BEHV 7020 Learning and Processing Human Language

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 800171

Coordinator Caroline Jones Opens in new window

Description How do humans learn and process language, in its spoken, gestural, and written forms? This subject will equip students with theoretical foundations and practical understandings of how to read and conduct research in this area. Topics may include research areas such as language acquisition, language use and communication, word recognition, reading development and disorders, speech perception and production. In addition, a review of data collection and analysis techniques will be provided. The subject will include lecture and laboratory experimental work. The subject will be focused on research currently conducted by members of the MARCS Institute.

School Graduate Research School

Discipline Psychology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 1 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Assumed Knowledge

Master of Research core subjects: Research Design 1, Research Literacies or equivalent.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Analyse and synthesise research ideas in learning and processing human language with a focus on speech articulation, speech perception, word recognition, language learning, reading, and multisensory processing
  2. Identify and formulate an empirical research question and develop testable hypotheses
  3. Apply skills in using relevant hardware and/or software (e.g., articulatory equipment, perception experiment software, Alveo cloud computing platform for large datasets)
  4. Plan and conduct a straightforward empirical research project (e.g. experiments, modelling, corpus analyses)
  5. Clearly communicate scientific ideas and results in written and spoken presentation formats

Subject Content

1. Introduction to research areas within human language learning and processing
2. Speech perception and spoken word recognition
3. Speech production: acoustic and articulatory measures
4. Learning and processing native languages
5. Learning and processing subsequent languages
6. Bilingual and multilingual language processing
7. How the development of reading affects language learning and processing
8. Multisensory language processing


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Online Quiz 5 questions x 2 readings per week 40 N Individual
Practical demonstration of experiment and Written report Running of experiment and 1000 word report 30 N Individual
Oral presentation and Written report 20 minutes, 1500 word report 30 N Group