Fall 2023 - PSYC 358 D100

Language and Social Interaction (3)

Class Number: 7502

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 6 – Dec 5, 2023: Thu, 11:30 a.m.–2:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    PSYC 201 and 250.



Reviews the four major psychological models of talk and develops a new social pragmatic model of talk-as-social-interaction. The social pragmatic model is then applied to research in social development. Through lectures, course readings, and hands-on exercises in the tutorials (e.g., tape recording, transcription and analysis of natural talk) students will acquire competence in describing and analyzing talk from a social pragmatic perspective, and applying social pragmatics to an examination of central issues in social development.


In this course we will examine language from a developmental pragmatic and relational perspective. This approach will inform  diverse topics such as but not limited to: language acquisition and use in everyday conversations; the development of identity through talk; face, facework and politeness;  implicating and inferencing meaning; body language and social distance; therapy talk. Students will be expected to complete a project that includes the collection and analysis of qualitative data based on naturally occurring conversation.          



  1. To examine language from a developmental pragmatic/relational orientation.
  2. To increase understanding of the way the social relationships and social cognition factor into initial learning and ongoing everyday use of language.
  3. To provide students the opportunity to interact with each on a collegial basis.


  • There are 3 exams worth 35% each. The lowest score is dropped making exams worth 70%. 70%
  • Project 30%


For the lowest exam score to be dropped two conditions apply.
1. Students MUST write all 3 exams. If a student fails to write an exam a ‘0’ score is entered for that exam and is calculated into the final grade (i.e., the zero is not dropped and each exam is worth 23.3% rather than 35%).
2. Students cannot use one exam as a ‘throw away’ exam; that is, put in a low effort. If it is determined that any exam is remarkably different in quality than the other exams the final score will be calculated over three exams.

There are no makeup exams in this course. If you miss an exam due to illness you must immediately notify the instructor (not the TM) and submit an SFU self-declaration form. If you have extreme extenuating circumstances, you must also inform the instructor BEFORE or the day of the exam that you will be absent.  In other words, you cannot be absent and notify the instructor after the exam has taken place other than in extreme circumstances.

Only when  the above conditions have been met will a ‘zero’ be be treated as your dropped score without writing the exam. If you miss an exam due to other events—slept in, vacation, or with no explanation your final grade will be calculated inclusive of all 3 exams (no score will be dropped).




1. The textbook that is a resource is available to read online from the SFU library: Language in Action: Psychological Models of Conversation by William Turnbull. 

2. Readings posted on Canvas and labeled ‘required readings’ are examinable. Readings labeled ‘resource articles’ are optional, non-examinable readings to further understanding of lecture material.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating. Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the university community. Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the university. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the university. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Students with a faith background who may need accommodations during the semester are encouraged to assess their needs as soon as possible and review the Multifaith religious accommodations website. The page outlines ways they begin working toward an accommodation and ensure solutions can be reached in a timely fashion.