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Psycholinguistics: First & second language acquisition - LAN00018M

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Heather Marsden
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

This module introduces the field of language acquisition research, including language acquisition research methods, data, and theory. The module focuses on child first language acquisition of phonology and syntax, but covers at least one additional area of language acquisition, such as adult second language acquisition or child bilingualism.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

The module provides

  • an overview of child first language acquisition, focusing on phonology and syntax
  • an introduction to related topics including some (but not necessarily all) of the following: adult second language acquisition, child bilingualism, language development in special populations
  • an introduction to theories of language acquisition
  • an introduction to methods of investigation language acquisition

Module learning outcomes

Students should acquire:

  • a basic understanding of the typical sequence of child language development in the areas of phonology and syntax;
  • a basic understanding of key issues in language acquisition in at least one related area. This may include adult second language acquisition, child bilingualism, and/or language acquisition in special populations, and may vary from year to year;
  • knowledge of the techniques used in studying language development;
  • an awareness of the relationship between languages acquisition data and general issues of linguistic competence/performance and cognition in general;
  • an awareness of the role of linguistic theory in developing accounts of language acquisition.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Students will practise the following skills during this module: academic writing, analytic reasoning, understanding experiment design, reading and interpreting statistical data.


Task Length % of module mark
short essays : Other
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Re-Assessment short essays : Other
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback on formative work is provided within two weeks of submission.

Feedback on summative work is provided within six weeks of submission.

Indicative reading

Readings to be assigned at the start of the module.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.