Western University PsychologyFaculty of Social Science

3141F-001

Psychology 3141F-001

Language Development

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

1.0    CALENDAR DESCRIPTION

This course covers how children learn and use their first language. Major topics include the stages of language development, how these phenomena can inform theories of language representation and use in humans, the biological bases of language learning, and the relationship between first and second language learning.

 

Prerequisites: Psychology 2820E or both Psychology 2800E and 2810, and one of Psychology 2134A/B, 2135A/B or 2410A/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.


2.0    COURSE INFORMATION

       Instructor:                                                     Marc Joanisse

       Office and Phone Number:                            NSC 230

       Office Hours:                                               Mondays, 1:30 pm

       Email:                                                          marcj@uwo.ca

 

       Teaching Assistant:                                      Nicolette Noonan

       Office:                                                         NSC 231

       Office Hours:                                               By appointment

       Email:                                                          nnoonan3@uwo.ca

 

       Time and Location of Classes:                      Monday 2:30-4:30

                                                                          Wednesday 2:30-3:30


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.

3.0  TEXTBOOK

Hoff, E. Language Development, 5th Edition Thomson Publishers

 

         There will be a copy of the textbook on reserve at Taylor Library.

 

Additional required readings will be assigned to supplement the book chapters, and will be made available on WebCT. These are journal articles and are intended to better familiarize students with the techniques and phenomena we will be discussing.

 

All required readings should be completed prior to attending class so that you arrive at class prepared to discuss the readings 

4.0    COURSE OBJECTIVES

You will learn to critically evaluate current research and theory on first language learning in children. A full range of phenomena related to language learning in children will be covered, including early perception, communication, speech errors, morphosyntax, vocabulary and semantics. Throughout, there is an emphasis of situating these phenomena within theories of language, cognition and cognitive neuroscience. You will also become familiar with language disorders in children, as well as the special case of bilingualism where children are learning two or more languages. In addition to the topics covered in class, students will participate in independent data collection and data analysis projects, and will be encouraged to study a topic of their choosing (from among topics set out by the instructors) in-depth, which will form the basis for a final paper.


   4.1    STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcome

Learning Activities

How Assessed

Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.

Articulate the concepts and current states of knowledge in child language development

 

Lectures and discussion

Readings (textbook chapters and journal articles)

 

Quizzes

Knowledge of Methodologies.

Access, interpret and critically evaluate research in language development.

 

Formulate a research hypothesis to address a question about language development and design a study that tests this hypothesis.

 

Lectures and discussion

Readings (textbook chapters and journal articles) 

 

Project

Final paper

 

Quizzes, problem sets


 

Project

Final paper

Application of Knowledge.

Use evidence to support claims.

 

Examine how phenomena discussed in lectures/readings applies to actual children

 

Lectures and discussion

 Evaluate a child’s language development in an observational study

 

Quizzes, problem sets

 Project

Communication Skills.

Communicate in writing accurately, clearly and logically, using the discourse of the discipline of psychology

 

Communicate psychological knowledge in writing in a way that would be understandable to a non-specialist audience

 

Readings (textbook chapters and problem set)

Project

 

 Project, Final paper

 

 

 Project


 

 

Project, Final paper

Autonomy and Professional Capacity.

Demonstrate initiative, personal responsibility and accountability


Optional: collecting your own observational language sample from children

Develop an experiment and related hypotheses of your own design


Project, Final paper

Final paper

 

5.0     EVALUATION

There will be multiple sources of evaluation in this course:

 

Quizzes. These are multiple choice and short answer type quizzes, and should take 20-30 minutes to complete and will be scheduled during the tutorial period. The content will focus on the readings and lectures from previous weeks, and the purpose is to assess that you completely understand the material. Please arrive on time so you have time to complete the quiz.

 

Lab project. You will be asked to analyze some child language that you either collect yourself, or from videos assigned to you. The final report will be due in March.

 

Problem sets. These are take-home assignments in which you will be asked to analyze linguistic data. They build on concepts we have covered in the lectures and tutorials. They are 2-3 pages length and build on what you have learned in class.

 

Final Paper 12-15 pages in length, approx 2500-3000 words, based on a topic of your choosing, but with an assigned format. Details to follow.

 

Grade Breakdown

Quizzes (x4, 5% each)                            20%

Lab project                                            20%

Problem Sets (x2, 15% each)                 30%

Final Paper                                            30%

Please note that you must pass all essay components to pass the course. That is, the average mark for your written assignments (Lab Project and Final Paper) 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



6.0  TEST AND EXAMINATION SCHEDULE

Important due dates

 

Quizzes: Dates are listed below

Lab Assignment: Due Nov 20. Full details will be provided soon.

Problem sets: Due dates are Oct 18 and Nov 8.

Final paper: Due in early December. Details will be provided in October.

 

Schedule conflicts: All dates are listed here are firm and final. Missed test dates and deadlines will not be excused. If you will be away on a due date, please make arrangements to hand it in early (or have a friend bring it in by the due date). If you plan to be away on any of the quiz dates, you will need to verify this is a valid excused absence through Academic Advising.


7.0   CLASS SCHEDULE

Week

Date

Topic

Reading

1

September 11

 

 

September 13

Introduction to the Study of Language Development

 

(No Tutorial Today)

 

Hoff Ch 1

2

September 18

 

 

 

 

September 20

Biological Bases

Language as a biological phenomenon; language and the brain; critical periods, genetics

 

Tutorial

 

Hoff Ch 2

3

September 25

 

 

 

September 27

 

Communicative Development

Intentionality; communicative function; conversational skill; sociolinguistics

 

Quiz 1

 

Hoff Ch 3

4

October 2

 

 

 

October 4

Phonological Development 1

Perception in infancy; learning the sounds of language

 

Tutorial

 

Hoff Ch 4 (135-162)
Saffran (2003)

 

October 9-13

Fall Break Week

 

5

October 16

 

 

 

October 18

Phonological Development 2

Motor development, production errors, early lexical development

 

Tutorial

 

Hoff Ch 4 (pp. 162-180)
Hoff article (2008)

 

 

6

October 23

 

 

October 25

Lexical Development

Learning about words, building a vocabulary

 

Quiz 2

 

Hoff Ch 5

Swingley & Aslin (2002)

7

October 30

 

 

November 1

Semantic Memory

Learning concepts and categories

 

 

Gentner (1978)

8

November 6

 

 

 

November 8

Grammar Development

Learning about the structure of words and sentences

 

(No Tutorial Today)

 

Hoff Ch 6

9

November 13

 

November 15

Deafness and Sign Language

 

Quiz 3

 

Senghas (1995)

10

November 20

 

 

November 22

 

Language Disorders – language/cognition dissociations

 

Tutorial

Hoff Ch 10

Bishop (2006)

11

November 27

 

 

November 29

Reading ability and disability

Learning to read; dyslexia

 

Tutorial

 

Shaywitz et al. (2017) Treiman (2000)

12

December 4

 

 

 

December 6

 

Bilingualism

Learning two languages at once; learning a second language

 

Quiz 4

 

Hoff Ch 8

Biyalistok & Craik (2010)


8.0     STATEMENT ON ACADEMIC OFFENCES

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.



9.0    POLICY ON ACCOMMODATION FOR MEDICAL ILLNESS

Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at:
http://westerncalendar.uwo.ca/2017/pg954.html 

Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation:
http://counselling.ssc.uwo.ca/procedures/medical_accommodation.html


10.0        OTHER INFORMATION

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:

    http://psychology.uwo.ca/undergraduate/student_responsibilities/index.html

- 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.