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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course provides an introduction to language learning from a linguistic and cognitive perspective.
Course description This course provides an introduction to general principles of language learning from a linguistic and cognitive perspective. It focuses on issues of implicit vs. explicit learning, domain-specific vs. domain-general faculties, interactions of linguistic and general cognitive constraints, neural substrates of language behaviour, and age effects of language learning. Students will gain essential background knowledge for understanding monolingual and bilingual language development across the lifespan.
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 2019/20, 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%)
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.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand language learning from a linguistic and cognitive perspective
  2. understand implicit vs. explicit learning
  3. understanding domain-specific vs. domain-general faculties
  4. understanding age effects in language learning
  5. understand neurolinguistic factors in language learning and bilingualism
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 current theories of language learning.
Additional Class Delivery Information Attend all lectures as scheduled
Keywordslanguage learning,brain,cognition
Course organiserProf Antonella Sorace
Tel: (0131 6)50 3493
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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