English Language Processing

The details
Language and Linguistics
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Monday 15 January 2024
Friday 22 March 2024
09 October 2023


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

This module builds on LG115-4-AU and LG116-4-SP and focuses on psycholinguistics (i.e. psycholinguistics in the 'narrow' sense), the study of how humans learn, represent, comprehend, and produce language.

Topics covered in the module encompass the whole lifespan, from early childhood to adulthood and the aging population, and will discuss the typical and atypical population, including aphasic patients.

This module has a strong focus on research methodology leading up to the elaboration, conduction and analysis of their first psycholinguistic experiment.

Specific questions to be addressed include:
* How do we perceive and recognise speech?
* How are words and concepts stored in our mind?
* How do we recognise written words?
* How do we comprehend sentences and texts?

Module aims

By the end of this module, you should have a solid understanding of both the research methodologies used in psycholinguistics and many of the well-established major findings in the field.
You will be able to identify interesting research questions and elaborate on potential psycholinguistic experiments.

Students enrolled in the regular pathway will have learned and practiced (in conjunction with LG213) how to conduct descriptive analysis of their own experiment data and will present them in a poster, including with a graph representation (if relevant).
Students enrolled in the Qstep pathway will put into practice their learning of inferential statistics and will analyse the data of their experiment with descriptive and inferential statistics and present them in a poster, including with a graph representation (if relevant).

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, the student will be able to:
(1) define core terms and concepts in language processing research, describe commonly used empirical methods and discuss the core assumptions of relevant theoretical models;
(2) understand psycholinguistic experimental data;
(3) summarise and present empirical results clearly and accurately;
(4) critically evaluate theoretical approaches and research methods used in language processing research, and
(5) present ideas in a structured and coherent way, using appropriate style and terminology, and demonstrating clarity, precision, accuracy and originality.
(6) practice the scientific research method with the conception, elaboration, conduction and analysis of a psycholinguistic experiment.

Module information

1- Introduction: experimental methodology and research methods in psycholinguistics (CDL)
2- Lexical and sentence processing: how to elaborate research questions and hypotheses (CDL)
3- Reading: how to understand results involving neuropsychological patients (CDL)
4- Bilingualism: experimental methods in adults and children (CDL)
5- Aphasia and right hemisphere processing: how to present research data with posters (CDL)
6- Aging (LL)
7- Language development: innateness and sign language (LL)
8- Phonological development: looking into typical and atypical children speech production (CDL)
9- Syntactic development (LL)
10- Language disorders (LL)

This module is part of the Q-Step pathway. Q-Step is an award which you can gain simply by enrolling on specific modules and will signal to employers your capability in quantitative research. Learn more about the Q-Step pathway and enhance your degree now.

Learning and teaching methods

The weekly course meetings will be a mixture of lectures, exercises & group discussions.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Essay 1    20% 
Coursework   Essay 2    20% 
Coursework   Essay 3    20% 
Practical   Experiment poster    40% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Claire Delle Luche, email: c.delleluche@essex.ac.uk.
Dr. Claire Delle Luche
Claire Delle Luche, 4.313, 872113, c.delleluche@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Sam Christian D'Elia
Available via Moodle
Of 40 hours, 20 (50%) hours available to students:
20 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Language and Linguistics

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