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LINGUIST 2PS3 Psycholinguistics

Academic Year: Fall 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Catherine Anderson


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 503

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 26241


Office Hours: Tuesday 4:00-5:00; Friday 10:30-12:00

Course Objectives:

This course involves Team-Based Learning in the Active Learning Classroom. In this course, students will:

  • learn the characteristic features of the principle theories of language comprehension
  • consider behavioural experimental methods for investigating language comprehension
  • interpret experimental data to investigate language comprehension
  • collaborate with a team of student peers to teach a topic in psycholinguistics

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Sedivy, Julie. (2014). Language in Mind: An Introduction to Psycholinguistics. Sinauer Associates
ISBN 978-0-87893-598-7

(This textbook is available at the Campus Store, is on reserve at Mills, or may be rented for the semester from the publisher. See Avenue for details. This textbook is also used for Ling 3C03 Child Language Acquisition in Winter 2018.) 

It is also recommended that each student purchase 2-4 dry-erase whiteboard markers to bring to class.

Method of Assessment:

This class takes place in the Active Learning Classroom and involves many team-based, active-learning exercises and projects. Regular attendance is vital for teams to function well.

Assignments, Dates and Weights
Three team assignments

10% each for a total of


Each team assignment takes place during a Friday class. Students first complete an individual preparation quiz, then the same quiz in teams. Your quiz score is a combination of the individual + team quiz scores. After the quiz, teams work together to solve a problem and submit a short report of their solution. Assignments are submitted on Avenue.

Team assignments take place on Sept 22, Oct 27, and Nov 10. 

Two individual tests

10% each for a total of 


Two take-home tests written in a 24-hour window and due at the end of class on Oct 6 and Nov 21.
One team project 20% The team works together to create a short (5-8 minute) audio or video presentation that teaches a topic in psycholinguistics to the rest of the class.  Team topics are assigned in Week 9 and audios/videos are presented to the class in Week 12.
Individual final exam 30% A 2.5-hour final exam scheduled by the Registrar. The final exam includes material from the whole semester. You have the option to reduce the weight of the final exam to either 28% or 26% by earning bonus points. See Avenue for details about bonus points.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Team Assignments: If you are absent on the day of a team assignment and you submit an MSAF or other approved document (via the office of the Dean of your faculty), the assignment is excused and its weight is redistributed across the other components of the course. Without an MSAF or a note from your Dean's office, you earn 0 for the missed team assignment. 

Individual Tests: If you submit an MSAF or other approved document (via the office of the Dean of your faculty) for an individual test, contact Dr. Anderson immediately to make arrangements for a revised submission time.

Team Project: Much of the work on a team project happens during class time. It is vital to attend class to collaborate with your team members. If for some reason it becomes impossible for you to fulfill your responsibility to your team members, consult Dr. Anderson as soon as possible to discuss the options. 

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Integrity

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity. It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  • plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  • improper collaboration in group work.
  • copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Authenticity / Plagiarism Detection

Some courses may use a web-based service ( to reveal authenticity and ownership of student submitted work. For courses using such software, students will be expected to submit their work electronically either directly to or via Avenue to Learn (A2L) plagiarism detection (a service supported by so it can be checked for academic dishonesty.

Students who do not wish to submit their work through A2L and/or must still submit an electronic and/or hardcopy to the instructor. No penalty will be assigned to a student who does not submit work to or A2L. All submitted work is subject to normal verification that standards of academic integrity have been upheld (e.g., on-line search, other software, etc.). To see the Policy, please go to

Courses with an On-Line Element

Some courses use on-line elements (e.g. e-mail, Avenue to Learn (A2L), LearnLink, web pages, capa, Moodle, ThinkingCap, etc.). Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of a course using these elements, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in a course that uses on-line elements will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.

Online Proctoring

Some courses may use online proctoring software for tests and exams. This software may require students to turn on their video camera, present identification, monitor and record their computer activities, and/or lockdown their browser during tests or exams. This software may be required to be installed before the exam begins.

Conduct Expectations

As a McMaster student, you have the right to experience, and the responsibility to demonstrate, respectful and dignified interactions within all of our living, learning and working communities. These expectations are described in the Code of Student Rights & Responsibilities (the "Code"). All students share the responsibility of maintaining a positive environment for the academic and personal growth of all McMaster community members, whether in person or online.

It is essential that students be mindful of their interactions online, as the Code remains in effect in virtual learning environments. The Code applies to any interactions that adversely affect, disrupt, or interfere with reasonable participation in University activities. Student disruptions or behaviours that interfere with university functions on online platforms (e.g. use of Avenue 2 Learn, WebEx or Zoom for delivery), will be taken very seriously and will be investigated. Outcomes may include restriction or removal of the involved students' access to these platforms.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. For further information, consult McMaster University’s Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities policy.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

Request for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work
McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar "Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work".

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances (RISO)

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religious, indigenous or spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the RISO policy. Students should submit their request to their Faculty Office normally within 10 working days of the beginning of term in which they anticipate a need for accommodation or to the Registrar's Office prior to their examinations. Students should also contact their instructors as soon as possible to make alternative arrangements for classes, assignments, and tests.

Copyright and Recording

Students are advised that lectures, demonstrations, performances, and any other course material provided by an instructor include copyright protected works. The Copyright Act and copyright law protect every original literary, dramatic, musical and artistic work, including lectures by University instructors.

The recording of lectures, tutorials, or other methods of instruction may occur during a course. Recording may be done by either the instructor for the purpose of authorized distribution, or by a student for the purpose of personal study. Students should be aware that their voice and/or image may be recorded by others during the class. Please speak with the instructor if this is a concern for you.

Extreme Circumstances

The University reserves the right to change the dates and deadlines for any or all courses in extreme circumstances (e.g., severe weather, labour disruptions, etc.). Changes will be communicated through regular McMaster communication channels, such as McMaster Daily News, A2L and/or McMaster email.

Topics and Readings:

These dates are an estimate. Any changes that arise will be announced in class.

Topics and Readings

Week 1 Introductions, Active Learning and Team-Based Learning
Weeks 2 - 5

Speech Perception

Sections 4.3, 7.3, 7.4

Weeks 6 - 7

Word Recognition

Sections 7.1, 7.2, 7.5

Weeks 8 - 9

Sentence Comprehension

Chapter 8

Weeks 10 - 12 Team Projects & Presentations


Other Course Information:

This course includes collaborative, team-based learning as a core component of the course. Furthermore, the class takes place in an Active Learning Classroom. Each of these attributes of the course might lead to unusual accessibility challenges for some students. If you have accessibility concerns about these or any element of the course, please discuss them with Dr. Anderson as early as possible in the semester so that your learning needs can be met.

In this course we will be using Avenue2Learn. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.