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Michele Stewart

Contact Hours

Mon 3-4pm
Room: Rm 03

2-3pm Rm 01










L21A Language Acquisition
Semester 1: 2005-2006.
Credits: 3

Course Objectives:

1. To develop an appreciation for the amazing task that every child accomplishes when they acquire their first language.
2. To gain an in-depth knowledge of child language acquisition including major milestones in the development of speech production, early word learning, morphology and syntax.
3. To learn some of recent advances in Child Language Methodology, with emphasis on the analysis of data using the CHILDES database
4. To become familiar with the major theories of first and second language acquisition, and some of the major debates in the fields.

Student Learning Objectives.

. At the end of the course you will be able to:

  • describe the basic “stages” of the acquisition of a first language in a normally developing child up to age 3;
  • describe the characteristic features of child language;
  • explain and illustrate how these features develop over time for the areas of phonology, early lexical, morphology, and syntax;
  • understand and describe some of the basic methods in child language research;
  • apply this knowledge to analyze basic children’s language samples;
  • describe the underlying assumptions and aims of 3 current theories of child language acquisition;
  • understand and describe some basic issues in the process of 2nd language acquisition;
  • understand and describe how 1st and 2nd language acquisition differ.



Course work – 40% 2 assignments, each worth 20% of the final grade. Assignment #1—short answers Due Week 6 Tue Oct 12th at 2pm. No paper will be accepted after Fri Oct 15th 3pm. Assignment #2—an essay Due Week 10 Tue Nov 9th at 2pm. No paper will be accepted after Fri Nov 12th 3pm

Examination – 60% Two essays, one from each major section of the course.

Reading: Your grasp of the subject matter will not be complete unless you supplement lectures and tutorial discussions with your own reading. Please refer to the detailed Course Outline for reading relevant to weekly lectures.

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