Module Information

Module Identifier
PS32020
Module Title
The Psychology of Language
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
Reading List
External Examiners
  • Dr Jane Morgan (Principal Lecturer - Sheffield Hallam University)
  • Dr Jelena Havelka (Lecturer - University of Leeds)
 

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 1 x 2 Hour Practical
Lecture 10 x 2 Hour Lectures
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3 x Blog Posts  2000 words (500, 750 & 750)  50%
Semester Assessment Group Wiki 3000 words  50%
Supplementary Assessment 3 x Blog Posts  2000 words (500, 750 & 750)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Group Wiki 3000 words  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding from the cognitive perspective of a range of aspects of language and communication

2. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the levels at which language may be described and represented

3. Analyse language behaviour and propose explanations for language performance from the cognitive perspective

4. Identify a real-world context around which to develop a language-related pilot study or intervention

5. Select and apply appropriately knowledge of research methods and techniques utilised in psycholinguistic research

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

Introduction to language; Describing language; methods, models and frameworks in psycholinguistics; language & thought; language in the brain; language acquisition, development and bilingualism; using language; word recognition, reading, spelling; disorders of language.

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 handle pilot data from wiki pilot assignment.
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 group blog.
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 wiki. 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 blog assignment, 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 wiki 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 wiki, 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 the blog assignment. Students also work in small groups in seminar and lab sessions.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6