1882.11 - Language acquisition

Course number
Language acquisition
The course aims to introduce students to child language acquisition theories. This implies equipping students with knowledge about innate language skills and language development in young children up to school age. Research and studies on Faroese children’s language will also be part of the course.
Already in their first three years of life children learn thousands of words. They are capable of generating and understanding compound sentences and they master the phonetic system of their language. All this occurs before they know how to even tie their shoelaces. How do children acquire language? And how can they learn it so quickly and so well? Is it just a matter of children absorbing what they hear, or are entirely different factors part of the language acquisition process? The course will examine how children seem to actively use both their environment and their creative language learning capacity to learn the mother tongue. The preliminary reading list is: Louise Bjar & Caroline Liberg (eds.): Barn utvecklar sitt språk. 2003. Studentlitteratur. Lund. Paul Fletcher & Brian MacWhinney (eds.): The Handbook of Child Language. 2004. Blackwell Publishing. Gisela Håkansson: Språkinlärning hos barn. 1998. Studentlitteratur. Lund. William O’Grady: How Children Learn Language. 2005. Cambridge University Press. Kate Trott, Sushie Dobbinson & Patrick Griffiths (eds.): The Child Language Reader. 2004. Routledge. London & New York.
Learning and teaching approaches
The course is organized into lectures and student presentations, based on the literature in the field as well as practical tests and studies.
Assessment method
Written exam (6 hours) or open take-home assignment.
Zakaris Svabo Hansen