Course Syllabus


Syllabus Summer 2015


Instructor Contact


 pic 4 2.jpg


 Dr. Marisol Parra 


279A Psychology Suit Cocoa


By appointment only




Via Inbox  in Canvas


Teaching Assistant Contact




 Keri Dotson


By appointment only


Psychology Building Room 205




Via Inbox in Canvas

Course Information

Course Name

Psychology of Language

Course ID & Section


Credit Hours


Course Description

This course will provide students with an introduction to the  theories and research findings in the Psychology of Language. The focus will be on language acquisition, language development, language comprehension, and language production. 


General Psychology (PSY 2012).

Course Objectives

By the end of this course you will:

  • Understand the basic theories, and research findings in the Psychology of Language, particularly in the areas of language acquisition, development, comprehension and production
  • Understand the methodologies used to study language.
  • Understand the biological, social, and cognitive factors that affect language
  • Critically analyze the main issues and research in Psychology of Language
  • Understand the neurological basis of language
  • Apply course related material to real life situations 

Required Text

Trevor A. Harley, The Psychology of Language: From  Data to Theory (4th Edition). Psychology Press:

Course Requirements

  • Internet Connection
  • Power Point Viewer
  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Java Script

Missed Assignments/Make-Ups

You are expected to submit your assignments (i.e., reaction papers and discussions), and quizzes on time. Do not wait until the last minute to complete your work. Late work will not be accepted. In addition, there will be no make-up assignments, or quizzes. 

Evaluation and Grading

Syllabus Quiz

The syllabus quiz is worth 25 points. It will include information contained in the syllabus and Course Expectations.

The syllabus quiz has no time limit and you will have unlimited attempts to complete it.

Please note that as of fall 2014, all faculty members are required to document students' academic activity at the beginning of each course. In order to document that you began this course, please complete the Syllabus Quiz by the end of the first week of classes (May 22), or as soon as possible after adding the course. Failure to do so will result in a delay in the disbursement of your financial aid.

Weekly Quizzes

You will complete weekly multiple choice quizzes (i.e., there will be a total of 6 quizzes).  Each quiz will be worth 100 points (except for quiz 2 which evaluates your knowledge of only one chapter, and will be worth 50 points . The other quizzes evaluate your knowledge of two chapters). The quizzes will be based on the assigned textbook chapter or chapters and the chapter notes. The chapter notes are not a summary of the chapter. They clarify some issues and elaborate on others so that it is easier for you to understand particular topics, concepts or theories.

You will have a restricted amount of time (50 minutes), and only one attempt to complete the quizzes. And you won’t be able to pause or save them to complete them later. Quizzes will be closed book and closed notes. Prepare for the quiz, and complete it only when you know you are ready. Quizzes will open at 11:00 am the Thursday before their due date and close at 11:59 pm on their Thursday due date.

Reaction Papers

During the course of the semester you will write 2 reaction papers in response to scholarly journal articles assigned by your instructor. Each reaction paper is worth 125 points.

In your paper, you must include a brief summary (1 page or less) of the study (i.e., problem that is being studied, hypotheses, methods, main results and conclusions), and your critical reaction (at least 2 full pages). In your critical reaction you can critique the methodology used to examine the problem (e.g., was the sample size enough? were the relevant variables controlled? were the instruments used appropriate to measure the variables of interest? etc); you can critique the research findings and the conclusions (are the researcher's arguments compelling? why or why not?, are there alternative explanations for the research findings?; and/or you can reflect on the implications of the study (societal and/ or theoretical implications). Make sure that your critique is thoughtful and demonstrates your understanding of the main ideas and concepts.  

Your paper should conform to APA style in both content and form. It should be a word document, double spaced throughout with 1" margins on all sides. Use 12 pt Times New Roman Font. Make sure your ideas flow smoothly and logically and that you communicate them in an accurate, concise, and grammatically correct manner (be sure you proofread your paper before turning it in).

Remember that the paper that you turn in must be your own. That is, you must use your own words to write the whole paper (including the summary part of the paper). Whenever you include in your reaction paper the ideas of authors other than you, you must paraphrase instead of "copying and pasting" or instead of quoting (i.e., you must not include quotations in your reaction paper). And do not forget to include the corresponding citations. Omitting citations constitute plagiarism. Inserting chunks of text from the research paper or other sources into your paper also constitute plagiarism. Evidence of plagiarism will result in a grade of zero (see additional penalties for plagiarism in the Academic Honesty section below). 

Reaction papers are due by 11:59 pm on their Thursday due date. They must be submitted by the due date. No late papers will be accepted.

See Rubric_ Reaction Paper.doc

Introduction Discussion

You will introduce yourself to the rest of the class. The introduction discussion will be worth 25 points. You must complete the introduction discussion by Thursday May 21 at 11:59 pm.


During the course of the semester you will participate in 3 whole group discussions. Each of these discussions will be worth 50 points. The topics of these discussions will be related to the material covered in your textbook. You will both post a comment and respond to the comments of at least one of your classmates. Your discussion postings must be at least 5 sentences long and must demonstrate your understanding and application of the class material. Discussions will open at 11:00 am the Thursday before their due date and will close at 11:59 pm on their Thursday due date. 

Grades will be assigned as follows (I do not round up).



Letter Grade











599 or less



Component of the grade 



Quizzes (including the syllabus quiz)



Reaction Papers



Discussions (including the introduction discussion) 







You will have the opportunity to earn a maximum of 5 extra-credit points for participating in the Psychology Department’s Research Experience (SONA). In order to participate you need to request an account at Once you create your account, you can link your account to the course.

You can participate in face-to-face and/or online studies. Face-to-face studies will award participants 0.5 SONA points per 30 minutes of participation, and online studies will award participants 0.25 SONA points per 30 minutes of participation.  Each Sona credit that you earn will be worth 1 point

An alternative activity is to write a 3-page reaction paper (1-page summary and 2 page- reaction) in response to a journal article published in a peer-reviewed psychology journal. Note that these extra-credit papers are different from the two reaction papers required for the class that were detailed above. For the extra-credit reaction papers, you must select an article that describes an empirical study in psycholinguistics (you can find articles on psycholinguistics in journals, such as Language and Cognition, Journal of Memory and Language, and Journal of Psycholinguistic Research).The reaction papers should conform to APA style in both content and form. You must submit both the reaction paper and the scientific article on which you based your paper. Each reaction paper will be worth 1 point. 

As stated above, you can earn a maximum of 5 extra-credit points. You can earn this points by participating in different research studies (face-to-face and or online studies) and/or by writing extra-credit  reaction papers  You will not receive more than 5 extra-credit points even if you get more than 5 points by participating in research and/or by writing papers.

The final deadline to submit the reaction papers is Monday June 15 by the end of the day (11:59 pm) (no papers will be accepted after that time. No exceptions) . The deadline to participate in research studies is by the end of the day (11:59 pm) on  Wednesday June 24.

Academic Honesty

Plagiarism and Cheating of any kind on an examination, quiz, or assignment will result at least in an "F" for that assignment (and may, depending on the severity of the case, lead to an "F" for the entire course) and may be subject to appropriate referral to the Office of Student Conduct for further action. See the UCF Golden Rule for further information. I will assume for this course that you will adhere to the academic creed of this University and will maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. In other words, don't cheat by giving answers to others or taking them from anyone else. I will also adhere to the highest standards of academic integrity, so please do not ask me to change (or expect me to change) your grade illegitimately or to bend or break rules for one person that will not apply to everyone.

Disability Statement

The University of Central Florida is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities. This syllabus is available in alternate formats upon request. Students with disabilities who need accommodations in this course must contact the professor at the beginning of the semester to discuss needed accommodations. No accommodations will be provided until the student has met with the professor to request accommodations. Students who need accommodations must be registered with Student Disability Services, Student Resource Center Room 132, phone (407) 823-2371, TTY/TDD only phone (407) 823-2116, before requesting accommodations from the professor.


This course may contain copyright protected materials such as audio or video clips, images, text materials, etc. These items are being used with regard to the Fair Use doctrine in order to enhance the learning environment. Please do not copy, duplicate, download or distribute these items. The use of these materials is strictly reserved for this online classroom environment and your use only. All copyright materials are credited to the copyright holder.

Third-Party Software and FERPA

During this course you might have the opportunity to use public online services and/or software applications sometimes called third-party software such as a blog or wiki. While some of these could be required assignments, you need not make any personally identifying information on a public site. Do not post or provide any private information about yourself or your classmates. Where appropriate you may use a pseudonym or nickname. Some written assignments posted publicly may require personal reflection/comments, but the assignments will not require you to disclose any personally identity-sensitive information. If you have any concerns about this, please contact your instructor.


Course Summary:

Date Details Due