A universal learner considered here is a cognitive agent that can learn arbitrary schemas (understood broadly as concepts, rules, categories, patterns, values, etc.) as well as associated values, experiences and linguistic primitives, with the help of a human instructor. The agent starts with a limited number of innate schemas and limited innate natural language capabilities. Through the process of bootstrapped cognitive growth, the agent is expected to reach a human level of intelligence in a given domain, plus have the ability to communicate its experiences using natural language. With certain constraints on the functional organization of the agent architecture, this phenomenon can be regarded as an emergent computational consciousness and should be studied as a psychological phenomenon.