Knowledge about typical communication and swallowing development and functions across the lifespan is a foundational platform speech pathologists use when working with people with atypical and disrupted life courses in these areas. Students will learn about the changes, continuity and growth that occur in human oral and written communication and swallowing development, from infancy to older age, through varied teaching and learning activities, including measuring communication and swallowing skills. Students will explore the association between communication and swallowing and influential factors such as biological, sensory, physical, psycho-social, cognitive, cultural, language background and contextual ones. The implications of life course development issues for health professional practice will be explored.

Unit details

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HHB3002 - Phonetics and Phonology

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Interrogate the changes of typical communication over the life span relating to a range of dimensions such as vocal quality, fluency of speech, speech sounds, and oral and written language and distil the impacts of influential factors on developmental trajectories;  
  2. Describe the changes in aspects of typical swallowing over the life span, and hypothesise the reasons for these changes and their impact of peoples' quality of life;  
  3. Differentiate between and explain the different patterns of communication and swallowing apparent within and across different groups and populations of people;  
  4. Differentiate between the different Englishes that are used in Australia and forecast the implications of these differences for individuals, their communities and the community at large; and  
  5. Commentate on how these changes in communication and swallowing development across the lifespan related to the speech pathology discipline.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Quiz on content covered in first half of unit (30mins) 15%
Presentation Group presentations of case study in 4 parts presented weekly on one allocated aspect of communication and swallowing development (1500 words a group) 40%
Case Study Group summary of a case (500 words per group) 20%
Examination Based on the unit content (1hr) 25%
Total word equivalence is 4,000 words.

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