I studied Biology and subsequently Neuroscience at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. My academic interests are bi-/multilingualism and language acquisition, specifically in relation to the brain. I started my PhD under the supervision of Prof. Tanja Kupisch and Prof. Jason Rothman (Project ESR1) on L3/Ln Language Acquisition at the University of Konstanz. I will be employing neurophysiological methods, i.e. EEG/ERP, to answer my research questions. I am also involved in an L3 transfer and language acquisition (Spanish-English bilinguals and an artificial language as 3rd language) study with EEG and a Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) and bilingualism experience/immersion project at the University of Reading
ESR2: Multilingualism and rule extraction in the language and visual domains
Lead beneficiary: University of Geneva
Main supervisor: J. Franck
I come from a mixed background of French BA (UCL) and MSc Language Sciences (Linguistics with Neuroscience, UCL). Besides my general interest in diverse areas of linguistics, I’m interested in the processing of syntax, phonology and prosody, as well as in language acqusition. My Master’s project was an eye-tracking study examining the integration of prosodic focal information into semantic processing in native speakers of English. The Multimind project I’m working on focuses on rule extraction in both linguistic and extralinguistic domains.
ESR3: The interaction between code-switching, cognitive control and creativity in Polish-English bilinguals
Lead beneficiary: University of Reading
Main supervisor: T. J. Treffers-Daller
I obtained a masters degree in General Linguistics and Dutch Language and Literature at Charles University in Prague in 2017. Over the course of my academic training, spanning universities and research institutions in the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Norway, I cultivated a passion for the study and identification of cognitive processes and constraints underlying and shaping the way we use language. I have published several papers on how language components as abstract as grammar can influence our sensorimotor behaviour, or on linguistic processing in late-bilinguals. Currently, I work as PhD researcher at the University of Reading under supervision of prof. Jeanine Treffers-Daller, dr. Christos Pliatsikas and prof. Guillaume Thierry. My doctoral project focuses on the interaction between code- switching in comprehension and production, cognitive control, and non-linguistic creativity in late Czech-English bilinguals.
Grazia Di Pisa
ESR4: Language processing in heritage speakers: effects of literacy, task, and modality
Lead beneficiary: University of Konstanz
Main supervisor: T. Marinis
After a BA in Applied languages and a MA in Linguistics at the University of Palermo (IT), I became interested in language disorders and education and I did a 1-year MA in Neuroscience and Second Language Acquisition alway at the University of Palermo. This MA was more education oriented and I wanted to do something more research oriented and this is how I arrived at Radboud Univeristy/Donders in Nijmegen (NL) where I started a 2-year Research Master in Cognitive Neuroscience, Language and Communication Track. During the master I became acquainted with different neuroimaging techniques. In particular, I was involved in projects using EEG and fMRI in adults, but I also had the opportunity to assist to different behavioral as well as eye-tracking experiments. Moreover, I gained some experience in designing experiments, using different software for stimuli preparation and presentation, for data acquisition and data analysis, and I learnt how to write and express my ideas in academia, such as writing papers, giving presentations and preparing posters. Always passionate about languages, second language acquisition, education and disseminating science, I found the MultiMind Project really interesting because it could be a way to combine all these interests and doing research at the same time. My project will investigate how adult heritage speakers of Italian living in Germany process number and gender agreement violations using EEG compared to monolingual controls.
Sarah von Grebmer Zu Wolfsthurn
ESR5: Processing grammatical gender across languages: effects of typological distance and cognates
Lead beneficiary: Leiden University
Main supervisor: N. Schiller
My educational background is in experimental psychology (BSc from the University of Bristol) and Neuropsychology (MSc from the University of Bristol). My previous research has focused on several issues throughout the fields of psycholinguistics, for example speech perception and statistical learning in adults and children. I am currently working on the ESR5 project called “Cross- Linguistic Transfer Effects in Bilingual Speakers and the Role of Typological Distance and Cognate Status during Processing of Grammatical Gender” at Leiden University. My project focuses on cognitive transfer, that is transferring cognitive properties of one language system (L1) to another language system (L2). This project investigates the effects of linguistic transfer of grammatical gender by testing whether or not speakers of an L1 with a gender system that is similar to the gender system of the L2 learn the L2 gender system more easily than speakers whose L1 has a different gender system.
ESR6: Language processing, brain structures and connectivity:effects of orthographic transparency
Lead beneficiary: University Putra Malaysia
Main supervisor: N. T. Yap
My background is in applied neuropsychology where I have conducted studies exploring cognitive differences between monolinguals and bilinguals on a novel mouse-tracking task, as well as in psycholinguistics where I explored the association between bilingualism and identity.
I am currently interested in understanding the role of bi/multilingualism/literacy on cognition, neural structure and connectivity. As the existing literature explores how the use of more than one language affects cognition and the brain, there is a paucity of studies examining the specific role of bi-/multi-literacies. My current research project uses fMRI to investigate whether literacy in languages with different orthographic properties (alphabetic versus non-alphabetic and transparency) would have different effects on cognition, integrity and volume of white and grey matter, as well as neural connectivity between regions associated with language acquisition and processing. Languages of interest are English, Malay and Chinese. Testing populations include monolinguals/literates in the UK and bi-/multi-literates in Malaysia.
Daniela Susana Ávila-Varela
ESR7: The emergence of language as a social group marker
Lead beneficiary: University Pompeu Fabra
Main supervisor: N. Sebastian Galles
I grow up in Santiago del Estero in the north of Argentina. However, I completed my studies of Psychology in 2012 and the master's studies in Psychology of Health in 2013 at the Universidad de Granada in Spain. My next destination was Germany, wherein 2015, I started my PhD in the Department of Psychology of Language in the Georg-August University in Göttingen. Currently, I am working as a researcher in training at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona.
In my PhD, I am studying the role of phonological and semantic features of words on word recognition and word learning in infancy. In addition, I am interested in observing the influence that individual differences based on receptive and expressive vocabulary may have on the online process of word recognition and word learning on the first’s years of life.
In the context of the MultiMind project, I will explore how to grow in a plurilingual environment influence infant´s social membership identification, and how these two variables affect infant´s individual performance on word learning tasks. To achieve such a goal, I will carry out a series of studies, where the infant´s languages exposure, language use and word learning under different linguistics environments will be measured. After the phase of data collection and analysis, I hope that the results would provide useful insights about linguistics interventions that may boost language learning in plurilingual children, which, consequently, will contribute to their better social adaptation and personal wellbeing.
ESR8: The foreign language effect on decision making
Lead beneficiary: University of Pompeu Fabra
Main supervisor: A. García-Palacios
I am from Spain, particularly from La Rioja. I studied Psychology at the Universitat of València and studied a MSc in Neuropsychology. I spent some time living in Scotland, exploring life and myself, very nice experience. After that, I studied Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Sussex (England). I did an internship in the Sackler Center for Consciousness Science, working in Multisensory Integration. My Dissertation was about the neural mechanisms behind mind wandering, with fMRI. I am currently working on the role of the foreign language effect in the selection of emotion regulation strategies, and how we can apply it to Clinical Psychology to improve the effect of therapies
Sofía González Castro
ESR9: The flexibility of social categorization: How bilingual experience influences social information processing
Lead beneficiary: Jagiellonian University
Main supervisor: Z. Wodniecka
I am a speech therapist with a Master's Degree in Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience from the University of Granada. My research interests are related mainly to language and its connexion to other cognitive domains and processes (i.e. arithmetic or social categorization). I am currently a Ph.D. student at the Jagiellonian University (Kraków) inside the ESR9 Project: "The flexibility of social categorization: How bilingual experience influences social information processing"
ESR10: Bilingualism, biliteracy and dyslexia: Advantages or disadvantages
Lead beneficiary: University Milano Bicocca
Main supervisor: M. T. Guasti
My name is Mathilde Chailleux and I am involved in the project “Bilingualism, biliteracy and dyslexia: advantages or disadvantages” at the University of Milano-Bicocca. I studied Linguistics and Neurosciences at the University of Tours (France), with a main focus on language acquisition and language disorders. In parallel of my studies, I started to work on projects addressing the question of the identification of Specific Language Impairment in bilingual children. Within the MultiMind program, I’ll be working on dyslexia, under the supervision of Maria Teresa Guasti, Fabrizio Arosio and Francesca Foppolo. Our aim is to find markers of dyslexia in Bilingual L2-Italian-speaking children in order to distinguish delay due to late exposure to Italian from delay due to dyslexia, so that dyslexic children could be provided with special care as soon as possible. We also want to investigate the effect of bilingualism and/or biliteracy on reading abilities.
Theresa Sophie Bloder
ESR11: Phonological and morpho-syntactic processing in bilingual children and in children with SLI
Lead beneficiary: University of Tübingen
Main supervisor: T. Rinker
My name is Theresa Bloder and I am a Speech and Language Pathologist from Austria. After I finished my Bachelor’s degree at the FH JOANNEUM in Graz in 2016 I specialized in working with children with all different kinds of developmental language disorders. In the course of my Master’s program, which I successfully completed in 2018 at University College London, I was able to broaden my clinical skills, underpinned by a core focus on academic research, pairing theoretical linguistics with experimental psychology and neurology classes.
Bilingualism and the way growing up in a multilingual environment shapes children’s language development have always been of particular interest to me. What was initially thought to be a curse has been shown to be a blessing as learning two or more languages can provide cognitive benefits for children. I am especially interested to what extent multilingualism might play a protective role in children with developmental language disorders. However, working with children from various cultural and diverse language backgrounds I am well aware of the challenges that are tied to multilingualism, particularly concerning properly diagnosing a developmental language disorder and differentiating between a “weaker” language and an actual pathological condition. Therefore, I am hoping to find a better way to comprehensively evaluate children’s language skills.
Another special interest of mine lies in the neural substrate of language especially the way its correlates change throughout the course of language acquisition or in the presence of a language disorder. Overall, I am hoping to learn even more about the amazing human brain in order to validate the different methods of Speech and Language Therapy, verify its efficacy on a neural and anatomical basis, and improve diagnostic processes.
Maren Rebecca Eikerling
ESR12: Computerized system for the screening of Specific learning and language disorders within bilingual children
Lead beneficiary: IRCCS - Associazione La Nostra Famigli 'Istituto scientifico Eugenio Medea'
Main supervisor: M. L. Lorusso
During my studies of Clinical Linguistics at Bielefeld University (Germany), I was involved in reasearch projects e.g. on the application of tDCS in aphasia rehabilitation. Working as a speech and language pathologist, I have gained practical experience in the treatment of mono- and bilingual children with SLI and dyslexia. Due to my interest in applying new diagnostic and therapeutical approaches in speech therapy and the increasing relevance of reliable language assessment and resultingly effective therapeutical assistance, I am now involved in the research project "Computerized system for the screening of Specific learning and language disorders within bilingual children" (ESR12). There, we aim to design a computer-assisted assesment of SLI/dyslexia in bilingual children using language specific markers.
Solange Ariel Andrea Santarelli
ESR13: Multilingualism and language learning among minor refugees
Lead beneficiary: Centro Provinciale per I'istruzione degli adulti Palermo 1 (CPIA 1)
Main supervisor: F. Faloppa
I have a background in Area studies, specifically in South Asian Studies. During my Research MA in Asian Studies at Leiden University, my main interest was contemporary Hindi Literature, particularly texts related to social issues. I start being interested in teaching while I was in The Netherlands and I had the opportunity to teach Hindi language for beginners at Rotterdam Business school of Applied Science.
After my graduation, I decided to know more about teaching and I spent two months in Gaziantep, Turkey, where I taught English through non-formal education activities for Syrian and Afghan children. After having a taste of what does it mean teaching in a context of migration, I decided to deepen my knowledge in the field and I started an online MA of the University of Milan (Master Promoitals) about teaching Italian language as LS and L2. In the meanwhile, I taught Italian language as a volunteer in two associations in Milan that focus their attention on women integration in Italian society. One association in particular deals with cases of women who have been victims of human trafficking and sexual trade. During my experience in these NGOs I started to be familiar with the difficulties of teaching to illiterates.
As a mandatory part of the Master, I had to do an internship and, though to the difficulties I encountered while teaching to illiterates, I decided to do it at ItaStra, the School of Italian Language for Foreigners of the University of Palermo. In fact, ItaStra is specialized in alphabetization courses for young migrants and refugees and I had the opportunity to learn innovative teaching techniques for this specific target group.
After my master and a five months’ parenthesis during which I taught Italian language in Izmir, Turkey, I came back to Palermo because I won a post-graduate scholarship at ItaStra for working on an e-learning platform for young migrants and refugees.
My last research interest is in the field of Sociolinguistic, about multilinguistic and multicultural contexts. Particularly I’m interested in migrants’ multilingualism during their journey, in Libya and in city of arrival such as Palermo, where people of different origins live together in the same urban context.
My research project for MULTIMIND (ERS13) will take as a case study the city of Palermo, a perfect example of multilingual reality though to its position at the crossroads of migrants’ routes to Europe. I will focus my attention on evaluating which teaching methodologies are used in language classes for young migrants and refugees and suggesting effective teaching techniques in this context. In addition to this, I will also take into exam multilingualism outside the classroom, particularly in reception centres for migrants and refugees as well as in the city itself.
ESR14: Grammatical & lexical development in migrant primary school children
Lead beneficiary: Aristotle University Of Thessaloniki
Main supervisor: D. Papadopoulou
I am currently a Ph.D. student at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in the framework of the MultiMind project. More specifically, I am working on the research project ESR14, Grammatical & lexical development in migrant primary school children.
I recently graduated from the joint master’s study programme European Masters Clinical Linguistics (EMCL) – completed at the universities of Eastern Finland, Potsdam, and Groningen (2016-2018). I hold a B.A. in Philology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with a major in linguistics (2011-2016). During my bachelor’s, I also participated in the Erasmus+ placement programme. I spent three months at the University of Reading working as a research assistant within the context of a traineeship called Trainee in psycholinguistics.
My research interests lie in the areas of psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, bilingualism, language development, language processing, as well as language disorders, with my empirical work reflecting these qualities. Moreover, considering research and teaching should go hand in hand, my research interests form a formidable link between experimental and pedagogical aspects of language in mono- and bi/multi-lingual environments.
ESR15: Language and literacy education in migrrant children in educational settings
Lead beneficiary: University Milano Bicocca
Main supervisor: F. Foppolo
I am Jasmijn Bosch, and I am working on the project ‘Language and literacy education in migrant children in educational settings’ at the University of Milano-Bicocca, under the supervision of Francesca Foppolo, Maria Teresa Guasti and Fabrizio Arosio. Before joining the MultiMind project, I studied Liberal Arts and Sciences at University College Utrecht and Linguistics at the University of Amsterdam, during which I focused on language acquisition and psycholinguistics. Bilingualism is one of my favorite research topics, not only because it has the potential to add new insights to our knowledge of human cognition, but also because of its social relevance. In my PhD project, I will therefore investigate early second language acquisition and bilingual reading development in different groups of migrant children, ultimately aiming to contribute to psycholinguistic theory as well as to the development of evidence-based educational policy.