College of Arts and Sciences | Born to be a Genius
E105 | 11597 | Bent


COLL-E 105 11597 Born to be a Genius (Bent T) (N & M) (3 cr.)
11:15AM - 12:30PM TR

Human language is an incredible, complex skill unparalleled in any
other species. We can produce and understand an infinite number of
sentences, share elaborate ideas, express our emotions, tell stories
and jokes, imagine our futures, and learn about people and places in
the distant past. Language allows the transmission of thoughts from
one brain to another -- an ability almost like mental telepathy. In
this course, we will explore how children acquire this amazing
ability, beginning in the womb through middle childhood. The course
will cover what children need to learn to become competent language
users including learning the structure of sounds, words, and
sentences. After exploring the process of typical language
acquisition, we will then assess a number of interesting cases of
language learning and use including second language acquisition, "wild
children," communication in other species, aphasia, and developmental
language disorders (e.g., autism). Throughout the course, we will use
the principles of scientific reasoning to address intriguing questions
about the nature, acquisition, and impairment of the human language
capacity.