Accessibility statement

Psycholinguistic Approaches to Second Language Acquisition - LAN00072M

« Back to module search

  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Heather Marsden
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2018-19

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2018-19

Module aims

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.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback within 20 working days of submission of work.

Indicative reading

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.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

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.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students