Psycholinguistic research into second language acquisition asks questions about how a second language is processed, in terms of comprehension and production, and in terms of both spoken and written language. Of key interest are questions about the roles played by a speaker's first language, by working memory, and - in the context of classroom-based learning - by language instruction, in second language production/comprehension. This module will:
introduce psycholinguistic approaches to the study of second language acquisition through reading and discussion of primary research articles. Second language acquisition will be understood in its broadest sense, so readings may cover simultaneous bilingualism, sequential bilingualism, and multilingualism;
familiarize students with a variety of psycholinguistic research methods used to study second language acquisition, including self-paced listening/reading, cross-modal priming, and eye-tracking. A range of aspects of second language knowledge will be covered, including at least three of syntax, semantics, phonology, speech perception, vocabulary, literacy;
develop students' understanding of the key elements of good research design and informative presentation of results, including reporting of statistics, within psycholinguistic research.
Module learning outcomes
By the end of the course, students should be able to:
understand key questions that motivate psycholinguistic research into second language acquisition;
explain a variety of psycholinguistic research techniques, including knowing which techniques are appropriate to what kind of research question;
understand the reporting of results, including statistical data, in a psycholinguistic study and be able to evaluate the effectiveness of different ways of presenting results;
give an account of essential considerations in a psycholinguistic investigation of second language acquisition.
% of module mark
Special assessment rules
% of module mark
Feedback within 20 working days of submission of work.
A set of primary research papers will be assigned.
In addition, the following textbook is recommended:
Jegerski, J., & VanPatten, B. (eds.). 2014. Research Methods in Second Language Psycholinguistics. New York/Abingdon: Routledge.
Suggestion for reading before the module starts:
VanPatten, B. 2014. The psycholinguistics of SLA. Chapter 1 in J. Jegerski and B. VanPatten (eds.) Research Methods in Second Language Psycholinguistics. New York/Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 1-19.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses
The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.
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