Module and Programme Catalogue

Search site

Find information on

2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PSYC3538 Development of Language and Literacy

15 creditsClass Size: 70

Module manager: Dr Hannah Nash

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Pre-requisite qualifications

Successful completion of all pass for progression modules in Level 2 of: BSc Psychology or MPsyc, BSc Advanced Psychology, BA Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Thought (and its International and Industrial variants) or BSc Psychology with Education (and its International and Industrial variants)

Module replaces

PSYC3529 Language and Development

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module aims to give students an insight into the acquisition and development of language and literacy from childhood and into adulthood and will be of particular relevance to students interested in careers where an understanding of language is necessary, such as speech & language/occupational therapy, areas of clinical and educational psychology and both primary and secondary school teaching. The module builds upon core knowledge acquired in Level 1 and Level 2 modules which cover Cognitive and Developmental Psychology as well as Language and Memory and takes a cognitive/experimental approach. Students will be encouraged to engage with primary research literature relating to each topic area.


This module aims to provide in depth coverage of empirical, conceptual and theoretical issues relating to the development of language and literacy throughout childhood and into adulthood. Typical and disordered development will be considered. The module will be taught by experts in the subject.
Students will continue to develop their knowledge in this area of the discipline with particular emphasis on relevant research.

Learning outcomes
By engaging successfully with this module a student will be able to:
• Describe and critique the various methods and approaches typically used in the field of psycholinguistics, language acquisition and reading development.
• Identify and explain the cognitive mechanisms which underpin language acquisition and their relationship to cognitive development.
• Evaluate theories and models of language acquisition, reading and development.
• Address current debates in the area
• Identify and critically evaluate relevant research literature.

Skills outcomes
Subject specific skills:
- Students will have the opportunity to develop skills in the selection, evaluation and application of published research in the area of language acquisition.
- Information retrieval, synthesis and evaluation
- Evidence-based reasoning
- Group working and presentation skills


The module content will include a selection of the following topics. Exact content may vary slightly from year to year based upon staff interests/expertise and trends in the research literature:

Introduction to the module, language acquisition research and psycholinguistics
What is Language? Infant language sensitivity (categorical perception)
The developing lexicon: Learning new words
Second language acquisition & bilingualism
Learning to combine words and make sentences
Specific Language Impairment (SLI)
Learning written language
Developmental Dyslexia
Critical thinking, assessment preparation and essay advice

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Drop-in Session11.001.00
Private study hours131.00
Total Contact hours19.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Reading for each lecture 8 x 5 - 40 hrs
Preparation for seminar - 10 hrs
Essay preparation - 40 hrs
Independent literature searches and reading, contribution to discussion, exam preparation - 41 hrs

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will give a short group presentation in the seminar in week 6 on an aspect of language/literacy development. Students will be encouraged to select an area of debate relating to the syllabus and work in small groups to develop a 15 minute presentation reviewing relevant research evidence. Students will present their findings to their peers in one of two seminar sessions which will be timetabled.
Engagement is not assessed but is expected. Developing the presentation will encourage students to engage in independent reading, critical thinking and discussion of key issues. This will feed forward into preparation for the assessed coursework essay.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayMax. 2000 words80.00
Oral Presentation15 min group presentation0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)80.00

The end of semester summative assessment will be a 2000 word essay which will require students to review relevant theoretical perspectives and research evidence.

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment1 hr 00 mins20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 15:21:45


Browse Other Catalogues

Errors, omissions, failed links etc should be notified to the Catalogue Team.PROD

© Copyright Leeds 2019