PY3ELD-Early Lexical Development

Module Provider: Psychology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites: PY2RM Research Methods and Data Analysis
Non-modular pre-requisites: Priority access given to students on the BSc Psychology Childhood and Ageing programme.
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Graham Schafer


Summary module description:
Early lexical development

In this module, we aim to let students study early word learning ('lexical development') in depth; to gain experience of critical evaluation of selected topics in relation to early lexical development; to provide students with an awareness of current research on the topic (some of it undertaken in this department); and to help students develop the ability to study independently.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module the student will be able to
1.Describe and explain some of the phenomena of lexical development from birth to the preschool years
2. Describe some of the theories of lexical development, and evaluate them critically in the light of evidence
3. Critically evaluate key studies in the fields of semantic development, word learning & categorisation, constraints theory, and in the role of input from caregivers

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain experience from participating in evaluative discussions of research and theory in large and small groups.

Outline content:
The module comprises 7 x 2-hour seminars.

In this module we look at development of vocabulary. Words are the building blocks of language; how they are learned is potentially interesting and still controversial. We’ll study the following topics:
1.The ‘facts’ of early word learning: When, and how many?
2.Categorisation and word learning.
3.Principles, constraints, and biases.
4.The role of caregivers (usually parents).
5.Comparative psychology: other species, and perhaps computers.
We concentrate on the early years: primarily from birth to three, but occasionally we will look at topics from the late pre-school years.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Seminars consist of lectures and interactive discussions. I will set 'core' reading at the start of the term. At each seminar, I'll ask questions based on this material. Students are encouraged to use the reading list as a jumping-off point for their own understanding.

We use the Discussion Board too.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 14
Guided independent study 86
Total hours by term 100.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Other information on summative assessment:
This module is assessed through coursework (25%) and a final exam (75%).
The 1.5-hour Summer Exam will require students to answer 1 essay question on topics covered in the module.
Coursework will comprise a poster presentation

Formative assessment methods:
Students have the opportunity to provide the module convenor with up to two essay plans for comment and feedback in preparation for the exam.

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:
    1.5 hours

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Reassessment is by re-examination in August/September

    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: 31 March 2017

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