Children with language impairments (PSYL10014)
Children with language impairments (PSYL10014)
To describe and evaluate research that addresses the issue of why some children have difficulty acquiring spoken language.
While the vast majority of children acquire spoken language with remarkable speed and facility, some children experience significant difficulties with language development, despite their development appearing to be relatively typical in other respects. In this course, we will examine some key features of the difficulties encountered by children with “specific” language impairments (SLI) and will evaluate contrasting explanations for SLI (e.g. linguistic module deficits, perceptual deficits, working memory limitations). We will also consider how SLI may impact on literacy skills and socio-emotional development, as well as the implications for educational policy and practice. The classes will involve a combination of lecturing and discussion. To help you participate effectively in class discussions, you will be expected to read a particular paper and think about some questions before coming to each class.
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Describe the various types of difficulties that some children have in acquiring spoken language.
- Evaluate a range of theoretical accounts of these difficulties, drawing on relevant evidence from empirical research.
- Discuss the educational implications of research on children with language impairments.
Preparation for first class (see Topic 1 for details of references):
- Read Bishop (2006)
- Read at least one of the following:
- Look at some of the videos on the YouTube RALLI channel (Raising Awareness of Language Learning Impairments):
- Come prepared to discuss what language impairment is and why it is interesting.
Topics & Key References (additional references will be given at start of course)
1: What is language impairment and why is it interesting?
Bishop, D.V.M. (2006). What causes specific language impairment in children? Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15, 217-221.
Botting, N. (2005). Non-verbal cognitive development and language impairment. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46 (3), 317-326.
Leonard, L.B. (2009). Language symptoms and their possible sources in specific language impairment. In Bavin, E.L. (Ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of Child Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 24.
Tomblin, J.B. (2009). Children with specific language impairment. In Bavin, E.L. (Ed.) The Cambridge Handbook of Child Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 23.
2: Lexical development in children with language impairments.
Nash, M. and Donaldson, M.L. (2005). Word learning in children with vocabulary deficits. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, 48, 439-458.
Steele, S. C. and Mills, M.T. (2011). Vocabulary intervention for school-age children with language impairment: a review of evidence and good practice. Child Language Teaching & Therapy, 27 (3), 354-370.
3: Grammatical development in children with language impairments.
Hsu, J.H. & Bishop, D.V.M. (2010). Grammatical difficulties in children with specific language impairment. Human Development, 53, 264-277.
Ebbels, S. (2014). Effectiveness of intervention for grammar in school-aged children with primary language impairments: a review of the evidence. Child Language Teaching & Therapy, 30, 7-40.
4: Development of pragmatic & discourse level skills in children with language impairments.
Colozzo, P., Gillam, R.B., Wood, M., Schnell, R.D. and Johnston, J.R. (2011). Content and form in the narratives of children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 54, 1609-1627.
Norbury, C.F. and Bishop, D.V.M. (2003). Narrative skills of children with communication impairments. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 38 (3), 287-313.
5: Outcomes for children with language impairments: literacy and social functioning in adolescence and adulthood
Durkin, K. & Conti-Ramsden, G. (2010). Young people with specific language impairment: A review of social and emotional functioning in adolescence. Child Language Teaching and Therapy, 26, 105-121.
St Clair, M.C., Durkin, K., Conti-Ramsden, G. & Pickles, A. (2010). Growth of reading skills in children with a history of specific language impairment: The role of autistic symptomatology and language-related abilities. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 28, 109-131.
Format of course
Independent reading and thinking are essential to your success on this course. The classes are designed to support and guide your reading. Although the classes include some lecturing to provide you with an overall framework, there will also be an emphasis on interactive learning. Each class will include opportunities for discussion and participation, using a variety of formats. To help you participate effectively in class discussions, you will be asked to read a particular paper and think about some questions before coming to each class.
100% examination (Dec diet, date TBC)