Psychology 584A: Language Development in Infancy and Childhood

To be held in Winter Term 2 (January-April 2017). From the course outline:

“Our most remarkable capability as a species is language.  No matter where they grow up, and across wide variations in home environment, children acquire their native language – quite rapidly and seemingly without effort– over the first few years of life. Researchers have been investigating just how language is acquired for a very long time, and have learned an enormous amount about the genetic and neurobiological bases of language, the perceptual, learning, and cognitive mechanisms involved, and the role interpersonal interaction and social context play in acquisition. Just how these multiple sources work together to launch language acquisition is still far from fully understood, however. In this course, we’ll explore this question through the lens of some of the most exciting current work in the field. In so doing, we’ll consider and consider core theoretical issues and study and critique different methodological approaches to studying language acquisition from early infancy, with the goal being to enable you to acquire sufficiently broad knowledge along with the requisite critical analysis skills to be able to continue learning about this topic on your own.

“The course is designed to bring graduate students together not just from Psychology, but from other departments in the University as well (although Psychology students will be given priority if the course is over subscribed). Each of you will be expected to take a leadership role in directing class discussion, in preparing questions that will generate discussion, and in honing both your critical thinking and analysis skills as well as your oral and written communication skills. Moreover, each of you will be given the opportunity to showcase what you have learned and how you can conceive of using that knowledge in a new way. To achieve this goal, your final paper will be either a 4 page grant proposal, building on what you have learned to propose a new line of research, or a 4 page knowledge translation plan, wherein you propose a way in which the knowledge and ideas you have gained in the course can be used to educate children or adults, intervene with particular populations, or influence social policy.”

For more information, contact Dr. Janet Werker.


Language Sciences Undergraduate Research Conference (LSURC)

Coming in February 2017! For more information, visit the website at https://ubcsalsa.wordpress.com/lsurc/.