Module Catalogue 2014/15

SEL1007 : The Nature of Language

  • Offered for Year: 2014/15
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gary Thoms
  • Owning School:
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment

none

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

none

Aims

1. Investigate the nature of language
2. Come to an understanding of the various areas within the field of linguistics
3. Learn how the study of linguistics relates to other sciences, particularly neuroscience, evolutionary biology, and computation

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics will be drawn from the following:
1. How to think about language
2. Computation, mind, and language
3. Thinking about Language : Chomsky
4. Language Acquisition
5. Writing a Language/Linguistics Essay
6. Meaning and Communication
7. Language Change
8. Language and Society
9. Humans, animals, and language
10. What it's all for: language in broader scientific perspective

Seminars will involve group discussion of issues raised in lectures.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1. Arrive at an understanding of the fundamental ideas in linguistics
2. Understand the interaction of different areas within the field
3. Understand some basic scientific concepts and scientific method

Intended Skill Outcomes

1. Ability to think critically about language
2. Enhance ability to study language and linguistic issues
3. Ability to write a properly structured scientific essay
4. Ability to evaluate hypotheses and understand examples of hypothesis-testing in the literature

Graduate Skills Framework

Graduate Skills Framework Applicable: Yes
  • Cognitive/Intellectual Skills
    • Critical Thinking : Assessed
    • Active Learning : Assessed
    • Literacy : Assessed
    • Information Literacy
      • Source Materials : Present
      • Synthesise And Present Materials : Assessed
  • Self Management
    • Self Awareness And Reflection : Present
    • Planning and Organisation
      • Goal Setting And Action Planning : Present
      • Decision Making : Present
    • Personal Enterprise
      • Innovation And Creativity : Present
      • Initiative : Present
      • Independence : Present
      • Problem Solving : Present
      • Adaptability : Present
  • Interaction
    • Communication
      • Interpersonal : Present
      • Written Other : Assessed
    • Team Working
      • Peer Assessment Review : Present
  • Application
    • Commercial Acumen
      • Market Awareness : Present
    • Social Cultural Global Awareness : Present

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion182:0082:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00N/A
Total100:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1. Lectures introduce students to knowledge outcomes.
2. Seminars develop these skills of analysis in greater depth.
3. Private study is an important part of the programme, requiring close reading of the materials both in advance of lectures and as a follow up to them.
4. Students will be expected to do regular assignments intended to probe and expand the students' understanding of the concepts covered in lectures.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M10Short example of hypothesis-formulation and hypothesis-testing.
Essay1M30To learn how to structure a linguistics essay.
Essay1A50Final essay assessed both for structure and content.
Written exercise1M10Short example of hypothesis-formulation and hypothesis-testing.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written exercises motivate students to think in terms of the scientific method, i.e. forming a hypothesis and designing and experiment to test it. The two essays teach how longer scientific essays are structured, and encourage students to creatively engage with the module material. Assessment by essay allows to students to develop formal argumentation and presentation skills relative to the topics covered in the module.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

Note: The Module Catalogue now reflects module information relating to academic year 14/15. Please contact your School Office if you require module information for a previous academic year.

Disclaimer: The University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver modules in accordance with the descriptions set out in this catalogue. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, however, the University reserves the right to introduce changes to the information given including the addition, withdrawal or restructuring of modules if it considers such action to be necessary.