The University of Newcastle, Australia
Not currently offered
Course code



10 units


1000 level

Course handbook


Introduces students to the study of children's language and literature: how children acquire language, its communicative function and the structure it has that enables language to work. It introduces basic language concepts, and looks at the different levels of language analysis, language variation, acquisition of spoken and written language, the analysis of English sentence structure, basic structural concepts in children's literature, different genres and text types in children's literature, and the role of children's literature in developing literacy.


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. Demonstrate an understanding of the nature of language as the human communication system

2. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic principles of English sentence structure, and the ability to analyse simple English clause structures and to identify the functions of component parts of clauses

3. Demonstrate an awareness of the interpersonal functions and social meanings associated with variation and choice in language use

4. Demonstrate an awareness of differences in language variety and text types which result from choice of medium, function, or social context

5. Demonstrate an understanding of the processes involved in children's acquisition of language and in the development of literacy

6. Demonstrate an awareness of alternative theories of language learning processes

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

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


Topics to be covered in this course include:

  1. The nature of language as a human communication system
  2. Structure of English: introduction to the study of English sentence structure including the grammatical functions of the noun phrase and the verbal systems of tense and voice
  3. Language in society: social variation in language use; the social meaning of language choice; "standard" and "non-standard" varieties of English
  4. Spoken and written language - detailed investigation of similarities and differences
  5. Language and text: study of various text types; coherence and cohesion in written language
  6. Language acquisition: studies of child language acquisition
  7. Acquisition of literacy: reading; writing; spelling; analysis of children's output
  8. The role of children's literature in developing literacy
  9. Structural analysis of children's literature
  10. Genres in children's literature


This course is only available to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Teaching(Primary)/Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Teaching (Primary) (Honours) programs.

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