The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


This course introduces students to the study of language with particular reference to young children: how children acquire language, its communicative function, its structure, how that structure enables them to work, and the ways in which language is used. It introduces basic linguistic concepts, English sounds and their relationship to the spelling system, basic sentence structure, language variation in Australia, and relationships between oral and written language.


Not currently offered.

This Course was last offered in Semester 2 - 2017.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Discuss the nature of language as the human communication system

2. Describe the basic structure of English, with particular reference to the requirements set out in approved early childhood education sites

3. Discuss the processes involved in young children's acquisition of language and the implications that this has for the development of literacy

4. Discuss the interpersonal functions and social meanings associated with variation and choice in language use

5. Discuss the differences in language variety and text types that are likely to be encountered by young children

6. Demonstrate an awareness of a wide range of texts including literary, factual and multimedia texts

7. Demonstrate an understanding of literature that gives insights into Aboriginal, multicultural and children's experiences.


Topics to be covered in this course include:

  1. Basic concepts in Linguistics: the nature of language as a human communication system
  2. Structure of English: introduction to the study of English sentence structure with particular reference to the requirements set out in approved early childhood education sites
  3. Sounds of English: introduction to the study of English sounds and pronunciation; differences between sounds and spelling
  4. Spoken and written language; text types and genres in early childhood contexts
  5. Language acquisition: young children's language development from 0-8
  6. Emergence and acquisition of literacy: writing, reading, spelling
  7. Language in sociocultural context: variations in language use; the social meanings of such variation; "standard" and "non-standard" varieties of English; contexts of language usage


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Teaching (Primary)/Bachelor of Early Childhood Studies, Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood and Primary) (Honours)

Assessment items

Online Learning Activity: Online multiple choice assignments

Case Study / Problem Based Learning: Case Study

Formal Examination: Exam

Participation: Completion of check point quizzes