Developing speech, language and cognition (5cr)

Code: 
570518
Teacher: 
Language: 
English
Year: 
2020/2021
Course: 
Master courses
Speciality: 
Mandatory Psychology courses
Credits: 
5.00
Start / End: 
13/10/2020 - 22/12/2020
Semester: 
1st
Schedule: 
Tuesday, 15:00 - 18:00
Location: 
Seminar Room, Department of Cognition, Development and Educational Psychology, Campus Mundet, UB. Facultat de Psicologia, 5th floor (on-site)
Goals: 

This course is intended to cover a range of key topics in early cognitive and perceptual development, with a special focus on the early processes in speech perception that are fundamental to language acquisition. From a broad information-processing perspective, attention, perception and memory capacity, as well as basic learning mechanisms that are central to cognitive and linguistic development in early infancy will be reviewed. The connection between these early skills and later language and cognitive outcomes will be analyzed and the complex interplay between brain maturation and experience factors will be discussed.

Structure and Contents: 
1. Topics in early cognitive and language development
1.1 Measures of attention and methods in infancy research 
1.2 Learning about the world: Objects and categories
1.3 The others: Social cognition and language development
 
2. Sounds and language: the nature of the speech signal
 
3. Topics in speech perception and language learning
3.1 Speech perception, phonetic categorization and perceptual narrowing
3.2 Pre-lexical strategies of word-form segmentation
3.3 Word-to-world mappings, word recognition and word learning
4. Growing up in a bilingual environment
 
5. Developmental models of speech perception and phonological processing
Methodology: 

In each session a general presentation of the topic will be followed by a group discussion and an analysis of a specific short paper directly related to the content of the session.

Assessment: 
Official assessment of learning outcomes
a) An oral presentation of a paper selected from a set of readings that will be offered at the beginning of the course. Students are expected to summarize the aims, the main findings and critically discuss the results and the main contribution of the research,  fostering group participation and discussion (40%).
b) Two written assignments involving each one related to specific topics of the program, covering theoretical and/or methodological aspects of infancy research (50%).
c) Regular participation in class sessions (10%)
 Re-evaluation: Students having obtained a final grade between 3 and 4.9 can be re-evaluated with a second written assignment. The maximum grade that can be obtained is 5.
Examination-based assessment
Evaluation will be based on a written examination with 6 open questions on the main topics of the program (60%) and a discussion of the methods and results from a selected research paper (40%).
Re-evaluation: Students having obtained a final grade between 3 and 4.9 can be re-evaluated with a second written examination. The maximum grade that can be obtained is 5.
Observations
In case of a health crisis limiting face-to-face teaching, the evaluation system will have to be adapted:
a) Preparation of a presentation (ppt format) of a paper selected form a set of readings offered at the beginning of the course. Students are expected to summarize the aims, main findings and discuss the results and the main contribution of the research  (40%).
b) Two short written assignments, each one on specific topics of the program, covering theoretical and methodological aspects in infancy research (50%). 
c) Following the virtual sessions, regular participation and meeting the deadlines to submit the assignments (10%).
Re-evaluation: Students having obtained a final grade between 3 and 4.9 can be re-evaluated on their written assignments. The maximum grade that can be obtained is 5. 
Bibliography: 
General readings:
Books
Goswami, U. (2008). Cognitive development. New York: Psychology Press.
Johnson, M.H. & De Haan, M. (2015). Developmental cognitive neuroscience: An introduction. John Wiley & Sons.
Westermann, G., & Mani, N. (Eds.). (2017). Early Word Learning. Routledge.
Articles
Aslin, R.N. (2014). Infant Learning: Historical, conceptual and methodological challenges.Infancy, vol. 19, 2-27.
Curtin, S. and Zamuner, T. S. (2014), Understanding the developing sound system: interactions between sounds and words. WIREs Cogn Sci, 5: 589–602. doi:10.1002/wcs.1307.
Gervain, J. & Mehler, J. (2010). Speech perception and language acquisition in the first year of life. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 61:191-218.
Kuhl, P. K., Conboy, B. T., Coffey-Corina, S., Padden, D., Rivera-Gaxiola, M. & Nelson, T. (2008). Phonetic learning as a pathway to language: new data and native language magnet theory expanded ( NLM-e). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 363, 979-1000.
 
Werker, J.F. & Curtin, S. (2005). PRIMIR: A developmental framework of infant speech processing. Language Learning and Development, 1(2), 197-234.