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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Psychology

Undergraduate Course: Children with Language Impairments (PSYL10014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course addresses the issue of why some children have difficulty acquiring spoken language, despite their development appearing to be relatively typical in other respects.
Course description 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 and general processing limitations). We will also consider how SLI may subsequently impact on other aspects of development, such as 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, students will be expected to read a particular paper and think about some questions before coming to each class.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Research Methods and Statistics 2 (PSYL10126) AND Research Methods & Statistics 3 (PSYL10127)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesDegree major in Psychology and passes in psychology courses at least to the equivalent of junior honours level in Edinburgh. Prior agreement with the 4th Year Honours Course Organiser
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Block 1 (Sem 1)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)1:30
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Describe the various types of difficulties that some children have in acquiring spoken language.
  2. Evaluate a range of theoretical accounts of these difficulties, drawing on relevant evidence from empirical research.
  3. Discuss the educational implications of research on children with language impairments.
Reading List
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsdevelopmental psychology; language impairment
Course organiserDr Morag Donaldson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3437
Course secretaryMs Stephanie Fong
Tel: (0131 6)51 3733
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