Speech and language disorders, learning disabilities and psychological development
Scientific Disciplinary Sector (SSD)
M-PSI/04 - DEVELOPMENTAL AND EDUCATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY
The course focuses on theoretical, epistemological, methodological and educational issues, examining specific learning disabilities and children's language delay and impairments. The course aims to enhance the student’s ability to integrate theoretical knowledge with experience in order to design and implement intervention programs, based on the observation of a range of development profiles.
Specifically, the expected learning outcomes are as follows:
1) knowledge and understanding of the development of the learning processes of reading, writing and mathematics at school, with reference to the main theoretical models; knowledge and understanding of the principal classifications and characteristics of learning difficulties and disabilities; knowledge and understanding of language development and language difficulties and impairments;
2) knowledge and understanding of the role of memory and attention in language and learning development;
3) the ability to consider critically the relationship between the characteristics of the child (individual factors, skills, how he/she learns), of the school environment (education, teaching methods, the class group and the wider school setting) and of other contexts in the causation of language delays and impairment and learning disabilities and difficulties;
4) the ability to apply the knowledge acquired to the process of observation in order to design and implement educational programmes in various educational contexts, particularly for language delays and learning difficulties.
1) Introduction. Principal theoretical, epistemological, methodological and educational issues of children’s language and learning development. Distinctions between language delay and language impairment and between learning difficulties and learning disabilities.
2) Linguistic, cognitive, socio-emotional and motivational aspects of children’s language and learning development.
3) Language delay and impairment. Definition, classification, main theoretical models. Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Observational procedures in educational and family contexts. Risk factors and early indicators of language difficulties. Early intervention programmes for language delay.
4) Theoretical models for learning development. Learning difficulties and specific learning disabilities (LD). The relationship between SLI and dyslexia. Principal diagnostic categories of learning difficulties and disabilities.
5) Risk factors and early indicators of learning disabilities: the problem of a screening procedure. Current methods in diagnosis and planning educational programmes. School and specific learning disabilities. Support programmes for families and teachers.
The exam will consist of a written test only. The student will have 2 hours to answer 4 open questions.
Preparation for the Psychology of Language and Learning Disorders exam includes studying the following monographs:
Vicari, S., & Caselli, M.C. (2010). Neuropsicologia dello sviluppo. Bologna: Edizioni Il Mulino (cap. 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 16, 19, 20).
Cornoldi, C. (2013). Le difficoltà di apprendimento a scuola. II ed. Bologna: Edizioni Il Mulino.
Majorano, M. (2007). Ascoltare il linguaggio dei bambini. Dalla comunicazione preverbale alle prime parole. Milano: Edizioni Unicopli.