LING219-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019

Language Acquisition

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2019
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2019
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 26 July 2019
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 27 September 2019


This course deals with key aspects of how human language is acquired by children, from infancy to adolescence. Selected topics in bilingual and second language development are also covered.

This course explores the psychology of language acquisition in infants, children and adults. With a focus on oral language development, and opportunities for hands-on experience of language acquisition research, it will explore what we know about how first language, bilingual language, and second language are acquired and what can both help and hinder those developments.

How do we humans acquire languages? Why can we do this while other species cannot? Why can we acquire several languages in childhood but find it so much more difficult to acquire languages later in life? What helps us learn and what can hinder us? Does it matter what language we are acquiring? If we cease to use our languages will we lose them? What happens to language when there is brain damage? This course is relevant for pre-service and in-service teachers at all levels; those interested in becoming second/foreign language teachers or in improving their teaching practice; those in developmental psychology and/or linguistics; and those interested in entering clinical fields.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of:

  • The paths of typical language development in children and adults
  • Differences between learners and the possible impacts on language acquisition
  • The prerequisites for successful language acquisition
  • The causes and consequences of less successful acquisition
  • Some of the techniques for understanding language acquisition
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.


LING101 or
LING111 or
ENGL123 or
ENGL112 or
relevant background in EDUC or
PSYC with the approval of the Head of Department.


CMDS221, LING205

Course Coordinator

Susan Foster-Cohen

Textbooks / Resources

Required Texts

Rowland, Caroline; Understanding Child Language Acquisition; Taylor and Francis, 2013.

Recommended Reading

Ortega, Lourdes; Understanding second language acquisition; Hodder Education, 2009.

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $761.00

International fee $3,188.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All LING219 Occurrences

  • LING219-19S2 (C) Semester Two 2019