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BA English Language and French

Year of entry: 2021

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Course unit details:

Unit code LELA20962
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Linguistics & English Language
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course provides an introduction to psycholinguistics, with special focus on the developmental trajectory of key competencies. We will discuss the central topics and major findings of psycholinguistics and learn about the experimental methods that researchers use to investigate the psychological processes underlying language comprehension and production.


The principal aims of the course unit are as follows:

  • To familiarize students with both classical findings and recent developments in psycholinguistics.
  • To gain a developmental perspective on key psycholinguistic domains.
  • Expose students to fundamental experimental paradigms used in the field.
  • Help students develop necessary skills to critically evaluate psycholinguistic studies.

Knowledge and understanding

 By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Understand key concepts relating to language and cognition.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the major psychological processes involved in speech perception, word recognition, and sentence processing.
  • Compare and contrast competing developmental accounts of psycholinguistic processes and competencies.
  • Describe major research methods commonly used by psycholinguistic researchers.

Intellectual skills

 By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Identify appropriate experimental methods for testing psycholinguistic hypotheses.
  • Evaluate the quality and strength of arguments and claims made in psycholinguistic studies.
  • Critique the developmental plausibility of key psycholinguistic theories.

Practical skills

 By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Develop testable hypotheses about psycholinguistic phenomena
  • Identify suitable research methods for hypothesis testing
  • Design simple psycholinguistic experiments to address research questions

Transferable skills and personal qualities

 By the end of this course students will be able to:

  • Formulate and critically evaluate arguments
  • Use empirical research methods to test hypotheses

Employability skills

The course content encourages members of the class to form links between the world of academic research and the world outside the university thereby providing confidence to use academic research in the `real world¿. There will be an emphasis on the analysis, presentation and critique of quantitative methods which will be of use to students following a range of career paths. The course will have particular benefits for any student interested in pursuing a career which involves working with children and young adults.

Assessment methods

Essay 40%
Exam 60%
Essay plan NA (formative)
Sample exam answer plan NA (formative)


Feedback methods

Feedback method

Formative or summative

Written feedback via Gradebook

All work

Oral feedback during office hours

All work


Recommended reading

Brookes and Kempe (2012). Language Development. Blackwell

Traxler, M. (2011). Introduction to Psycholinguistics: Understanding Language Science. Whiley.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 22
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 166

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Thea Cameron-Faulkner Unit coordinator

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