12 x 2-hour lectures per semester
12 x 2-hour tutorials per semester
1 x 2-hour workshop once-only
1 Admission into BSPP-Bachelor of Speech Pathology
2 SPTH1103 - Anatomy and Physiology of Speech
3 1 of SPTH1509, SPTH1507
Must Satisfy: (1 and 2 and 3)
Assumed knowledge
Foundation knowledge of linguistics, phonetics, psychology, anatomy and physiology, research methods at first year undergraduate level.
Assignments; Examiniations (35%); Tests; Tutorial participation.
Topic description

This topic provides students with the theoretical knowledge to understand the speech and language development of children from birth to the end of the pre-school period. Evidence-based speech pathology practice is explored in terms of identifying children at risk for delayed or disordered speech and language development and the implementation of appropriate management approaches. A particular emphasis is placed on child and family-centred practice and working in partnership with other professionals.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Expose students to empirical data and theoretical issues involved in communication development and disorders in children 0-5 years of age in both Australian and international contexts
  • Introduce students to a psycholinguistic perspective for understanding speech and language development and disorders as a tool for assessment and intervention
  • Facilitate in students a client and family-centred approach to working with families and other professionals
  • Develop IPA phonetic transcription skills of children's speech
  • Develop basic developmental speech sampling, analysis and interpretation skills
  • Develop basic developmental morphological and syntactic sampling, analysis and interpretation skills
  • Establish the basic principles of the clinical process as the foundation of professional practice: information gathering, diagnostic decision making, management planning, implementation and evaluation
  • Foster assessment "literacy" in relation to both formal and informal forms of communication assessment
  • Develop in students an evidence-based approach to evaluating approaches to service delivery and intervention for developmental communication disorders
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate basic empirical knowledge and theoretical understanding about the development of children’s speech and language in the first 5 years of life
  2. Apply that knowledge independently through appropriate sampling, analysis and interpretation of children’s non-verbal communication, speech, receptive and expressive language informally and formally
  3. Identify the impact of communication delay/disorder on children and families, especially in relation to issues of community diversity and the International Classification of Functioning (ICF) framework
  4. Critically evaluate contemporary models of service delivery, especially in relation to the needs of specific groups: indigenous, multilingual, rural, socio-economic disadvantage, multiple disability, hearing impaired and cultural minorities
  5. Practice research literacy skills applying in professional reasoning and work practices: information gathering, analysis, diagnosis and management
  6. Demonstrate independently and in collaboration with other students appropriate diagnostic decisions in terms of a) identifying problems b) what types c) identify causal/maintaining factors d) initial management planning and e) establish criteria to evaluate outcomes