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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 on those taught in Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R.
Course description The course covers the topics listed below. Lectures on these topics will be combined with practical activities through which students learn how to design an online experiment using PsychoPy, how to manage and restructure raw alphanumeric data, how to analyse data and visually present analysis using R, and how to structure written research reports.

Research planning and practices
o Planning and managing a project
o Ethics and informed consent
o Recruitment
o Data management

Data collection/analysis methods
o Spontaneous speech data and corpus analysis
o Elicited production
o Judgement tasks
o Online methods
o Questionnaires and biographic data
o Qualitative methods

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

o Description of methodology
o Reporting the results
o Abstracts, proposals and articles
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Univariate Statistics and Methodology using R (PSYL11053)
Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Or an equivalent course that involves basic statistical analyses using R
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 9, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Data analysis report (50%)
Students will be asked to analyse data from a hypothetical experiment and write up the results. Word limit: 1,000 words.

Research proposal (50%)
A proposal for an empirical study. This can be preliminary work on the student's MSc dissertation proposal. Word limit: 1,500 words.

Word counts are 'hard limits'.
Feedback Data analysis: Relevant steps are taught in tutorial sessions where students receive ongoing feedback on their performance.

Research proposal: Sample work from previous students will be presented with comments/discussion about strength and weaknesses before the assignment is due.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand how to use key research methods in developmental linguistics, including elicited production, comprehension tasks, judgment tasks, questionnaires, online measures and qualitative methods
  2. understand guiding principles managing empirical research, including those related to research planning, participant recruitment, ethics procedures and data management
  3. perform data processing and data analysis related to quantitative research (e.g., aggregation, restructuring, transformation)
  4. report research in different formats (e.g., data presentation, 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 Enquiry: Students will develop ability to create, identify and evaluate options in order to solve complex problems.

Enquiry: Students will develop skills to use information and knowledge effectively in order to abstract meaning from information and to share knowledge across fields, including the use of quantitative skills.

Communication: Students will develop communication skills to convey complex ideas and arguments through clear and structured written work.
KeywordsDevelopmental Linguistics,Research Methods,Statistics
Course organiserProf Mitsuhiko Ota
Tel: (0131 6)50 3949
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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