Communication Across the Lifespan

Subject AUDI90025 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 48 hours
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, 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 the Disability Liaison Unit:


Dr Elaina Kefalianos


Subject Overview:

This subject will provide an overview of the multiple determinants of communication skill development across the human lifespan, ranging from communication development in the prenatal period and early infancy through to communication changes that occur with ageing. The many facets of communication will be addressed including: What is communication? How do we communicate? What distinguishes human communication from other communication? What are the theories and origins of human communication? In this subject, you will be introduced to the idea that communication changes across the lifespan. We will address how communication competency develops and changes during early infancy through to old age. The many factors/ determinants that can impact on, or change, communication skills will be highlighted. Maintenance of communication across the lifespan will also be introduced within this context, as well as factors which impact on communication breakdown. You will apply your knowledge gained in this subject to analyse examples of human communication and to produce an essay on a selected communication topic.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this subject, you will be able to:
1. Define human communication and explain the different components (e.g., verbal, non-verbal, listening) that contribute to competent communication.
2. Identify and discuss the components of communication across the lifespan – hearing, speech, language, voice, fluency and swallowing.
3. Describe and evaluate the typical speech and language development of children from birth through to adolescence (including cognitive, pre-linguistic, phonological, morpho-syntactic, semantic, pragmatic and literacy development).
4. Examine and explain the multiple determinants of communication skill development and maintenance across the lifespan.
5. Understand and analyse the changes that occur to hearing, communication and swallowing with aging.
6. Recognise, analyse and debate the diversity in communication skills across the lifespan due to individual differences, gender, cultural and linguistic diversity, and biological and social determinants.
7. Explain the components of the World Health Organisation’s ‘International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health’ (ICF, WHO, 2001) and apply the framework of the ICF (2001) and ICF-CY (2007) as relevant to speech pathology and clinical practice.

  • A 1000 word report assignment to be submitted at the end of week 5, Semester 1 - 20%
  • A 2000 word essay to be submitted at the end of week 10, in Semester 1 - 40%
  • A two hour written examination at the end of Semester 1 - 40%

Hurdle requirement: Students must pass the written exam in order to pass the subject.

Prescribed Texts:


Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

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

At the completion of this subject, you should be able to:
1. Access knowledge from a variety of sources, and critically examine, synthesise and evaluate knowledge.
2. Think analytically and critically about relevant literature, including scientific research papers.
3. Develop and apply specialist in-depth knowledge to your ongoing learning, problem solving, decision making and clinical practice.
4. Work constructively, flexibly, collaboratively and respectfully with peers during class and group activities.
5. Demonstrate professional and academic written communication skills, including correct use of APA Style (6th Edition) and academic referencing in your written assignments.
6. Demonstrate excellent and effective interpersonal skills, and develop greater awareness of your own oral communication skills, enhanced by your learning about human communication within this subject.

Related Course(s): Master of Speech Pathology

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