First Language Acquisition

Subject LING30003 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2016.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 34 hours- 2 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. There will be no tutorials in the first and last weeks of semester.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Some familiarity with the IPA and basic linguistic concepts. Contact coordinator for recommended reading if no linguistics background.

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:



Subject Overview:

This subject is an overview of some principal issues in first language acquisition, including children's language development (from pre-speech onwards), grammatical, semantic and pragmatic development, and the continued development of language through the school years. The variability and individual differences in relation to current theoretical models of language acquisition and cognitive and social development will also be examined. Focus is on the acquisition of English, but cross-cultural material will be included for comparison.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to draw on and critically evaluate knowledge of how the linguistic system develops in the child, including the sound system, grammar, meaning, pragmatics, and awareness of language;
  • have positioned themselves within theoretical debates in first language acquisition research;
  • be able to confidently deploy discipline specific research skills using primary and secondary sources and empirical data with a strong sense of research ethics and intellectual integrity;
  • be able to proficiently employ learning and research technologies as well as field-specific technologies such as the CHILDES database;
  • have attained advanced abilities in writing and other modalities;
  • have consolidated their understanding of social and cultural diversity and how they impact first language acquisition;
  • lead collaborative activities to address complex tasks in diverse learning settings.
  • Data collection, transcription, project abstract & presentation due week 4-6 [30%]
  • critical Reading assessment due in week 8 [20%]
  • Major project due during the examination period [40%]
  • Participation & engagement throughout the semester [10%]

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

First Language Acquisition (Eve V Clark) CUP, 2003 (2nd edition)

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should:

  • be able to think critically;
  • be able to effectively communicate ideas in writing;
  • be able to make a brief presentation.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: English Language - 200 Point Program
English Language Studies
Graduate Certificate in Arts - Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Language Testing - 200 Point Program
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
TESOL - 200 Point Program
Technology in Language Learning - 200 Point Program

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