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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Psychology of Language Learning (LASC11015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThe course provides a general background on learning theories, different theoretical approaches to the study of cognition in general and language learning in particular, and cognitive and biological factors involved in first and second language acquisition (language and the brain, critical periods, general vs. domain-specific faculties, etc).
Course description Not entered
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 79 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) An essay/project (100%)

Assignment deadline: Thursday 3rd December 2015, 12 noon
Word limit: 3000 maximum
Return deadline: 15th January 2016
Feedback Students will be given a sample review that follows the format requirements and content expectations along with the assignment instructions.

Useful perspectives on critical evaluation of the relevant articles will be addressed in paper discussions during tutorials.

Comments provided on submitted assessments
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. gain understanding of unitary and modular theories of language acquisition
  2. gain understanding of neurolinguistic factors in language learning
  3. gain understanding of the deurolinguistic factors in language learning
  4. gain understanding of critical period(s) in language learning
  5. gain understanding of theoretical models (behaviourism, connectionism, the 'modularity hypothesis' etc.)
Reading List
Reber, A. 1989. Implicit learning and tacit knowledge. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 118: 219-235.

Saffran, J. R., Aslin, R. N., & Newport, E. L. (1996). Statistical learning by 8-month old infants. Science, 274, 1926-1928.

Elman, J.L. 1993. Learning and development in neural networks: The importance of starting small. Cognition, 48, 71-99.

Chomsky, N. 2007. Of minds and language. Biolinguistics 1: 9-27.

Goldberg, A. 2003. Constructions: A new theoretical approach to language. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 7: 219-224.

Marcus, G. 2000b. Pabiku and Ga Ti Ga: two mechanisms infants use to learn about the world. Current Directions in Psychological Science 9: 145-147.

Poeppel, D. and Embick, D. 2005. Defining the relation between linguistics and neuroscience. In A. Cutler (ed.) Twenty-First Century Psycholinguistics: Four Cornerstones, 103-121. Mahwah, NJ: Laurence Erlbaum.

Chrysikou, E., Novik, J., Trueswell, J., Thompson-Schill, S. 2011. The other side of cognitive control: can a lack of cognitive control benefit language and cognition? Topics in Cognitive Sciences 3: 253-256.

Hudson Kam, C. and Newport, E. 2005. Regularizing unpredictable variation: the roles of adult and child learners in language formation and change. Language Learning and Development 1: 151-195.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills After successful completion of this course the student will have gained understanding of fundamental concepts and issues in the psychology of language learning.
Additional Class Delivery Information Attend all lectures as scheduled
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Antonella Sorace
Tel: (0131 6)50 3493
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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