Module Information

Module Identifier
PS32020
Module Title
Psycholinguistics: The Psychology of Language
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Pre-Requisite
External Examiners
  • Dr Jane Morgan (Principal Lecturer - Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Dr Jelena Havelka (Lecturer - University of Leeds)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 3 x 2 Hour Practicals
Lecture 11 x 2 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Group Project: student-led seminar  40%
Semester Assessment Group Project: language lab Wiki portfolio  2500 words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Individual Project: student led seminar  40%
Supplementary Assessment Individual project: language lab Wiki portfolio  2500 words  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Demonstrate a broad understanding of language processing from the cognitive perspective.

Analyse, interpret and evaluate primary research from the psycholinguistic literature.

Analyse, interpret and evaluate primary research from the psycholinguistic literature.

Design a small scale psycholinguistic study and collect and evaluate pilot data.

Plan, deliver and evaluate a student-led seminar on a sub-topic of own choosing.

Brochure Text

Verbal language is a defining aspect of human behaviour that is also highly interconnected with a range of other cognitive and social processes. As part of a well-rounded psychological education, it would be beneficial for students to study in some depth the processes involved in the production and reception of language, and how these processes work together with other elements of cognition to enable the complexity of human communication. As such, the aim of this Level 3 module is to enable students to develop a broad understanding of the psychological processes involved in a range of language behaviours, from both a theoretical and practical perspective. In addition, this module aims to provide students with the opportunity to develop practical research and technical skills with a range of equipment and methods that are commonly used in psycholinguistic research (eye-tracker, biopotential recording device, use of specialist experiment-generating software).

Brief description

Human language – a unique and powerful human capacity – has fascinated philosophers, scientists and thinkers alike for thousands of years. The study of how humans use language is essential not only in understanding how people communicate with each other, but also in understanding our broader cognitive and social functioning. This module aims to equip students with a broad introduction to the study of language from a cognitive perspective. Students will learn about the key issues, theories and debates in relation to how the mind processes written and spoken language, and in how language relates to other cognitive processes. You will also develop your research and technical skills by gaining practical experience in using some key psycholinguistic research methods and tools.

Content

On this module, you will learn about some of the basic elements of language, along with key methods and models that are employed in psycholinguistic research. You will also examine how language develops in first- and second-language learners. Finally, we will also explore how language is used every day to speak and listen, and to read and understand.

Unit 1: Language Basics
What is language?
Methods and models in Psycholinguistics
Describing language

Unit 2: Acquiring Language
Language Development
Developing a second language: Bilingualism

Unit 3: Language Use
Understanding speech
Producing speech
Recognising visual words
Reading
Spelling & Dyslexia
Understanding sentences
Conversations

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will develop analysis and evaluative skills in considering the statistical findings of primary research from the psycholinguistics literature. Students will also handle pilot data from their Language Lab Project assessment.
Communication As part of this module, students will learn about a variety of aspects of language and communication. Moreover, they will have the opportunity to develop communication skills in a variety of contexts. Students will develop experience in communicating within small groups as they develop their student-led seminar, and will deploy larger-scale communication when they deliver their seminar.
Improving own Learning and Performance Both assessments on this module incorporate an element of self-assessment. Reflecting on one’s performance on a task is an important way of developing as a learner. As such, both assessments on this module incorporate an element of self-assessment. These assessments are designed to encourage students to reflect on their own performance and to be accepting of the feedback of peers and tutors, with the end goal being the improvement of future performance.
Information Technology Students will apply their knowledge of a range of ICT tools to develop their student-led seminar. This will likely include word-processing, spreadsheet and presentation software. As a feature of this module, students will also be learning about specialized technical software – experiment-generation software and eye-tracking software.
Personal Development and Career planning The focus of this module – language and communication – and the strong role of group-work mean that students on this module will have an opportunity to develop and apply their communication skills. The student-led seminar assessment will develop students’ independent learning skills, in addition to the opportunity to develop group management and leadership skills.
Problem solving Students will define a problem of their own choosing (in the context of developing a psycholinguistic research question) and design, develop and evaluate a small-scale research study that addresses the research question. This will enable students to engage in real-world problem solving. Students will document this process on their wikis.
Research skills As part of the Student-Led Seminar assessment, students will need to identify and locate appropriate primary psycholinguistic research resources. They will do this using a range of search tools and databases. During the Language Lab Project assessment, students will need to determine what information is required whilst developing a research question on a topic-of their choosing.
Subject Specific Skills Students on this module will develop knowledge of a range of methods, tools and techniques that are commonly used in psycholinguistic research. As part of the Language Lab Project, students will have to select and use appropriately a method/technique that enables them to address their chosen research question.
Team work Students will engage in team-work as part of this module. You will work in groups during seminars and during the Language Lab experience, when you will work together to solve a problem of your own choosing.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6