EL6033 - Language and Social Disadvantage

What will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will critically analyse and review the development of language in direct relation to social disadvantage in young children, adolescents and adults. You will examine the theoretical associations and relationships between social disadvantage and language taking into account issues of cognition, literacy, behaviour, learning, socio-emotional development, intervention and its outcomes. You will develop your understanding of how theory applies to practice by critically evaluating various intervention studies designed to improve the spoken language abilities of young children and adolescents in various in nurseries, schools and other contexts.

You will consolidate and further develop your understanding of / critically evaluate relationship between methodology, data and theory which you developed on EL4011 ‘Doing Linguistics’ and EL5016 Psychology of Language.. During the module, you will develop your ability to present your own viewpoint in speech and in writing – a key employability skill.

How will I learn on this module?

The module will be delivered through a combination of interactive lectures and seminars. The lectures will introduce key themes, new topics, concepts as well as consolidating your understanding of research methods. The interactive lectures will give you a broad understanding of the subject and enable you to contextualise the more specific research and data presented and discussed in seminars. Seminars will be devoted to more in-depth consideration of empirical research from peer-reviewed academic journals covered in set readings. As part of a presentation group you will present key information (background, methodology, results and discussion) from this research to the rest of the cohort for further discussion. This will enable you to a deeper understanding of the relationship between methodology, data, theory, and practice and encourage critical reflection.

In addition to learning during taught hours with the module tutor, you will be expected to undertake both directed and independent learning. Directed learning generally will take the form of preparation for seminars where you will be expected to contribute to group work and full class discussion. Independent learning generally will take the form of further reading and investigation, the consolidation of seminar notes, and revision/preparation for the assessment of the module.

All learning materials, tasks and readings will be posted on the eLP (e-learning portal) to facilitate full participation in the module. Additionally, you will receive formative feedback on your ideas and understandings throughout the module. The module’s final, summative assessment will also provide an opportunity for learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module will be taught by a mixture of interactive lectures and seminars designed to develop your academic knowledge and skills, to help you attain the module learning outcomes. Your academic development will also be facilitated through engagement with the academic literature and by talking with your peers and the module tutor. The will includes, e.g., reading around the topic, and discussing and reflecting upon what you have read.

The module handbook provides details of lectures, seminars, reading lists and assessment criteria; lecture materials are made available on the eLP (see above). The module tutor will be available in lectures and seminars, as well as in ‘Feedback and consultation hours’ (i.e. ‘office hours’) and on email, to discuss any queries or concerns you have about how to excel academically on the module. Formative feedback will be on-going throughout seminar/workshop activities. Formative feedback will also be provided on your 500 word essay plan, prior to completion of the module’s formative assessment (an essay)

In addition, you have a designated Guidance Tutor throughout the entire duration of your programme. The academic side of the Guidance Tutor’s role includes: monitoring your ongoing academic progress; helping you to develop self-reflection skills necessary for continuous academic development; directing you to further available services which can help them with their academic skills (e.g. Library’s Skills Plus). You are advised to see your Guidance Tutor at least twice each semester to review your academic progress..

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
1. To provide a foundation of knowledge of the theoretical associations and relationships between social disadvantage and language
2. To examine evidence for speech, language and communication difficulties and the relationships between social disadvantage and to consider the implications of language and social disadvantage at various levels (e.g., social, institutional and classroom).

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of language in society, including the relationship between language and education and language and social disadvantage
4. Demonstrate an understanding of approaches to language and social disadvantage, including methods of data collection, analysis and intervention, and prepare, orally and in writing, critical and informed arguments about significant issues in language development and speech, language and communication difficulties in children and adults

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. enhanced skills conforming to relevant standards of good academic practice

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

1. You will present your ideas during seminars and will receive formative feedback from the module tutor and peers on any perspectives you share. Such formative feedback will enable you to test and form your own understanding of the various methodologies employed and theoretical debates relating to language and social disadvantage
500-word essay plan
This formative assessment will aim to ensure you organise your ideas and material for the assessed essay, by selecting relevant resources to help you answer the question they have chosen. The plan will be submitted and feedback provided via email, supported by a one-to-one meeting with the module tutor as necessary. The rationale for this is to enable you to road-test ideas before committing yourself to an argument or position.
Formative assessments address MLOs in ‘Knowledge and Understanding’, ‘Intellectual/Professional skills & abilities’, and ‘Personal Values Attributes’.

Summative (graded) Assessments
1. 3500-word academic essay
You will have to write an essay in response to a set of questions provided by the module tutor. You will be expected to demonstrate a clear engagement with the larger themes and debates regarding language and social disadvantage. The essay questions crosscut the lecture topics, so that you will have to read widely in order to fully address the essay question. The aim here is to ensure you get to grips with theoretical positions and concepts, while expressing your arguments in a format with which you should now be familiar.

The essay assessment will be part of the learning process, and addresses all five MLOS.

Feedback will be provided using the Programme template and comments on the script.





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

Credits 20

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years part-time
1 other options available

Department Humanities

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


Current, Relevant and Inspiring

We continuously review and improve course content in consultation with our students and employers. To make sure we can inform you of any changes to your course register for updates on the course page.

Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy