Associate Professor Sorani Wongbiasaj, Ph.D.Assistant Professor Wichian SunithamA course book material for English 001444Faculty of Humanities, Chiang Mai UniversityJune 2008
2Course SyllabusCourse number: 001444Course title: Introduction to PsycholinguisticsSemester : 1/2013Pre-requisite: 001330 (English Syntax)Course credit: 3(3-0-6)Instructor: Asst. Prof. Wichian SunithamOffice: HB 02-006, Tel. 3251 ext. 219Facebook: www.facebook.com/ajarn.waenCourse descriptionThis course focuses primarily on second language learning theories and classroomapplication. The first half of the course will be theoretical. Students will examine howphysiological, cognitive and affective factors such as age, sex, learning styles, motivation andpersonality affect second language learners. They will also explore topics such as memory,information processing and learning strategies. The second half of the course will focus onthe theory of acquisition in both first and second languages and the application of theory tothe language classroom, especially in terms of teaching methodology and activities.Course objectivesAt the end of the course, students are expected to1. have an understanding of current second language learning theories and their applica-tions.2. have insight into language learning strategies and be able to analyze and evaluatethem on the basis of the theories.3. be able to observe second language learning situations around them and analyze anddiscuss the data they have collected through their observations.4. be able to conduct survey research and present the results in class.5. be able to read basic academic articles, summarize and discuss them in relation to thetheories they have learned.
3Course contentsThe content of the course covers the following topics.1. Introduction2. Factors affecting language learning2.1 Physiological factors (brain and age)2.2 Cognitive factors (memory and cognitive domains)2.3 Affective factors (inhibition, self-esteem, anxiety, etc)3. L1 vs L2 Learning / Acquisition (theories and application)4. Learning strategies & good language learners5. L2 teaching methodology5.1 Audiolingual method5.2 Cognitive code learning5.3 Communicative language teaching5.4 Other approachesClass formats1. Lectures2. Discussions / Oral reports (groups/pairs/whole class)3. Presentation / Class observation / School visit4. Consultation / Internet-based learning / Self access learningClass assess1. Participation/contributions: Ss contributions in the classroom such as willingnessto be involved in discussions or group work, class preparation prior to class atten-dance, and bringing up interesting aspects for discussions or sharing their experiencesrelated to the topics studied. (2+3 %)2. Tasks & class/reading assignments:Ss will be assigned to watch video-based lessons/teaching approaches or to readarticles/working papers/excerpts related to any aspects in L2 learning. They willthen take notes on what they read/watch and give the oral reports in class. (10 %)
4Class assignments must be good in quality and show ss understanding of the mainpoints taught. Assignments must also meet the deadlines set. (10 %)3. School visit & demonstration / class or L2 context observation: During the semes-ter, the teacher will arrange for the whole class to visit a school in Chiang Mai or anearby province. Class observation and demonstration/activities organized for schoolstudents will be done. Students will also be assigned to attend foundation Englishclasses provided by the English Department (15 %)4. Project and Conference: Ss will work in groups and come up with a project relatedto the topics/ theories studied in class. They will also plan the project, collect data, andwrite an academic paper about the project. Ss will also be assigned roles to help in aconference for EFL classrooms (15+5 %)5. Final examination: Ss must take the final examination (40 %)ResourcesChiang Mai University Main LibraryFaculty of Humanities Library / Faculty of Education LibraryFaculty of Humanities Self-Access CenterCourse feesCourse materials 100 Baht (Collected in June)Field trip 150 Baht * (Collected @ first week of July)Transportation for school visit OPEN (depends on where we go)*Faculty of Humanities will partly sponsor the field trip to collect the data for your research.
5IntroductionCOMMON BELIEFS AND FEELINGSActivity 1 Read each of the following statements and circle the number that best corresponds towhat you believe. Number 5 indicates the strongest belief while number 1 your strongest disagree-ment or disapproval. If you have no inclination towards either side, choose number 3.Strongly Stronglyagree disagree1. People with a good brain are good language learners.2. The most important factor in secondlanguage acquisitionsuccess is motivation.3. The earlier English is introduced in Thai schools, the moresuccessful the students will be in learning it.4. Teachers know the best learning techniques and allstudents should learn from them.5. Anxiety and worries are bad because they block learning.6. All learning occurs in classrooms with teachers andtextbooks.7. Good teaching techniques in classrooms always help learnersto become successful.8. People who are good at speaking usually have good learning strategies, so we should learn from them.Activity 2 : What causes difDiculties in learning L2?
6Activity 1: Watch the video clip, “The Human Brain: Where Language Is BeingProcessed”, then fill in the missing words of the following statements.1. Anatomically, the brain can be divided into three parts: 1. _____________________,2. _____________________, 3. _____________________.2. The first part of the brain consists of ______________________________ or halves,thalami, hypothalamus, and the limbic system.3. The second part of the brain is located into the top of _________________________.4. The last part of the brain consists of 1. ____________________________________,2. the pons, and 3. the medulla.5. The corpus callosum connects __________________________ and____________________.6. The limbic system concerns with _________________________________________while ________________________________ concerns with the balance and thecontrol of movement.7. The right half of the brain called ____________________________ has control over____________________________________________________________________8. The left half of the brain called __________________________ consists of manyareas responsible for speech. One of the areas is called _______________________and the other is ________________________________. There are also other areasthat are responsible for naming and writing.
7Terms you hear from the clipTerms you hear from the clipTerms you hear from the clipTerms you hear from the clipCerebellumCerebellumCerebellumCerebellum = a large portion of the brain, serving to coordinate voluntary movements, posture, and bal-ance in humans, being in back of and below the cerebrum and consisting of two lateral lobesand a central lobeCerebral cortexCerebral cortexCerebral cortexCerebral cortex = the furrowed outer layer of gray matter in the cerebrum of the brain, associated withthe higher brain functions, as voluntary movement, coordination of sensory information,learning and memory, and the expression of individualityCerebrumCerebrumCerebrumCerebrum = the anterior and largest part of the brain, consisting of two halves or hemispheres and serv-ing to control voluntary movements and coordinate mental actionsCorpus collosumCorpus collosumCorpus collosumCorpus collosum = a structure of the mammalian brain in the longitudinalfissure that connects the left and right cerebral hemispheresForebrainForebrainForebrainForebrain (prosencephalon) = the anterior of the three primary divisions of the brain in the embryo of avertebrate, or the part of the adult brain derived from this tissue including the diencephalons(the posterior section of the forebrain) and telencephalon (the anterior section of the fore-brain comprising the cerebrum and related structures)HemisphereHemisphereHemisphereHemisphere = either of the lateral halves of the cerebrum or cerebellumHindbrainHindbrainHindbrainHindbrain = the most posterior of the three primary divisions of the brain in the embryo of a vertebrateor the part of the adult brain derived from this tissue, including the cerebellum, pons, andmedulla oblongata; rhombencephalonHypothalamusHypothalamusHypothalamusHypothalamus = a region of the brain, between the thalamus and the midbrain, that functions as the maincontrol center for the autonomic nervous system by regulating sleep cycles, body tempera-ture, appetite, etc., and that acts as an endocrine gland by producing hormones, including thereleasing factors that control the hormonal secretions of the pituitary glandLimbic systemLimbic systemLimbic systemLimbic system = a ring of interconnected structures in the midline of the brain around the hypothalamus,involved with emotion and memory and with homeostatic regulatory systemsMidbrainMidbrainMidbrainMidbrain = the middle of the three primary divisions of the brain in the embryo of a vertebrate or thepart of the adult brain derived from this tissue; mesencephalonThalamusThalamusThalamusThalamus = the middle part of the diencephalons (the posterior section of the forebrain) through whichsensory impulses pass to reach the cerebral cortexVisioVisioVisioVisio----spatialspatialspatialspatial or VisuospatialVisuospatialVisuospatialVisuospatial = pertaining to perception of the spatial relationships among objects withinthe field of vision; of or relating to visual perception of spatial relationships among objectsMeanings complied from:Dictionary.com (Lexico Publishing Group, LLC, 2008)Available: http://dictionary.reference.com/Wikipedia (wikipedia.org)
8French physician Pierre Paul Brocastudied a man who suffered aspeech deficit (aphasia) in 1861.This man could articulate a fewwords. In the autopsy, Broca foundhe had a syphilitic lesion in thefrontal lobe of the left hemisphere,which is an important speech pro-duction. The damage to this area,which results in speech productiondeficit, is thus known as Broca’saphasia.German physician Karl Wer-nicke followed Broca by studyinglanguage deficits. But his findingwas not similar to that of Broca. Henoted that not every deficit was inspeech production as some werelinguistic. He found that damage tothe left posterior or Wernicke’s areacaused language comprehensiondeficits rather than speech produc-tion deficits. The damage to thisarea is known as Wernicke’saphasia.Activity 2: Read the chart of the lateralization of the left and the right hemispheres then discuss.Left hemisphere Right hemisphere• Controls motor and sensory activity onthe right side• is the location of speech and hearingcentres• is responsible for processing informa-tion analytically and serially or sequen-tially• is responsible for linear algorithmicprocessing as well as perception ofcounting or measurement in mathemat-ics• is responsible for processing grammarand vocabulary in language• controls left-side motor and sensory ac-tivity as well as features such as spatialrelationships, artistic expression andvisualization• is responsible for processing informationholistically, simultaneously, imagisti-cally, and intuitively• is responsible for processing holisticreasoning language functions such asintonation and accentuation• is responsible for processing functionssuch as the transduction of visual andmusical stimuli, spatial manipulation,facial perception, and artistic ability
9We all use both hemispheres of the brain, but one side may be dominant over the other.This is simply a statement of preference where one hemisphere is used more than the otherto process information.Current Ideas about Brain Hemisphere SpecializationIn the past, scientists who were interested in language development often thoughtthat the left side of the brain controls how people learn language and that the right side ofthe brain controls artistic abilities.Nowadays, scientists believe that language learning is more complicated. They donot believe that language is controlled only by the left side of the brain. They believe thatlanguage learning consists of different parts for thinking and perceiving. Some of theseparts are processed by the left side and other parts are processed by the right side of thebrain. Even though the left side plays a significant role in language learning, the right sidealso contributes to language processing to some extent.
10Activity 3 : Look at the following characteristics or styles of a learner and decide if theyare related to the right or the left hemisphere. Tick in the box (þ) provided.LEFT RIGHTanalytical thinkersynthesizer (good at combining)looks at differenceslooks at similaritieslearns better by drawinguses pictures, not wordsprefers talking and writingis rationalis intuitiveis logical, sees cause and effectis analogical, sees correspondencesand relationshipsrelies on language in thinking and re-memberingrelies on images in thinking and re-memberingsolves problems with hunchessolves problems by logically and se-quentially looking at parts of things
11Activity 4 : Which hemisphere do you think is responsible for languagelearning? Write a hypothesis then read the research excerptson the next page to see if they confirm/verify or dis-prove/falsify your hypothesis..A HypothesisA HypothesisA HypothesisA HypothesisA hypothesis is very important when you want toconduct a research study. A hypothesis is just atentative statement that proposes a possible expla-nation to some phenomenon and is normally usedto predict the results of a research study. A hy-pothesis is not a theory, which is a general explana-tion based on a large amount of data. When youwrite a hypothesis you usually follow these steps:1. Choose what you want to test or find out in a re-search study.2. Write down your idea of what you think will hap-pen in one or two sentences.3. Gather and analyze your data to see if it sup-ports or goes against your hypothesis, so youcan provide possible explanations as to whyyour research (did not) work(ed) out as pre-dicted
12HypothesesEmpirical research (i.e. research based on observation) has been done to check these two hy-potheses. Read the following summaries of the real situation experiments and decide if theyconfirm or disprove the two hypotheses.a) Kotik (1975) investigated people who learn a second language in everyday situations out-side of school and people who learn a second language in school. He studied people whowere bilingual in Russian and Estonian. He found that people who had learned Estonian astheir second language in daily life outside of school showed no difference between leftand right side brain activity. In contrast, the people who had learned Russian as their sec-ond language in school showed more brain activity on the left side.b) Hatta (1981) did a study of Japanese students to discover which side of the brain was in-volved in processing Japanese. Japanese uses two systems together in its writing: kanasyllable writing and kanji (based on Chinese characters). When the students were learn-ing kana the left side of the brain was involved. But when they were processing kanji theright side was involved.
13HYPOTHESESActivity 5 : Here are some interesting hypotheses about second language acquisition (SLA).These hypotheses are based on the fact that the right and left sides or hemispheres ofour brains have different functions when we learn a language. Write the word rightor left in the blanks.H1 - There may be greater use of the ____________ hemisphere when we process languagesthat we have learned informally (i.e. outside the classroom). On the other hand, theremay be more use of the _____________ hemisphere when we process languages that wehave learned in a formal way (i.e. in the classroom).H2 - When we read ideographic / visual writing (e.g. in reading Chinese) we use more of the_____________ hemisphere but when we read a phonemic / alphabetic writing (e.g. inreading English or Thai) we use more of the _____________ hemisphere.
14Activity 6 : Here are more summaries of research findings. What hypothesis can be drawn fromeach research summary?Finding 1This paper tests the ability of the subjects’ prosodic deficits with right and left braindamage (subjects were brain-damaged patients). The subjects repeat and comprehend affectiveprosody under reduced verbal-articulatory conditions. The results demonstrate that reducingverbal-articulatory condition greatly improve the performance of left but not right brain dam-aged patients, thus supports the supposition that affective prosody is strongly lateralized to theright hemisphere.From: Ross, Elliott D. et al. 1997. Lateralization of Affective Prosody in Brain and the Callosal Inte-gration of Hemispheric Language Functions. Brain and Language, 56, 1, 27-54.Finding 2A lot of research studies (Myers, 1978, 1979, 1981; Culloden, Hyde-Wright & Ship-man, 1986; Bishop & Rosenbloom, 1987; Bryan, 1988; Biship & Adams, 1989) have shown interest-ing comparisons between the communication deficits observed in patients with right hemi-sphere lesions and those described in children with semantic-pragmatic language disorder.Both groups seem to have an underlying difficulty in integrating information, reflected in theirverbal output. Both groups also have poor comprehension and use of non-verbal communicationand prosody. Moreover, both groups perform better on structured tasks than on open-endedone. Lastly, both groups tend to lend literal interpretation to figurative language and find diffi-culty coping with metaphor and humor.From: Shields, Jane.1991. Semantic-pragmatic disorder: A right hemisphere syndrome?. BritishJournal of Disorders of Communication, 26, 383-392.Finding 3This study shows a strong argument the right hemisphere (RH) deals with the cer-tainty problem, and the left hemisphere (LH) deals with the producing-effects problem in earlyinfancy. Strategies used by young infants, with corresponding hemispheric specializations, indi-cate that infants keep work on the two problems apart in their early years while the corpus callo-sum is still underdeveloped. That a matching specialization continues in later life is supported bythe adults’ strategies activated by both RH and LH .From: Burnand, Gordon. 2002. Hemisphere Specialization as an Aid in Early Infancy. Neuropsy-chology Review, 12, 4, 233-251.