Language Development in Early Childhood (EDEC2004)


This unit of study enables you to begin to develop understandings, knowledge and skills about the language development of young children. It will explore how young children begin to make meaning from the moment they are born as they learn to talk, listen and interact with those around them and the implications for early childhood teachers. Through lectures, workshops, readings, and other activities, you will examine the theoretical ideas and practical knowledge required to guide young children's learning of language and emerging literacy practices. You will learn how to listen carefully to young children's language so you can analyse their development intelligently. The unit also emphasises the centrality of providing rich language arts experiences including quality literary texts in early childhood settings. The intersections between play and language development are carefully explored. As pre-service early childhood teachers you will be encouraged to further develop your own interest in language and literature, and to reflect on how you can partner with parents and caregivers to help children learn through and about language.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


1x1-hr lecture/wk and 1x2-hr workshop/wk, for 12 weeks


2000wd (max) portfolio including seminar picture book presentation (50%) and 1500-2000wd transcript analysis (50%)


Ewing, R, Callow, J and Rushton, K (2016) Language and literacy development in early childhood. Melbourne: Cambridge University Press

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


42 credit points including EDEC1001 and EDEC1002 and EDEC1003 and EDEC1004

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.