Learning mechanisms

Aims

Aims

This module aims:

  • to provide students with an in-depth understanding of how linguistic system can be seen to be constructed by the individual child, based on general capacities for implicit and explicit memory, together with speech perception and production;
  • to introduce students to the idea of action as a basis for learning, and to relate Dynamic Systems theory to phonological development.

Prerequisites

Prerequisites

Satisfactory completion of the Autumn term assessments for Phonological development or Directed readings in phonological development or equivalent.

Programme

Programme

Contact hours

The work will be divided between seminars and independent study.

Teaching programme

By the end of this module, students should:

  • gain an appreciation of the power of human learning and an understanding of the difference between learning with and without attention and the value to learning of having two independent systems;
  • understand the basic principles of Dynamic Systems theory and be able to relate them to phonological development and the data of individual children.

The module will include readings on the biological underpinnings of language, implicit learning in adults and children, distributional learning, and the existence of a dual human memory system. In addition, we will present the ‘action and perception’ approach to development of Dynamic Systems theory and relate that to competing models of phonological development.

Teaching materials

Key Text:

  • Thelen, E. & Smith, L. B. (1994). A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Assessment

Assessment

Formative work

  • Three essays 

Assessment

  • 5,000 word essay

About this module