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SEL2229 : Experimental Methods in Linguistics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Christine Cuskley
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This course provides a broad overview of the foundational issues with respect to experimental methodology in linguistics. Lectures will cover theoretical and philosophical considerations, methodological approaches and issues, and tools used in data collection. By the end of the course, students will be able to critically evaluate experimental research in linguistics, from both theoretical and methodological points of view. Alongside this, students will learn the basic skills necessary for carrying out their own experimental research project, including experimental design, data wrangling, and statistical analysis.

Outline Of Syllabus

The course will focus on general philosophical, methodological, practical, and ethical issues that arise in the course of research in linguistics. Topics will include: science communication, the scientific method, computational approaches to language and linguistic research, null hypothesis testing, tools for collecting experimental data (online and in-lab), and basic data wrangling and statistics. The course will also introduce students to specific methods and tools allowing them to undertake survey-based or experimental research, and independently design their own experimental methods.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion421:0042:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading701:0070:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study551:0055:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures present the module content.

Small group teaching will focus on practical tools, skills, and software used in data collection, analysis, and presentation.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Practical/lab report2M30Data wrangling and analysis
Essay2A702000 word novel experimental design
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Research proposal2MExperimental design proposal
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The mid semester essay enables students to show applied knowledge of practical skills surrounding data wrangling and analysis learned during small group teaching.

The end-of-semester assessment consists of a methods proposal on which they will receive formative feedback prior to designing their own novel experimental methods. This will feed into the final essay which assesses the student's practical understanding of the general issues and ability to apply them creatively to their own novel experimental design.

Reading Lists