BA English Language and Russian

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:

Course unit fact file
Unit code LELA20961
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
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 underlying language comprehension and production.


This unit is a prerequisite for LELA30672 Topics in Language Development.


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

Assessment methods

Essay 40%
Written Examination 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

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