Language Development of Young Children

I.     Course Prefix/Number: ECE 128

       Course Name: Language Development of Young Children

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite


III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course provides in-depth knowledge of typical and atypical language development in children from birth to school age.  Additional topics explore language and literacy, bilingualism, and the influence of culture.  Language observations required.

IV.   Learning Objectives

At the end of the semester, students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

-identify typical language development in young children
-explain language development in the context of physical, intellectual, and social-emotional development
-identify common speech problems and language delays in young children, understand factors that affect atypical speech/language development
-collect and evaluate developmentally appropriate, culturally responsive language resources and materials for young children
-define emergent literacy and be able to implement whole language teaching methods in the early childhood classroom
-develop strategies for effective and culturally sensitive communication with families concerning an early childhood language program

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

A.    Language Development
        -how language is acquired
        -receptive and expressive language
        -theories of language acquisition
B.    Understanding and Assessing Language Development
        -understanding typical and atypical language development
        -working with parents and other professionals to respond to children with special needs
C.    Cultural Implications for Language Development
        -individual variations
        -the role of culture in language acquisition
D.    Issues in Theory and Practice
        -value systems regarding language development
        -first and second language acquisition
        -children with special needs
E.    Curriculum
        -planning developmentally appropriate language activities
        -developing materials and resources
        -phonemic awareness
        -print awareness
        -emergent literacy
        -whole language

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Active class discussion, lecture, text and professional journal readings, small group projects, videos, observations, lesson plans, quizzes and exams.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Attendance:  except in unusual circumstances, students must notify the instructor prior to an absence.  Students are required to read text and a selection of relevant handouts from professional and popular journals.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Varies by instructor.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Written observations, lesson plans, quizzes, exams.

XI.   Other Course Information

A.    The instructor will provide each class with further information as to attendance, policies, and support systems.
B.    Plagiarism/Cheating policies are covered under the Academic Dishonesty section of the current catalog.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at