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SEL2086 : Introduction to Child and Adult Language Acquisition (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Emma Nguyen
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To provide students with an introduction to the main theories, questions, methods of investigation, and discoveries in the two fields of a) child language development and b) adult second language acquisition.

Outline Of Syllabus

Part I Child language development
Theoretical questions and perspectives on child language
What needs to be acquired and the challenges facing the child
How can we investigate child language
Brain and language development
Role of nurture in language development

Part II Second language acquisition
Theoretical perspectives on second language acquisition
The empirical study of interlanguage
L1 influence
Acquisition of morphosytax/syntax
The critical period
Acquisition of phonology
Individual differences
Social context

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion145:0045:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading168:0068:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity120:0020:00inc. 10 hours directed groupwork
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study124:0024:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will present and explain theoretical frameworks, methodologies, and empirical discoveries, while the workshops will a) reinforce the lectures, b) provide students with opportunities to participate in classroom debates based on assigned readings, and c) support students in analysing (in smaller teams) a small dataset for the second language acquisition part of the module. Students will be expected to read assigned material in advance of the lectures and seminars. Private study time will be devoted to preparatory reading for both lectures and seminars.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination991M50Mid-module exam to objectively test student understanding of foundational notions in child language at end of Part 1.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A502000 word essay on a topic in Second Language Acquisition
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessed by an examination, an oral presentation on analysis of second language data (morphosyntax/syntax or phonology) and an individual data analysis exercise (on the linguistic domain not selected for the group presentation).

Written Examination
The midterm exam probes understanding of foundational concepts and empirical facts presented during the first half (child language development) of this module, preparing students for the Stage 3 module SEL3352.

The team poster involves students in gaining/honing the skills they will need for writing papers. It
develops students' skills in analysis of data from corpora such as TalkBank or from YouTube videos. This assignment give students skills and ideas for further work in second language acquisition, e.g. on an extended study or dissertation and for the Stage 3 module, SEL3012, for which students have to design their own study and collect their own data.

Study abroad assessment: same

Reading Lists