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Module QXL-3316:
Language Disorders &Bilinguals

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Eirini Sanoudaki

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces students to developmental and acquired speech and language disorders in monolingual as well as bilingual populations. By examining developmental disorders in children, such as children with Specific Language Impairment or children with Autistic Spectrum disorders, various language domains are explored, such as phonological, grammatical, semantic and pragmatic disorders. By examining acquired disorders in adults, such as adults with Aphasia, we look at neurolinguistics, i.e. the study of the breakdown of cognitive and linguistic abilities. We also explore issues related to language assessment and diagnosis in bilinguals.

• To develop students’ understanding of developmental and acquired language disorders in monolingual and bilingual populations.
• To enhance students’ appreciation of the various theoretical models proposed for language impaired children and adult and of how they interact with theories of typical language acquisition and theories of bilingualism.
• To develop students’ awareness of the implications of the findings from research on language impairment for linguistic theory.
• To introduce students to the research techniques used within this domain of research.

Course content

Topics may vary from year to year, but will be drawn from:
1. Introduction to language impairment and bilingualism
2. Investigating language development and impairment in bilingual populations
3. Language in bilingual individuals with Down syndrome
4. Language and autism
5. Specific Language Impairment
6. Dyslexia
7. Acquired language disorders – Neurolinguistics

Assessment Criteria


Student has achieved the minimum acceptable standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all the learning outcomes. Student can demonstrate a minimum level of understanding of the basic concepts and be able to apply them to data with some degree of accuracy.


Student has achieved a better-than-average standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all learning outcomes, and has a clear and accurate understanding of concepts; ability to apply concepts to data critically and thoughtfully; evidence of wide reading and clear and accurate reference to source materials; free from misunderstanding and errors of content; free from irrelevant material.


A :
Student has achieved a thorough standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all learning outcomes; or student has demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in one or more learning outcomes together with a good overall standard. Student has achieved a thorough understanding of the subject, both in terms of content and theory; student is able to apply concepts clearly and accurately; substantial evidence of critical and original thought and analysis; clear, logical argument; high level of communicative competence; free from irrelevant material and errors of spelling and punctuation; evidence of extensive reading beyond basic texts and clear and accurate references to source material.

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will understand the major types of speech and language impairments in monolinguals and bilinguals, and be able to identify them.

  2. Students will be able to identify and evaluate the linguistic characteristics of each type of speech and language impairments, and explain how these findings relate to linguistic theory .

  3. Students will be able to present and discuss key facts, concepts, ideas and approaches relating to the study of language disorders.

  4. Students will be able to describe, analyse and critically compare competing accounts and theories concerning atypical language acquisition and acquired language disorders in monolinguals and bilinguals.

  5. Students will be able to critically evaluate relevant empirical studies.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Assignment 1 40
Assignment 2 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy


One 2-hour lecture per week for 11 weeks.


Students are encouraged to see the lecturer on a one-to-one basis during published office hours (or by appointment) to discuss issues with the module content, seek clarification on topics and discussions, and discuss feedback on assessments and class exercises.

Private study

Directed Reading - students are given required reading each week (of about 2.5 hours) on the topic of that week's lecture.


One 1-hour seminar per fortnight (5 over the 11 weeks)

Private study

In their own time, students will be expected to do further reading, go through materials covered in class and do further research on the topics, and prepare assignments.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Understanding of the nature of bi/multilingualism - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of bilingual and multilingual individuals and communities.
  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse, interpret data accurately, and draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Effective communication - students will develop the ability to communicate effectively, appropriately and confidently, in a range of contexts, to different audience types, and making use of a range of supporting materials
  • Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity
  • Knowledge of the relationship between language and society, culture, and/or embodied experience - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to the complex interdependent relationship between language, society culture and/or embodied experience.
  • Knowledge of the relationship between language and mind/brain - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to the complex interdependent relationship between language and mind/brain.
  • Proficiency in the use of English in reading, writing, speaking and/or listening - students will demonstrate proficiency in their ability to use and understand English in a range of different contexts and via different media.
  • Understanding of the nature and organization of language - students will demonstrate familiarity with observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: