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Unit information: Language, Memory, and Development in 2015/16

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Unit name Language, Memory, and Development
Unit code PSYCM0014
Credit points 10
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Farrell
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

The focus of this unit is two-fold: first, it aims at covering in substantial detail the developmental aspects of cognitive language skills, such as maturation, critical period, innateness, etc. Second, it will investigate language and its relation to memory structures and systems, both from a developmental and a mature viewpoint. Topics include the properties of the working memory system and its interaction with linguistic structures, and the structure and function of long-term memory and its linguistic dimensions.

Intended Learning Outcomes

This unit will add a developmental perspective to the background knowledge that students acquired in the introductory unit. It will also deepen students' understanding of how cognitive aspects of language are both implemented in and constrained by more general cognitive structures, such as long-term and short-term memory. Students will be familiarised with the various research techniques currently used to approach developmental and memory issues.

Teaching Information

Seminars which will be led by research-active staff members. Students are expected to take turns in providing weekly summaries of relevant background reading, providing a starting point for structured discussions.

Assessment Information

  • Essay which requires students to synthesise knowledge about a particular research topic into a coherent argument (50%)
  • Exam which assesses the level and depth of background knowledge (50%).

Reading and References

  • Baddeley, A. (1997). Human memory: Theory and practice. Pearson, Allyn & Bacon.
  • Hoff, E. & Shatz, M. (2007). Blackwell handbook of language development. Wiley- Blackwell.
  • Jusczyk, P. (1997). The discovery of spoken language. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.