Module QXL-3349:

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

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 a basic overview of how the mind and the brain process language. There are two 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 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


“B” : The answer must be focussed and structured. The answer must show a better-than-average standard of knowledge and understanding of the relevant areas of Psycholinguistics. The linguistic examples used in the answer may be based upon examples from the literature but must also include original examples. The answer must show evidence of background study with at least some from primary sources.


“A” : The answer must be highly focused and well-structured. The answer must show comprehensive knowledge and detailed understanding. The answer must show some original interpretation, new links between topics and/or a new approach to a problem. The answer must show evidence of extensive background study using primary sources.


“D” : The answer must address the question. The answer must show a basic knowledge and understanding of the relevant key areas and principles of Psycholinguistics as described in section 16. The student must show evidence of being able to apply the principles to the analysis of language and linguistic examples and/or data. The answer must show evidence of some background study.

Learning outcomes

  1. On successful completion of the module,

    Students will know: 1. what the central questions in psycholinguistic research are, 2. how to critically evaluate empirical studies in psycholinguistics

  2. Students will understand: 3. the basic principles underlying the scientific method in general and scientific experimentation in particular 4. what research methods (behavioural, computational, neuroscientific) are commonly used in psycholinguistics.

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

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY QXL 3349 Long Essay

The focus of the essay will be on literature review and critical analysis of studies in the field.

CLASS TEST Blackboard-based test

It 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

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: