ATS2679 - Psycholinguistics and child language acquisition - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Dr Anna Margetts

Not offered in 2017


The unit traces the development of child language from pre-speech to the later stages of acquisition, including the development of communicative competence. It examines the development of the child's phonological, syntactic, morphological and semantic system and attempts to account for this development by considering various linguistic models and theories.


After successfully completing this unit, students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the process of language acquisition;
  2. discuss theories of language acquisition;
  3. describe child language data in terms of its phonological, morpho-syntactic, semantic and pragmatic features;
  4. read and understand publications in the area child language acquisition and psycho-linguistic in the linguistic literature. More generally students are expected to develop:

  5. critical reading skills;
  6. analytic and interpretive skills in dealing with raw language data;
  7. the ability to assess evidence supporting various theories and thereby evaluate these theories;
  8. the ability to present logical, coherent arguments, both orally and in writing.


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study