In this course, we look at ‘The Big Question’ – the solution to the puzzle of how it is that children are able to acquire a language in such a short time, and despite the errors and deficiencies in the speech they hear around them as they are acquiring it. The aim is to gain an appreciation of this amazing task that every child is able to accomplish. We look in some detail at the major milestones in the acquisition of phonology, morphology and syntax, learn some methods used in studying child language acquisition, and become familiar with some of the major debates in the fields of 1st and 2nd Language Acquisition.