Short courses


Language and Cognitive Development of Deaf Children (x3 courses)

  • 5 hours per course (10am to 4pm)
  • 1 day per course


These three one-day courses provide training on the language and cognitive development of children who are born deaf. Each can be taken as a standalone course.

You'll learn about:

  • early communication and language development
  • later language development and theory of mind
  • executive function development and school learning

These courses are run by the Deafness, Cognition and Language (DCAL) Research Centre at UCL.

Bespoke training available

These courses can also be provided as bespoke training for your organisation. Please contact dcalcourses@ucl.ac.uk for more information.

Who these courses are for

These courses are suitable for:

  • teachers of the deaf
  • speech and language therapists (SLTs)
  • clinical psychologists
  • other professionals working with deaf children

Course outlines (x3)

The three courses are listed below, along with the topics they cover.

1. Early Communication and Language Development

Concepts covered will include:

  • language and communication development
  • pre-linguistic development
  • cognitive and social underpinnings of communicative development
  • spoken and sign language phonology
  • semantics
  • early grammatical development

It will have the following structure:

  1. Early communication and language development 
  2. Building blocks of communication.
  3. Child directed language and deafness
  4. Early vocabularies effects of deafness and quality of language exposure

2. Later Language Development and Theory of Mind

Concepts covered in the course will include:

  • language and communication development in primary school children
  • acquisition of morpho-syntax
  • cognitive and social underpinnings of later language development
  • impact of literacy on language skills
  • narrative and pragmatic development

It will have the following structure:

  1. Morpho-syntactic development 
  2. Complex pragmatics and language exposure.
  3. Literacy and emerging bilingualism
  4. Narrative and pragmatics in older deaf children

3. Executive Function (EF) Development and School Learning

Concepts covered in the course will include:

  • cognitive control and deafness
  • disorders and variance in executive functions
  • emotional regulation
  • impact of EF on school readiness and executive function training

It will have the following structure:

  1. Cognitive control development 
  2. Hot and cold executive function.
  3. Executive function and learning
  4. Plasticity and learning in deafness 

Course team

Professor Gary Morgan

Professor Gary Morgan

Gary is Professor of Psychology at City University London and Deputy Director of DCAL at UCL. His early work compared signed and spoken language acquisition. More recently he's been looking at the existence of Specific Language Impairments (SLI) in signing children and gestures in hearing people with language difficulties. Another major research area has been in the relationship between language and cognitive development. This has led to Gary's research into the role of language in children's theory of mind skills, as well as the role of language experience in the development of executive functions and working memory, and how children learn about iconicity.

Course information last modified: 30 Nov 2022, 16:00