Hello and welcome!
I am a cognitive psychologist interested in how we access words during the formation of spoken language. My work has focused on bilinguals who are lifetime users of two or more languages. In addition, I have worked on many projects that involve classroom second language learners. The questions I pursue include:
I am especially interested in comparing spoken language production between groups of second language learners and proficient bilinguals. We can understand choosing words to speak within a communicatively relevant language as a universal dilemma faced by all multilingual speakers. However, it is clear that classroom learners of a foreign language do not have the same level of expertise speaking their newly learned language. So, the question is: How do they speak words in their new language when they do so successfully? Surprisingly, scientific knowledge regarding the ability to speak words in a newly learned language is highly limited. Yet, we know that theories and principles regarding the communicative abilities of adult foreign language learners will be critical to advancing the capabilities of today's workforce. My research aims to increase understanding of spoken language capabilities at the early stages of foreign language learning-specifically how these behaviors develop across time, in different contexts (immersion vs. native country), and at the neural (brain) level.
Together with collaborators at Penn State University (where I recieved my PhD) and Northwestern University, I have been addressing these questions.
I use a variety of methods and work with a variety of speakers to conduct my research.
Why diversity of bilingualism matters: Whenever I am asked about how to define a bilingual, my response is that anyone who is an active user of two or more learners is bilingual. This opens samples to great diversity in proficiency and other background traits. This is important for allowing more precise descriptions of the linguistic and cognitive consequences of bilingualism.
Exploring the next frontier (brain research): I also use electroencepholography (EEG) to study the neurocognitive indices of speaking, cognitive inhibition, and their relationship to behavior.
Please have a look around this site and email me if you have any questions.
I. Using the native language to track speech planning in a second language
The goal of this study is to uncover how learners who are much more skilled at speaking their native language (L1) produce words in the second language (L2).
In a collaboration with researchers at Northwestern (Dr. Matt Goldrick, Emily Cibelli, andErin Gustafson) and Bar Ilan University (Josef Keshet and Josef Adi) , I conducted a study seeking evidence for cascade from planning to articulation.