LS3LAM-Language and the Mind

Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites: LS1SG Sounds, Grammar and Meaning LS1ELS English Language and Society
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Fraibet Aveledo


Summary module description:

The study of how the mind acquires, stores and processes language (known as psycholinguistics) covers a wide range of topics and draws its ideas from disciplines such as psychology, linguistic analysis, speech science, and neuroscience. The aim of the module is to introduce some of the more accessible areas of interest, providing an introduction which illustrates the scope of the field and the research methods it employs. The approach places importance upon learning through reflecting on and analysing data, with a view to getting students to represent and interpret issues in the way a psycholinguist would.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•describe and critically evaluate the main concerns of psycholinguistics;
•conduct a small-scale psycholinguistic experiment;
•interpret experimental data and findings from a psycholinguistic perspective;
•outline and evaluate various research methods employed in psycholinguistics;
• outline theoretical approaches to the relationship between language and cognition and review them in the light of empirical findings.

Additional outcomes:
The module aims to develop the students’ oral communication skills and to foster the ability to discuss and analyse concrete data or problematic issues in pairs or in small groups. Students will also become familiar with some of the methods and measures employed in psychological research.

Outline content:
The focus of the module is on a) the storage of knowledge of language and b) the relationship between language and mind. Issues include among others animal communication and the extent to which it resembles language; where language is located in the brain; theories of how language first evolved; how vocabulary is stored and how it is retrieved when we need it; the relationship between language and thought; communication in visually impaired populations and sign language; language in impaired populations; bilingualism from a psychological perspective; the psychology of second language learning.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures with tasks in which students evaluate methods and data.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Fieldwork 5
Guided independent study 175
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 30
Practical skills assessment 70

Other information on summative assessment:
Students will complete a small-scale project on lexical storage or lexical retrieval, using an established psycholinguistic method. Findings will be presented in a report of 1000 words. 30%

Students will sit two in-class tests on the topics covered in the module. 70%

Relative percentage of coursework: 100%

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework and/or submission of set coursework in lieu of class test by 22 August in the year the module is taken.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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