Psycholinguistic Approach to Teaching Essay

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LIN 330 Introduction to Psycholinguistics and Language Acquisition Instructor: Dr. Irma Alarcón Office: Greene Hall 549 Office phone: x5194 E-mail: alarcoi@wfu.edu Office hours: TBA COURSE DESCRIPTION This course provides an introduction to the field of psycholinguistics, which is the discipline that explores the psychological processes underlying the acquisition, production, and comprehension of language. Focus questions include: How do we acquire our native language? Considering the limited input, how do children learn to make the most subtle grammatical distinctions? Is language an exclusively human phenomenon? If not, to what extent do other species exhibit linguistic systems? If so, what is it about human psychology and biology that distinguishes linguistically our species from others? What is the relationship between language and thought? Is there a “universal grammar” common to all human language? If so, what are the underlying psychological processes? If not, what are alternative explanations for the demonstrated similarities between languages? What are the differences in our processing of oral and written stimuli? How does our perception of language change depending upon whether the input is oral or visual? TEXTBOOKS & REQUIRED READINGS The following are required textbooks for the course: • Steinberg, D. D., Nagata, H., & Aline, D. (2001). Psycholinguistics. Language, mind and world. Harlow: Longman. • Field, J. (2003). Psycholinguistics. A resource book for students. London: Routledge. Required extra readings: • Pinker, S. (1994). The language instinct. New York: Perennial Classics. ( CHAPTERS 1, 3, and 4 (Xerox copies). • Gass, S. M., & L. Selinker. (2001). Second language acquisition: An introductory course. (2nd Edition). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. ( CHAPTER 1 (Xerox copy). Suggested readings: •

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