Western University PsychologyFaculty of Social Science


Psychology 3140F-001


If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


This course will examine how people acquire, process and use a second language. Topics will include simultaneous and sequential bilingualism, the critical period hypothesis, theories of bilingual language representation, cross-language transfer, language selection and switching, simultaneous interpreting, cognitive consequences of bilingualism, the bilingual brain and bilingual education.


Antirequisite: Psychology 3990F taken in 2008


Antirequisites are courses that overlap sufficiently in content that only one can be taken for credit. So if you take a course that is an antirequisite to a course previously taken, you will lose credit for the earlier course, regardless of the grade achieved in the most recent course.


Prerequisites: Psychology 2820E or both Psychology 2800E and 2810, and one of Psychology 2134A/B or 2135A/B


3 lecture hours, 0.5 course


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enroll in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites.


       Instructor:   Dr. Debra Jared                                   

       Office and Phone Number:  SSC 7330  (519) 661-2111 x84631                     

       Office Hours: by appointment                                

       Email: djjared@uwo.ca                                                                  


       Teaching Assistant: Taylor Sguazzin                       

       Office Hours: by appointment                                

       Email:  tsguazzi@uwo.ca                                       


       Time and Location of Classes:   Monday 11:30-1:30; Wednesday 11:30-12:30   UCC60

If you or someone you know is experiencing distress, there are several resources here at Western to assist you.  Please visit:  http://www.uwo.ca/uwocom/mentalhealth/ for more information on these resources and on mental health.

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also wish to contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) at 519-661-2111 ext 82147 for any specific question regarding an accommodation.


There is no text. Course readings will be posted on OWL



The goal of the course is for students to develop an understanding of issues and theories of bilingual language processing, and how these can be addressed through research. Students can expect to develop their ability to read journal articles in psychology and to express their understanding orally and in writing.


By the end of this course, the successful student should be able to:

LEARNING OUTCOME                                         LEARNING ACTIVITIES                                  HOW ASSESSED

Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.                        Lectures

Articulate the concepts and current states            Readings (journal articles)                            Three essay exams

of knowledge in the cognitive study of                 Class discussion

bilinguals                                                           Video 

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Knowledge of Methodologies.

Access, interpret and critically evaluate                Lectures                                                      Three essay exams

research on the cognitive aspects of                     Readings (journal articles)                            Assignments 2-4A

bilingualism.                                                      Class discussion

Formulate a research hypothesis to                      Assignment                                                 Assignment #1 (design

address a question about bilingualism and            Research proposal                                        materials to test a hypothesis)

design a research project to test that                                                                                      Assignment #4A (research

hypothesis                                                                                                                            proposal

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Application of Knowledge.

Use evidence to support claims                            Lectures                                                       Three essay exams

Critically evaluate the presentation of                   Read two articles about bilingualism in the      Assignments #2 and 3

scientific ideas and research in the popular            popular media


^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Communication Skills.

Communicate in writing accurately, clearly            Readings (journal articles)

and logically, using the discourse of the                Assignment                                                     Assignment 4

discipline of psychology

Communicate psychological knowledge in             Assignments                                                    Assignments 2 & 3

writing in a way that would be

understandable to a non-specialist


^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Autonomy and Professional Capacity.

Demonstrate initiative, personal                           Placement at the Western English Language        Assignment 4B

responsibility and accountability                           Centre (an option)

^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^

Note: students will do either Assignment 4A or Assignment 4B. Assignment 4B is for students who choose the placement option.



Grades in the course will be based on three exams (15%, 20% and 25% for exams 1-3, respectively), and 4 written assignments (5%, 10%, 10%, and 15% for Assignments 1-4, respectively). The first 3 assignments will be approximately 3-4 pages in length and the 4th will be approximately 5 pages.


Students will be offered the opportunity to volunteer in Western’s English Language Centre. This centre is housed in our faculty of education. Instructors in the centre assist international students to develop their English language skills so that they can handle a university program in English. Students in this course will be expected to go to the volunteer placement for approximately two hours every week, depending on their assigned role at the centre. Students who decide to complete the placement will be offered an alternative to Assignment 4. In the alternative assignment, students will be asked to discuss what they have learned during the placement.

Note: Because this is an essay course, as per Senate Regulations (http://www.westerncalendar.uwo.ca/2017/pg108.html), you must pass the essay component to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments must be at least 50%.

Although the Psychology Department does not require instructors to adjust their course grades to conform to specific targets, the expectation is that course marks will be distributed around the following averages:

70%     1000-level and 2000-level courses
72%     2190-2990 level courses
75%     3000-level courses
80%     4000-level courses
The Psychology Department follows the University of Western Ontario grading guidelines, which are as follows (see http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/general/grades_undergrad.pdf ):

A+  90-100      One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level
A    80-89        Superior work that is clearly above average
B    70-79        Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory
C    60-69        Competent work, meeting requirements
D    50-59        Fair work, minimally acceptable
F    below 50    Fail


There will be exams on Oct. 18, Nov. 15, and during the December exam period. Exams will be short essay (a paragraph or two) format and will require that information be drawn from both lecture material and course readings. The final exam is cumulative, in that it will include questions on material from across the course.


Assignments will be due Oct. 16, Nov. 1, Nov. 15, and Dec. 6. Late assignments will incur a penalty of 10% per day, including weekends.


Sept. 11 & 13         Languages in Canada; Characteristics of bilinguals        

Sept. 18 & 20         Bilingual memory

Sept. 25 & 27         Word reading in bilinguals         

Oct. 2 & 4              Perceiving and producing speech

Oct. 9 & 11             Fall Reading Week- no class

Oct. 16                   Language selection and control

Oct. 18                   Mid-term exam 1

Oct. 23                   Cognitive consequences of bilingualism

Oct. 25 & 30           Code switching and simultaneous interpreting

Nov. 1 & 6              Acquiring sounds         

Nov. 8 & 13            Acquiring words

Nov. 15                  Mid-term exam 2

Nov. 20                  Acquiring grammar

Nov. 22 & 27          Conceptual representations/ Language & thought

Nov. 29 & Dec. 4    Bilingual brain & aphasia

       Dec. 6                     Bilingual education


Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offenses. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offenses because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offense are described at the following link:  http://www.uwo.ca/univsec/pdf/academic_policies/appeals/scholastic_discipline_undergrad.pdf

As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offenses. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and Turnitin.com http://www.turnitin.com

Possible penalties for a scholastic offense include failure of the assignment, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University.


Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at:

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:


Office of the Registrar web site:  http://registrar.uwo.ca

Student Development Services web site: http://www.sdc.uwo.ca

Please see the Psychology Undergraduate web site for information on the following:


- Policy on Cheating and Academic Misconduct
- Procedures for Appealing Academic Evaluations
- Policy on Attendance
- Policy Regarding Makeup Exams and Extensions of Deadlines
- Policy for Assignments
- Short Absences
- Extended Absences
- Documentation
- Academic Concerns
- 2017 Calendar References

No electronic devices, including cell phones and smart watches, will be allowed during exams.