Adult Language Development and Processing

The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 4
Monday 13 January 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
05 April 2019


Requisites for this module


LG215, LG420

Key module for

BA QB36 English Language and Language Development (Including Year Abroad),
BA QQ3C English Language and Language Development,
BA QQ3F English Language and Language Development (Including Placement Year)

Module description

The module provides an introduction to key concepts used in research on language processing. Topics will include the organisation of words in our mental lexicon, the way in which we comprehend and process sentences, our production of words and sentences, and the relationship between language processing, music, and the brain. The module will provide students with an overview of research findings from a broad range of studies, including studies conducted in the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex.

Module aims

The module aims to provide a basic introduction to key concepts, methods, and theoretical approaches in research on psycholinguistics.
The course aims to:
• Provide students with an introduction to a number of contemporary issues in the study of the acquisition of language as well as the study of some developmental language disorders.
• Demonstrate the importance of psycholinguistics to other disciplines, particularly psychology and cognitive science.
• Question and challenge stereotypical views on acquisition, processing and disorders of language.
• Enable students to gain the necessary skills and knowledge to go on to second year courses in linguistics.
• Acquire a range of ‘transferable skills’, e.g.. skills such as data analysis, group discussion, report writing, bibliographical referencing etc., which will be useful outside as well as inside the academic context.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this half module, students should be able to

1. define core terms and concepts in language processing research,
2. describe commonly used empirical methods in language processing research,
3. identify core issues in research on language processing and discuss the core assumptions of relevant theoretical models,
4. summarise and present empirical results from previous studies clearly and accurately,
5. critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of research into language processing,
present ideas in a structured, coherent and cohesive fashion, using appropriate style and terminology, and demonstrating clarity, precision, and accuracy.

Module information


Week 16 Introduction to psycholinguistics. Planning utterances. (CDL; Warren ch.1 and 2; Traxler ch. 1)
Week 17 Gestures (LL; Warren ch. 6)
Week 18 Word processing (LL; Warren ch.3)
Week 19 Speech production and comprehension (LL; Warren ch.4 and 7)
Week 20 Spoken word recognition (CDL; Warren ch.8)
Week 21 Visual word recognition (CDL; Warren ch.9)
Week 22 Sentence processing (CH; Warren ch.10 and 11)
Week 23 Discourse processing (CH; Warren ch.11)
Week 24 Reference processing (CH; Warren ch.12)
Week 25 Architecture of the language processing system (CDL; Warren ch. 13)

Learning and teaching methods

A two-hour lecture + class session and a one-hour follow up class session each week. The two-hour session will combine a lecture with group and individual work on practical tasks. The separate one-hour follow up class will be focused on practical, exercise material.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay 1    40% 
Coursework   Essay 2     40% 
Practical   Quiz 1     
Practical   Quiz 2     
Practical   Quiz 3     
Practical   Quiz 4     
Practical   Quiz 5     
Exam  120 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Claire Delle Luche, email: c.delleluche@essex.ac.uk.
Florence Myles (FM), Claire Delle Luche (CDL) and Coralie Hervé (CH)
Dr. Delle Luche, Office: 4.342, Tel: 01206 872113, Email: chdell@essex.ac.uk - Prof F. Myles, Office: 4.131, Tel01206 872228, Email: fmyles@essex.ac.uk Dr Coralie Herve - email: ch17367@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Lynne Julie Cahill
University of Sussex
Available via Moodle
Of 86 hours, 38 (44.2%) hours available to students:
48 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

Disclaimer: The University makes every effort to ensure that this information on its Module Directory is accurate and up-to-date. Exceptionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to programmes, modules, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes to modules may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery or assessment of modules and other services, to discontinue modules and other services and to merge or combine modules. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, and will also keep students informed appropriately by updating our programme specifications and module directory.

The full Procedures, Rules and Regulations of the University governing how it operates are set out in the Charter, Statutes and Ordinances and in the University Regulations, Policy and Procedures.