To be able to generate and interpret a spectrographic representation of an utterance
To be able to carry out acoustic analyses of speech signals on normal and disordered speech
To be able to work on a project involving analysis of acoustic data and subsequent reporting of results

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture141:0014:00Linguistic lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture171:0017:00Phonetic Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion401:0040:00Linguistics Assessment Preparation and Completion.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion581:0058:00Phonetics Assessment Preparation and Completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical81:008:00Linguistic Practicals
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical101:0010:00Phonetics - Lab sessions, to allow in-depth practice instrumental techniques of speech sounds
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Phonetics - small group teaching
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1401:00140:00Phonetics Independent Study
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1041:00104:00Linguistics Independent Study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Knowledge outcomes are addressed through lectures to introduce concepts, plus guided reading to allow students to follow these up in more depth.

Skills outcomes for clinical linguistic analysis are further aided by a series of one hour workshops, each addressing a different analysis procedure. Students work on data and are given an answer key after they have completed this so that they can self-assess. The formative assignment provides an opportunity to apply and practise these skills with a client that they see on their semester 2 clinical placement.

Skills outcomes for bilingualism are further addressed in session with a clinician who is an expert in working with bilingual children with communication problems.

For Phonetics, small group tutorials are used to enable intensive practice in practical phonetic skills.

Lab practicals are used to familiarise the students with the use of instrumental analysis techniques.

The session in year 3 induction synthesises and applies learning from this module with learning from SPE2054 speech language pathology II: cases and SPE2051 clinical and professional education II. Students are supported to consider how to apply and modify this learning when working with clients and families from multilingual backgrounds with respect to: assessing and delivering interventions in non-majority languages; broader case management considerations; and issues of cultural competence. The timing has the additional benefit of preparing students for working with multi-lingual clients prior to their placements in external organisations.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Digital Examination302A13Phonetic component 1 - Dictation exam
Oral Examination102A12Phonetics component 2 - Oral exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A25Bilingualism essay, 2000 words
Essay2A25Pragmatics essay, 1500 words
Written exercise1A25Phonetic component 3 - individual project
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

All essential components of this module are to be passed to allow for progression.

Bilingualism essay: assesses knowledge outcomes and also skills outcomes around client management (involves a
hypothetical clinical case)

Pragmatics essay: assesses knowledge outcomes for this part of the module

The phonetics project requires students to use their knowledge of articulatory and acoustic properties of speech to perform a spectrogram segmentation while taking into account linguistics and social variability in speech.

The phonetics transcription test (digital exam) assesses students' abilities to transcribe speech accurately using the IPA conventions

The phonetics oral transcription test assesses the students’ abilities to produce the sounds of the IPA.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

Full HCPC Standard of Proficiency SPE2052 meets:
5.0 be aware of the impact of culture, equality and diversity on practice
5.1 understand the requirement to adapt practice to meet the needs of different groups and individuals
5.2 understand equality legislation and apply it to their practice
5.3 recognise the potential impact of their own values and personal biased (which may be unconscious) on practice and take personal action to ensure all service users and carers are treated appropriately with respect and dignity
5.5 recognise the characteristics and consequences of barriers to inclusion, including for socially isolated groups
5.6 actively challenge these barriers, supporting the implementation of change wherever possible
6.4 understand the need to ensure confidentiality is maintained in all situations in which service users rely on additional communication support (such as interpreters or translators)
7.3 understand the characteristics and consequences of verbal and non-verbal communication and recognise how these can be affected by difference of any kind, including, but not limited to, protected characteristics, intersectional experiences and cultural differences
7.5 modify their own means of communication to address the individual communication needs and preferences of service users and carers, and remove any barriers to communication where possible
7.6 understand the need to support the communication needs of service users and carers, such as through the use of an appropriate interpreter
7.7 be able to use information and communication technologies appropriate to their practice
12.5 understand the theoretical basis of, and the variety of approaches to, assessment and intervention taking account of the need to modify approaches in line with cultural, religious and linguistic needs
12.7 understand linguistics and phonetics, psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and all levels of typical processing and the differences for individuals whose home language is not English
12.10 understand sociology in relation to the practice of speech and language therapy, including its application to educational, health and workplace settings and within multi-cultural contexts
12.13 understand the diversity of client's cultural background, including awareness of cultural groups, protected characteristics, and social class
13.3 be able to analyse and critically evaluate the information collected
13.13 be able to administer, record, score and interpret a range of published and self-generated assessment tools to describe and analyse service users’ abilities and needs using, where appropriate, phonetic transcription, linguistic analysis, instrumental analysis and psycholinguistic assessment
13.14 apply knowledge of communication impairment, linguistics, phonetics, psychology and biomedical sciences to the identification, assessment and differential diagnosis of a range of communication and swallowing impairments
13.20 assess and plan interventions in the service user's home language with the assistance of professional interpreters, and with reference to professional clinical guidelines and evidence based practice

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