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Learning of Oral and Written Language

Code: 102568 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2502443 Psychology OT 4 1


Olga Soler Vilageliu

Teaching groups languages

You can check it through this link. To consult the language you will need to enter the CODE of the subject. Please note that this information is provisional until 30 November 2023.


Melina Aparici Aznar
Alondra Elisa Camus Torres
María Inés Caño Melero


It is recommended to have taken, or be taking, the course Psychological Processes: Thought and Language.

Objectives and Contextualisation

This subject is part of the specialisation Psychoeducative Analysis and Intervention, and is designed for the training of a professional in this field.

This subject forms part of freely configurable itineraries towards the acquisition of basic knowledge in the detection of language development difficulties and disorders.

This optional subject matter probes further into the psychology of language, focusing on two fundamental aspects of child development: the acquisition of the oral language and the school learning of the written language. With respect to the oral language, we introduce the various stages of linguistic development: phonological, lexical, morphosyntactic and discursive; these stages will be analysed and exemplified from both monolingual and multilingual perspectives. The descriptive aspects of development will be framed in different theoretical standpoints on language acquisition and on the learning processes. At the end of the course the student will be able to situate the particular linguistic behaviours of children within the margins established as standard in the process of language acquisition, in order to detect difficulties in the development of language.

As for the written language, the course offers a theoretical framework for the processing of information in written language and explains the fundamental features of the two basic learning achievements in the first stages of schooling: reading and writing, in terms of motor and orthographic skills. Students will further explore empirical research on the acquisition of these skills. At the end of the course they will be able to enumerate and describe the different phases in the development of reading and writing skills and identify and explain the difficulties specific to this learning.


  • Act with ethical responsibility and respect for fundamental rights and duties, diversity and democratic values.
  • Apply knowledge, skills and acquired values critically, reflexively and creatively.
  • Distinguish and relate the different focuses and theoretical traditions that have contributed to the historical development of psychology as well as its influence on the production of knowledge and professional practice.
  • Identify and describe the processes and stages in psychological development through the life cycle.
  • Identify, describe and relate the structures and processes involved in basic psychological functions.
  • Make changes to methods and processes in the area of knowledge in order to provide innovative responses to society's needs and demands.
  • Prepare and write technical reports on the results of the evaluation, research or services requested.
  • Recognise the diversity of human behaviour and the nature of differences in it in terms of normality abnormality and pathology.
  • Take account of social, economic and environmental impacts when operating within one's own area of knowledge.
  • Take decisions in a critical manner about the different research methods in psychology, their application and the interpretation of the results deriving from them.
  • Use different ICTs for different purposes.
  • Work in a team.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyse a situation and identify its points for improvement.
  2. Analyse and interpret the results of experiments on language acquisition, learning reading and writing learning.
  3. Analyse the sustainability indicators of the academic and professional activities in this field, integrating the social, economic and/or environmental dimensions.
  4. Apply knowledge, skills and acquired values critically, reflexively and creatively.
  5. Assess the impact of the difficulties, prejudices and discriminations that actions or projects may involve, in the short or long term, in relation to certain persons or groups.
  6. Critically analyse the principles, values and procedures that govern the exercise of the profession.
  7. Describe and recognise different styles of learning oral and written language.
  8. Describe and relate the different phase of processing and production of written language.
  9. Describe the processes and stages in the acquisition and development of oral language throughout the life cycle.
  10. Design studies on language acquisition, learning reading and writing learning.
  11. Explain the explicit or implicit deontological code in your area of knowledge.
  12. Identify situations in which a change or improvement is needed.
  13. Identify the main characteristics of theoretical focuses in the study of the acquisition of language and the proposed learning/development mechanisms.
  14. Identify the social, economic and/or environmental implications of academic and professional activities in the area of your knowledge.
  15. Recognizing the influence of contextual factors on the differences (singles) observed in language acquisition.
  16. Use different ICTs for different purposes.
  17. Work in a team.
  18. Write reports from the results of studies on language acquisition, learning reading and writing learning.
  19.  Describe and differentiate the differential aspects regarding the hearing babies of the acquisition of spoken language in deaf babies.


1. Language acquisition
1.1 Language acquisition theories: innatists; constructivists; socio-interactionists
1.2 Study methods: observational methodology; experimental paradigms

2. Stages and processes of language acquisition
2.1 Pre-linguistic communication: the emergence of intentional communication; adult adaptations
2.2 Acquisition of the lexicon: the first words; the lexical explosion; evolutionary phenomena in the acquisition of meaning
2.3 Phonological development: babies' speech perception skills; pre-linguistic behaviours; phonological development and simplification processes
2.4 Morphosyntactic acquisition processes: telegraphic speech; acquisition of morphology; simple oration and orational modalities

3. The development of language beyond the age of five: late developments
3.1 Subsequent semantic and pragmatic developments: non-literal meanings
3.2 Subsequent syntactic developments: compound sentences; complex syntactic structures.
3.3. Construction of discourse.

4. Writing systems and the alphabetic principle.
5. Recognition of the written language. Representation units and models.
6. Learning written language at school.
6.1. Learning to read. Processes and units. Foundations for learning to read.
6.2. Learning to write: Handwriting

6.3. Learning to write: Spelling

6.4. Text generation and quality.


The core of the subject consists of directed activities: formal lectures, seminars and workshops with problem solving, case studies and group discussions. The supervised activities will be those done in teams and exercises carried out on the Campus Virtual platform. The autonomous activities include personal study, reading of articles proposed by lecturers, self-directed exploration of the content of the subject, essay writing and team presentations.

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Formal lectures 24 0.96 9, 19, 7, 8, 13
Workshops: case studies 12 0.48 2, 4, 9, 19, 7, 18, 17
Type: Supervised      
Self-assessment activities at the Campus Virtual Platform 10 0.4 8, 13
Tutoring: Team presentations 7 0.28 10, 17
Type: Autonomous      
Preparation of papers and presentations 30 1.2 2, 4, 10, 17
Reading of texts and study 53 2.12 2, 16
Search for documentation 10 0.4 16


The evaluation will be carried out with three types of evidences. Type 1: Two written tests (EV1 and EV2) will be taken in first and second assessment periods, respectively.

Type 2: During the workshops on case-studies and problem-solving we will collect evidences with a total weighting of 25%. These evidences will come from work done individually or in teams (EV3). There will be 6 of these sessions along the semester.

Type 3: Participation in group discussions or in the virtual forum of the course (Moodle) will have a total weighting of 25% (EV4).

In block 2 (written language) the students will give oral presentations on research papers, in pairs. The contents of these presentations will be also be subject to evaluation within the written test. These presentations will happen at the formal lectures.

Any student will be “evaluable” if he/she has submitted evidences of learning that constitute 40% or more of the final mark for the subject (4 marks).

The student will pass the course if he/she has carried out a minimum of four of the case-study sessions and has obtained a mark of 5 or above as a result of the sum of the evidences; otherwise the maximum grade of the course will be 4.5.

Students with a mark above 3.5 but below 5 and who have provided at least 3 of the evidences for the subject will be able to opt for reassessment (EV5). In this case they will need to obtain a pass mark for the previously unsatisfactory evidences and may not be awarded a final mark over 5.  

No unique final synthesis test for students who enroll for the second time or more is anticipated.

The guidelines for evaluation can be foundhere: https://www.uab.cat/web/estudiar/graus/graus/avaluacions-1345722525858.html#e1

THIS COURSE DOES NOT CONSIDER SINGLE ASSESSMENT, due to the high level of participation and commitment required from the students during theteaching period.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
EV1. Written test 25% 2 0.08 6, 2, 1, 4, 9, 13, 12, 15
EV2. Written test 25% 2 0.08 2, 1, 4, 7, 8, 18, 13, 12, 5
EV3. Assessment of case-studies and problem-solving 25% 0 0 6, 3, 1, 9, 19, 7, 8, 10, 18, 11, 13, 14, 12, 15, 17, 5
EV4. Assessment on participation in group discussions 25% 0 0 2, 4, 9, 19, 7, 8, 13, 15, 16


Aguado, G. (1995). El desarrollo del lenguaje de 0 a 3 años: bases para un diseño curricular en la educacion infantil. Madrid: CEPE.

Andreu, L.; Serra, J.M.; Soler, O.; Tolchinsky, L. (2013) Trastorns d'aprenentatge de l'escriptura i de les matemàtiques. Barcelona: Editorial UOC.

Aparici, M. (2006). L’adquisició del llenguatge. En O. Soler (coord.) (2006). Psicologia del Llenguatge. Barcelona: EdiUOC.

Clemente, R. (1995). Desarrollo del Lenguaje. Manual para profesionales de la intervención en ambientes educativos. Barcelona: Octaedro

Cuetos Vega, F. (2010) Psicología de la lectura. Valencia: Wolters-Kluvert.

Díez de Ulzurrun, A. (2007) L’aprenentatge de la lectoescriptura des d’una perspectiva constructivista. Barcelona: Graó.

Dupoux, E. & Franck, S. (2001) (eds.) Language, Brain, and Cognitive Development: Essays in Honor of Jacques Mehler. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.

K. Karmiloff K. & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (2005).Hacia el lenguaje: del feto al adolescente. Madrid: Morata.

López-Higes Sánchez, R. (2003) Psicología del Lenguaje. Madrid: Pirámide.

Serra, M., Solé, M.R., Serrat, E., Bel, A. & Aparici, M. (2000). La adquisición del lenguaje. Barcelona: Ariel.

Soler, O., Kandel, S. (2009) Factores lingüísticos en la programación del trazo en la escritura infantil: importancia de la estructura silábica. Infancia y Aprendizaje, 32(2), 189-198.

Teberosky, A. & Solé, I. (1999) Psicopedagogia de la lectura i de l’escriptura. Barcelona: EdiUOC.

Tolchinsky, L. (1993) Aprendizaje del lenguaje escrito, Barcelona: Anthropos.

Tolchinsky, L. (2004). The nature and scope of later language development. En R.A. Berman (Ed.), Language Development across Childhood and Adolescence (pp. 233-248). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Tolchinsky, L., Rosado, E., Aparici, M. & Perera, J. (2005). Becoming Proficient Educated Users of Language. En D. Ravid & H. Shyldkrot (Eds.), Perspectives on Language and Language Development. Essays in honor of Ruth A. Berman (pp. 375-390). Dordrecht: Kluwer.

Van Galen, G.P. (1991) Handwriting: Issues for a psychomotor theory. Human Movement Science, 10, 165-247.

Zesiger, p. (2003) Acquisition et troubles de l’écriture, Enfance, 55 (1), 56-64.


Other references might be given during the course.


Psycho.Py.  https://www.psychopy.org/

Childes system,  https://childes.talkbank.org/