ELL226 : First Language Acquisition

Convenor(s): Dr Robyn Orfitelli


Please note: This module may or may not run in any given semester. Please check with the tutor.

General Information

This course investigates how children acquire their first language with ease, even before mastering relatively simple tasks like tying their shoes or adding two numbers. We’ll look at how linguistic abilities develop in the first few years of life, and see how children make certain, predictable errors, while avoiding others we might predict. You’ll evaluate theories to explain language development in light of these empirical facts and consider how language development is researched, through sessions dedicated to research methods, in you’ll study experimental techniques that have been devised by acquisitionists.


One 2-hour lecture per week, which covers aspects of language acquisition from phonology through morphology to syntax and semantics. An additional methodology wprkshop every other week will cover the methodologies used in language acquisition.


Two midterms and a final paper, which will consist of a project proposal for an experimental study of some area of acquisition. Full support is provided to help you develop the skills required for the final project, and no technical knowledge is assumed.

Contact Details

0114 2220224


Information last changed: Thursday 07th of April 2016 :: 01:16:54 PM (BST)

Please note: This module may or may not run in any individual session. Please check with the course Convenor.


The University of Sheffield, Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK