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Module QXL-4449:

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Miss Athanasia Papastergiou

Overall aims and purpose

The aim of this module is to survey current research and approaches to the study of psycholinguistics. It provides an overview of major empirical issues and findings concerning the development and processing of language. Topics will change from year to year and may include lexical and morphological processing, development of cognition, language and modularity, information processing. The focus will be on both first language (L1) and second language (L2) processing. The lectures will provide you with the “big picture”, i.e. central topics are summarized, important studies discussed and open questions outlined. In the tutorials, we will then discuss key studies in detail and reflect on methodologies, results and implications.

Course content

This module provides an overview of how the mind and the brain process language. There are three goals for this course. The first goal is to introduce students to key findings and central debates in psycholinguistic research. The second goal is to provide students with the tools to critically examine the existing literature. The third goal is to equip the students with the ability to select appropriate experimental techniques for psycholinguistic studies and to be applied for their own research. The lectures will provide students with the “big picture”, i.e. central topics are summarized, important studies discussed and open questions outlined. In the tutorials, students discuss key studies in detail and reflect on methodologies, results and implications. The following topics will be covered: 1: Introduction to Language Science and what is psycholinguistics? 2: Speech production and comprehension 3: Word processing 4: Sentence processing 5: Discourse processing 6: Reference and non-literal language 7: Language Acquisition 8: Reading 9: Bilingualism 10: Aphasia 11: Right Hemisphere Language Functions

Assessment Criteria


“C” : The answer must involve the analysis of language data or the critical analysis of existing linguistic data and/or research from a Psycholinguistic perspective (i.e behavioural, computational, neuroscientific perspective). The answer must show evidence of some background study of primary sources going beyond material discussed in lectures. The answer must be relevant to the research topic chosen.


“B” : Data and/or review of literature must be collected, organized, and analysed with care and an appreciation must be shown of some of the problems involved with collecting data and/or preparing a review of literature. The answer must show a better-than-average standard of knowledge and understanding. The answer must show evidence of background of primary sources. Assertions must be supported by reference to a theory and/or empirical research. The answer must show evidence of analytical thinking. The answer must have a coherent structure that is adhered to in the most part; relationships between successive parts must be generally easy to follow.


“A” : Data and/or review of literature must be evaluated critically in a logical manner. The answer must have an originality of exposition and understanding; the author’s own thinking should be readily apparent. The answer must show clear evidence of extensive reading of primary sources. The answer must show a clear line structure in which each successive stage is explicitly linked and the reader is explicitly told why these parts are relevant to the study.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of the module,

    Students will know: 1. the central questions addressed by the current literature in in psycholinguistic research, 2. how to critically evaluate empirical studies in psycholinguistics

  2. Students will Understand: 3. the principles underlying the scientific method in general and scientific experimentation in particular 4. what research methods (behavioural, computational, neuroscientific) are commonly used in psycholinguistics and how to evaluate and select them.

  3. Students will be able to: 5. present and discuss key facts, concepts, ideas and approaches relating to the study of psycholinguistics. 6. Evaluate experimental designs in psycholinguistics

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight

The focus of the presentation will be on a short literature review, critical analysis and one-two ideas for ways to move forward in a specific domain of Psycholinguistics (e.g, language acquisition, comprehension or speech production) of your choice.

ESSAY Experimental design essay

Students will choose a particular research area in the Psycholinguistics literature and design a study aimed at advancing knowledge in the chosen area. The assessment consists of an essay reviewing relevant literature and introducing the student's experimental design.

CLASS TEST Blackboard-based test

The test will be accessible from any computer with internet access. It will assess material covered during the whole semester.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


One two-hour lecture per week, for 11 weeks. One one-hour seminar per fortnight, over 11 weeks.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Management - Able to utilise, coordinate and control resources (human, physical and/or financial)
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: