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

Postgraduate Course: Research Methods in Developmental Linguistics (LASC11127)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course aims to provide students with knowledge and skills in conducting empirical research in developmental linguistics. The main focus will be on practical knowledge in using research methods, techniques and tools that can be applied to language developmental research in various populations including infants, children, adults and clinical groups. It also provides guidance on research management (such as recruitment, ethics and data management) as well as advanced research skills building up on those taught in Univariate Statistics & Methodology Using R.

The course is designed specifically for students in the MSc Programme in Developmental Linguistics, but it will be open to other students who have the pre-requisites.
Course description Syllabus:
Research planning and practices
o Planning and managing a project
o Ethics and informed consent
o Special populations (children, clinical groups)
o Recruitment
o Data management

Data collection/analysis methods
o Spontaneous speech data: Corpus analysis and the use of CLAN
o Infant testing procedures: Visual fixation, habituation and preferential looking
o Elicited production
o Judgement tasks and the use of magnitude estimation
o Online experiments and the use of E-Prime
o Paper tasks: Questionnaires, standardized psychometric tests
o Neural methods: EEG and OT

Data processing
o Data transfer: From raw data to statistical packages
o Recoding and restructuring data
o Data reduction and transformation

o Description of methodology
o Reporting the results
o Abstracts, proposals and articles
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R (PSYL11053)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 69 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Analysis and reporting of mock data (50%): 1,500 words (hard limit). Feedback: specific and global comments based on marking criteria, electronically marked on Learn.

Research proposal (50%): 1,500 words (hard limit). Feedback: specific and global comments based on marking criteria, electronically marked on Learn.
Feedback Assessment 1 (data analysis): Students will be worked through examples of data analysis that are similar to the assessment. Students will practice building an experiment step-by-step and be given real-time feedback during this process.

Assessment 2 (proposal): Guidance will be provided during lectures. Examples of proposals will be shown to students and discussed with the lecturers to highlight good and poor practices.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. use major research methods in developmental linguistics, including corpus analysis, elicited production, comprehension tasks, judgment tasks, questionnaires and online measures, as well as relevant tools (e.g. CLAN, Psychopy)
  2. plan and carry out research project following the guiding principles of research management, including those related to research planning, participant recruitment, ethics procedures and data management
  3. gain further research skills in data processing/analysis (e.g., aggregation, restructuring, transformation) and reporting (e.g., data presentation, writing abstracts / proposals)
Reading List
Blom, E., & Unsworth, S. (2010). Experimental methods in language acquisition research. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Hoff, E. (2012). Research methods in child language: A practical guide. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Mackey, A. & Gass, S. M. (2012). Research methods in second language acquisition: A practical guide. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Wei, L., & Moyer, M. G. (2008). The Blackwell guide to research methods in bilingualism and multilingualism. Oxford: Blackwell.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Written communication

Project management

Experimental design

Data processing and quantitative analysis
Keywordsresearch methodology,quantitative analysis,statistics,experimental design,language development
Course organiserDr Vicky Chondrogianni
Tel: (0131 6)50 4020
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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