We have collected BLIP Lab’s teaching and learning resources, covering different aspects of the work we do here. This page gives links to all of the materials you can access yourself, as a learner or a teacher. The materials cover a few different topics:
Language-Cognition-Sensation — Evolution of the Human Primate — Ethical Research Practices
If you have ever wondered how and why babies babble, then you might like the tutorial The Seeds of Speech. This is an activity you can do yourself with a smartphone or tablet computer, and will help you to understand the learning process babies go through when they are learning how to control the muscles of their mouths. It uses a great web app called Pink Trombone, as a way of learning about how the shape of the mouth creates different kinds of noises. You can also use this activity in a class on language development, with instructions for how to turn the activity into an assignment.
We also have a Teensy Weensy Introduction to Sound Symbolism, that talks about the way that sounds and shapes go together, and how these patterns can sometimes turn up in writing systems of the world.
There’s a data-vis of The Commonest Speech Sounds in the World’s languages, where you can look at which sounds are used by the most languages, and which sounds are very uncommon. For example, the symbol [Ɵ] stands for the “th” sound at the start of “thing” in English – it turns out to be in less than 5% of the world’s documented languages!
For those interested in learning more about relationship between languages and the senses, the Crash Course in Sensory Psycholinguistics is used as training for incoming BLIP lab members, to give them exposure to all of these different fields before they begin their work in the lab. The Crash Course is a self-study guide, made of short clips, podcasts, videos and lectures (made by a variety of people). The current version of the Crash Course has 6 separate Session, each with a couple of hours’ worth of watching/listening/learning. You can access the whole thing together in this handy compilation: Crash Course (Compiled), or you can access the individual sessions, which are updated more frequently:
Session 1. Language & how we do it
Session 2. Speech sounds and the body
Session 3. Speech sounds and the energy they carry
Session 4. Brains and Brain Development
Session 5. Neural Systems – Sensation and Connectivity
Session 6. Between the Sheets of Sensation
As part of the Crash Course, you can find out how to create visual display of your own voice, called a spectrogram, using free software.
Evolution of the Human Primate
Ever wondered what secrets our bodies hold about where we came from, and how we behave? Prof Primate’s Zoo Observation Guide was developed to turn your next trip to the zoo into a research learning activity: What to look out for when you visit the primates, and how to turn your observations into a report.
Ethical Research Practices
Have you hear about the Open Science Revolution? This is the movement crashing through the Social Sciences, and is all about transparency, and making the process and the products of science available to everyone, everywhere. You can find Notes on the Open Science Ecosystem, that talk about how researchers can get credit for all of the work they are involved in, not just the journal articles they write.