My OpenLearn Profile
- Personalise your OpenLearn profile
- Save your favourite content
- Get recognition for your learning
From sound to meaning: hearing, speech and language
Human communication is vastly more complex than that of any other species we know about. It is so complex that linguists are only just beginning to identify the processes in the brain that are related to understanding language. This free course, From sound to meaning: hearing, speech and language, looks at how language is understood by taking an interdisciplinary approach.
Course learning outcomes
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- recognise definitions and applications of key terms relating to mental health
- understand and apply basic grammatical terminology
- describe briefly the different types of sounds used in speech in both acoustic and articulatory terms
- outline the key features of human language as compared to the vocalisations of other species
- describe the complex psychological processes involved in decoding even simple sentences of spoken language.
You can start this course right now without signing-up. Click on any of the course content sections below to start at any point in this course.
If you want to be able to track your progress, earn a free Statement of Participation, and access all course quizzes and activities, sign-up.
- Learning outcomes
- 1 Overview
- 2 The brain's task: the structure of language
- 3 The brain's solution: the machinery of language
- 4 Conclusions
- 5 Questions and answers
- Keep on learning
Create an account to get more
Track your progress
Review and track your learning through your OpenLearn Profile.
Statement of participation
On completetion of a course you will earn a Statement of participation.
Access all course activities
Take course quizzes and access all learning.
Review the course
When you have finished a course leave a review and tell others what you think.
Creative commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence.
However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions and our FAQs.
Full copyright details can be found in the Acknowledgements section of each week.
For further information, take a look at our frequently asked questions which may give you the support you need.Have a question?
Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has nearly 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.
Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.
About this free course
12 hours study
Level 2: Intermediate
Download this course
Free statement of participation on completion of these courses.