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Unit information: Language and Literacy in Young Children in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Language and Literacy in Young Children
Unit code SPOL30036
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Lucas
Open unit status Open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The unit provides students with an overview of current understanding about the development of language and literacy in young children (0-8years). Topics covered include: Learning to speak and understand, theories of language acquisition, Bilingualism and multilingualism, understanding speech and language difficulties, learning to read, learning to write and spell and problems of literacy. The course draws heavily on theory and research from the fields of psychology and linguistics, but also on the literature regarding research and practice in the education in the early and primary years. This unit aims to

" To provide students with an overview of current theories and research on the development of language and the acquisition of literacy

" To examine the implications of research and theory for educational approaches

" To describe and explain common disorders of language and speech

" To describe and explain common disorders of reading and writing

" To consider different contexts for language acquisition

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the studying this unit, students should be equipped to:

" Establish a critical understanding of relevant research

" Develop report writing and essay writing skills

" Evaluate educational approaches to supporting early literacy

Teaching Information

Lectures, fieldwork and seminars.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment: mock exam

Summative assessment: 3 hour unseen exam

Reading and References

  • Whitehead M (2010) Language & Literacy in the Early Years 0-7 (4th Edn) London:Sage
  • Harley, T A (2008) The psychology of language: from data to theory. 3rd ed. Hove : Psychology Press
  • Browne, A. (2009) Developing Language & Literacy 3-8. Sage
  • Pinker (1994) The Language Instinct: How the Mind Creates Language. London: Penguin Press