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Module

SEL2086 : Introduction to Child and Adult Language Acquisition

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Martha Young-Scholten
  • Lecturer: Dr Cristina Dye
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

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

Weeks 1-5: Child language development
Topics:
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

Weeks 6-10: Second language acquisition
Topics:
Theoretical perspectives on second language acquisition
The empirical study of interlanguage
The critical period
Acquisition of phonology
Acquisition of lexicon
Acquisition of syntax
Individual differences
Social context

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion145:0045:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading165:0065:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/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
Total200:00
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8643Introduction to Second Language Acquisition
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 workshops. Private study time will be devoted to preparatory reading for both lectures and workshops.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601M50Mid-module 24-hour take-home exam to objectively test student understanding of foundational notions in child language before Part 2.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M25Essay 1 is a 1500-word written report on analysis of second language acquisition data
Essay1A25Essay 2 is a 1500-word essay on the domain the student didn't choose for essay 1.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessed by an examination, seminar participation, one 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 measures understanding of foundational concepts and facts presented during the first half (child language development) of this introductory module.

Seminar participation(professional skills assessment)
Participation takes a variety of forms, from contributing ideas to a discussion to asking the seminar leader a question, to giving a single-word answer (but necessarily require regular attendance).

Essay
The two essays develop students' skills in analysis of data from corpora such as TalkBank or from YouTube videos. Students receive feedback from essay 1 prior to inform essay 2 prior to its submission. These essays 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. The two essays are on different domains of language: phonology and morphosyntax/syntax. Use of the same data for both essays is allowable. This ensures that students gain deeper knowledge in both L2 morphosyntax/syntax and phonology. The essay also requires them to consider, in short answer form, how they would incorporate into a hypothetical study the variables presented in the Part 2 lectures and discussed in the seminars.

Study abroad assessment: same

Reading Lists

Timetable