Bilingualism Matters Centre at Edinburgh

Our team in Edinburgh is supported by a fantastic group of volunteers. Our current team is below, and you can also read about previous collaborators.

Professor Antonella Sorace

Director; Professor of Developmental Linguistics

Antonella Sorace is Professor of Developmental Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh and a leading authority on language bilingualism and language acquisition across the lifespan.

She is also joint leader for dissemination on the EU funded <a href="http://www.bilingualism-matters.ppls.ed.ac.uk/projects/atheme-advancing-european-multilingual-experience">AThEME project</a> (Advancing the European Multilingual Experience).

Antonella founded Bilingualism Matters as an information service for bilingual families in 2008 and has since overseen its expansion into an international network of branches around Europe and the USA. The Bilingualism Matters Centre at the University of Edinburgh now works alongside schools, adult learners, health practitioners, businesses and local and national governments as well as families in order to help make sure everyone can make informed decisions about language learning.

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Professor Antonella Sorace

Professor Antonella Sorace

Director; Professor of Developmental Linguistics

Dr Katarzyna Przybycien

Research and Outreach Coordinator
Katarzyna.Przybycien@ed.ac.uk

Dr Katarzyna Przybycien is the Research and Outreach Coordinator at the Bilingualism Matters Research and Information Centre.

Kat's role is to support the Centre Director in developing the current range of Centre activities through network development, coordination of partners and supporting the development of key Centre outputs.

Kat's experience includes working on European projects, undertaking project evaluations, and creating and coordinating public engagement with research and a variety of community projects. Having lived and studied in Poland, Spain, and Germany, she has now settled in Scotland with her multilingual family.

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Dr Katarzyna Przybycien

Dr Katarzyna Przybycien

Research and Outreach Coordinator

Christy Brewster

Administrator
christy.brewster@ed.ac.uk

Christy Brewster is responsible for general administration in the Bilingualism Matters Centre at the University of Edinburgh.

She has an MA (Hons) in History from the University of Glasgow, and a CELTA TEFL qualification. She taught English as a foreign language in Argentina for three years, and is part of an English-Spanish bilingual family.

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Christy Brewster

Christy Brewster

Administrator

Dr Thomas Bak

Reader in Human Cognitive Neuroscience; Programme Director (Bilingualism in later life, healthy ageing & dementia)

Thomas Bak is a Reader in Human Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Edinburgh, where his research includes the potential benefits of bilingualism on the ageing brain.

He is a member of the Centre for Cognitive Aging and Cognitive Epidemiology (www.ccace.ed.ac.uk), and is also a practicing clinician in cognitive neurology and dementia at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences (CCBS). Thomas is also President of the Research Group on Aphasia, Dementia and Cognitive Disorders of the World Federation of Neurology​ (WFN RG ADCD).

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Dr Thomas Bak

Dr Thomas Bak

Reader in Human Cognitive Neuroscience; Programme Director (Bilingualism in later life, healthy ageing & dementia)

Dr Vicky Chondrogianni

Senior Lecturer in Bilingualism; Programme Director (Bilingual development and developmental language disorders)

Vicky Chondrogianni is a lecturer in Bilingualism at the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.

She read Classics and Linguistics at the University of Athens and holds a PhD in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on the production and off-line and on-line comprehension of morpho-syntax in typically and language impaired monolingual and bilingual children from a cross-linguistic perspective, investigating languages such as English, Greek, Dutch, Danish, French, German and Welsh.

As Deputy Director of the Bilingualism Matters Centre at the University of Edinburgh, Vicky is leading our work around multilingualism and atypical language development - including autism, Specific Language Impairment, and speech and language difficulties.

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Dr Vicky Chondrogianni

Dr Vicky Chondrogianni

Senior Lecturer in Bilingualism; Programme Director (Bilingual development and developmental language disorders)

Dr Ania Byerly

Senior Teaching Fellow in Language Education, Moray House School of Education and Sport; Programme Director (Teacher Education)
ania.byerly@ed.ac.uk

Ania is a teacher and teacher educator, specialising in anti-racist and intercultural education, teaching English as an Additional Language (EAL), as well as preparing future teachers to tackle broader social justice issues across the Early Years, Primary education and languages education. Ania has gained her Masters in Pedagogy and a Qualified Teacher Status at the University of Warsaw, and a PhD in anti-racist and multicultural education at the University of Edinburgh. She is currently teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students at the Moray House School of Education and Sport, mainly on the MSc TESOL, MSc Language Education, and across Initial Teacher Education programmes.

Ania is Programme Director for Teacher Education since October 2019. She was previously worked with Bilingualism Matters as part of the management team on the 2018 Edinburgh Multilingual Stories Festival.

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Dr Ania Byerly

Dr Ania Byerly

Senior Teaching Fellow in Language Education, Moray House School of Education and Sport; Programme Director (Teacher Education)

Dr Carlos Soler Montes

Lecturer in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies; Programme Director (Spanish & Portuguese)

Carlos is a Lecturer at the School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures where he teaches Hispanic Linguistics and advanced Spanish Language courses. He is interested in the area of language variation from a pan-Hispanic and pluricentric perspective. This is reflected in his research trajectory, as he has examined the ways in which Spanish grammar varies across different regions, its particularities, cultural connections and social contacts.

Carlos has developed numerous academic projects in collaboration with academic institutions in the UK, Spain, Mexico, Canada and the US. Prior to joining The University of Edinburgh, he worked in the public sector, as part of the Spanish cultural diplomacy network, at the Cervantes Institute, the Spanish national cultural institute for the promotion of the Spanish language around the world.

Twitter handle: @SolerMontes

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Dr Carlos Soler Montes

Dr Carlos Soler Montes

Lecturer in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies; Programme Director (Spanish & Portuguese)

Prof Rob Dunbar

Chair of Celtic Languages, Literature, History and Antiquities; Programme Director (Gaelic)
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Prof Rob Dunbar

Prof Rob Dunbar

Chair of Celtic Languages, Literature, History and Antiquities; Programme Director (Gaelic)

Thomas Chaurin

Head of Languages for All; Programme Director (Language Teaching and Learning)

Thomas Chaurin holds a Master’s degree in French as a Foreign Language from the University of Rennes 2 and is the Head of Languages for All at the Centre for Open Learning. He has an extensive experience in language teaching, language teachers’ training, curriculum development, the Common European Framework of Reference for languages and its applications (e.g. European Language Portfolio, Reference Level Descriptors, international language qualifications, European Profiling Grid), quality processes, and management of academic teams and of organisations.

Prior to joining the Centre for Open Learning, Thomas was a Research Associate at Moray House School of Education taking part in a research project on language learning in Scottish schools in the context of the 1+2 policy. He was previously the Scotland based Education Attaché of the French Embassy in the UK, and the Executive Director of the Alliance Française of Washington DC. Thomas has also held leadership roles in France, Spain, Canada, Chile, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Slovakia. He speaks French, English and Spanish.

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Thomas Chaurin

Thomas Chaurin

Head of Languages for All; Programme Director (Language Teaching and Learning)

Dr Guy Puzey

Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies; Programme Director (Language Visibility and Nordic Languages)
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Dr Guy Puzey

Dr Guy Puzey

Lecturer in Scandinavian Studies; Programme Director (Language Visibility and Nordic Languages)

Carine Abraham

Research Project Assistant

Carine is a first year PhD candidate in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh, where she also completed an MSc in Developmental Linguistics. Her research interest is on how bilinguals understand ambiguity when reading and listening. Previously, she has worked as a primary school English teacher in Japan and as supply teacher in the US. Carine grew up in a trilingual household, speaking Finnish, Hebrew, and English. She joined Bilingualism Matters to help promote the importance of home language and identity.

As a volunteer for Bilingualism Matters, she has created and led public engagement workshops for our volunteers, designed activities, such as our “Guess the Language" game, for a range of ages, and aided in the design and creation of web materials. She has also worked for Bilingualism Matters as a Website Project Assistant and Research Project Assistant.

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Carine Abraham

Carine Abraham

Research Project Assistant

Eva-maria Schnelten

PhD Student in Linguistics
s1574712@sms.ed.ac.uk

I am a PhD Student in Linguistics, supervised by Prof Sorace and Dr Bak. After my Master's in Applied Linguistics at the Rijkuniversiteit Groningen, I worked in Germany for 3 years, teaching German as a second language to refugee kids, teaching Dutch and English as a second language next to working as an educational therapist with linguistically impaired children. My main interests are multilingualism, cognitive and applied linguistics and language teaching.

As a volunteer within Bilingualism Matters, I am part of the Refugee Working Group and am also involved in reviewing and developing our social media use.

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Eva-maria Schnelten

Eva-maria Schnelten

PhD Student in Linguistics

Dr Martha Robinson

Researcher and SOFT project coordinator

Martha Robinson has a PhD in Linguistics and a background in teaching Spanish and German to both children and adults.

Martha is currently responsible for running the EU-funded SOFT project (School and Families Together for the Integration of Immigrant Families) in the UK, using narrative format methodology to teach French, Spanish and English in Scottish primary schools and nurseries.

Prior to the SOFT project, Martha was also involved in the EU-funded Let's Become a Bilingual Family project, which aimed to encourage parents and children to learn a new language together through stories and activities.

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Dr Martha Robinson

Dr Martha Robinson

Researcher and SOFT project coordinator

Brittany Blankinship 

PhD Student in Psychology, Human Cognitive Neuroscience 

Brittany in a second-year PhD student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Edinburgh supervised by Dr Thomas Bak and Dr Mariana Vega-Mendoza. She also completed her MSc in Human Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Edinburgh in 2017. Her research interests are in language use and changes across the lifespan and language learning in later life. She is also interested largely in the field of non-pharmaceutical interventions (eg language learning, art) to age-related neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia.

Brittany has been an active volunteer with the Edinburgh branch of Bilingualism Matters since 2018. Amongst other things, she has helped with the organisation and delivery of outreach events and has a particular interest in public engagement.

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Brittany Blankinship 

Brittany Blankinship 

PhD Student in Psychology, Human Cognitive Neuroscience 

Mattia Zingaretti

PhD Student in Linguistics & English Language
mattia.zingaretti@ed.ac.uk

Mattia is a first-year PhD student in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh, where he also obtained an MSc in English Language in 2017. Mattia’s research interests include first and second language acquisition, bilingual language development and first language attrition - being an Italian-English bilingual and an Italian attriter himself. His doctoral project, which investigates second language acquisition and first language attrition in English-Italian bilinguals, is supervised by Prof Antonella Sorace and Dr Vicky Chondrogianni.

Mattia has been an active volunteer for the Bilingualism Matters centre at Edinburgh University since 2017. Among other activities, he has helped with the organisation and the delivery of outreach events, such as the latest Bilingualism Matters annual event and the Edinburgh Multilingual Stories Festival (EMSF).

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Mattia Zingaretti

Mattia Zingaretti

PhD Student in Linguistics & English Language

Candice Mathers

PhD candidate in Linguistics & English Language

I’m a PhD student with Prof Antonella Sorace and Prof Alice Turk, studying young bilingual children as they learn how to read. I’m very interested in applying research to address concerns in the community, especially those of parents raising bilingual and multilingual children.

I joined Bilingualism Matters in 2015. I love being part of an organisation that promotes language development in an increasingly mobile society. These days I help out wherever I can, for example: representing the organisation at community events, attending conferences outside of the University, and networking with influential leaders in different language communities. I hope to remain a life-long member of our ever expanding worldwide research team.

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Candice Mathers

Candice Mathers

PhD candidate in Linguistics & English Language

Dobrochna Futro

PhD candidate in Modern Languages and Cultures
d.futro.1@research.gla.ac.uk

Dobrochna Futro is a PhD candidate at the University of Glasgow supervised by Dr Elwira Grossman and Prof Alison Phipps. Her research explores multilingual practices of contemporary artists and their potential for language pedagogy. Before she started her PhD she completed an MA in Polish Philology at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland specialising in teaching and publishing, and an MA in History of Art at UCL, London, UK specialising in contemporary art.  She has a professional background in the visual art sector, was the founder and director of MPRA, an International Artist in Residence Programme in Poznan, a Trustee of the Parallax Venice, worked at various contemporary art galleries in Poland and the UK, and for several years taught history of art through practice in a primary school in Oxford.

As a volunteer within Bilingualism Matters, she is part of the School Partnership Project Group and is also involved in supporting public engagement events.

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Dobrochna Futro

Dobrochna Futro

PhD candidate in Modern Languages and Cultures

Miranda Garralda Wong

Undergraduate Student in English Language and Literature

I am most interested in the fields of Historical and Developmental Linguistics, and have enjoyed studying the History of Scots and English, as well as First Language Acquisition in particular. I am also interested in theories of Universal Grammar and Cross-linguitic Variation, having been raised in an English, Cantonese and Spanish-speaking environment.

Within Bilingualism Matters, I have volunteered at events such as the Edinburgh Multilingual Stories Festival and with the Instagram co-ordination team.

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Miranda Garralda Wong

Miranda Garralda Wong

Undergraduate Student in English Language and Literature

Adam Clark

PhD student in Linguistics

Adam Clark is studying for a PhD in Linguistics, supervised by Professor John Joseph and Dr Daniel Hammond. His research explores the language policy of Hong Kong with particular emphasis placed on how Mandarin is treated within official policy. Adam has a general interest in language policy and particularly how minority or 'local languages' are treated within the policies of multilingual or nominally monolingual societies.

As a volunteer within Bilingualism Matters, Adam has been responsible for analysing engagement statistics relating to the Centre to assist with ongoing strategy development.

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Adam Clark

Adam Clark

PhD student in Linguistics

Ema Udaondo

Msc Applied Linguistics
emaudaondo@yahoo.com

I am an Msc student in Applied Linguistics. My main research interests are the sociolinguistics of bilingualism and code-switching, specifically in the Basque Country. As a volunteer in Bilingualism Matters, I am a part of the Multilingual Stories project, which aims to collect stories about any experience of multilingualism, both from bilinguals as well as monolinguals and collaborate with artists and comedians to share these stories.

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Ema Udaondo

Ema Udaondo

Msc Applied Linguistics

Diana Lopez-Lugo

PhD student in Psycholinguistics
d.lopez-lugo@ed.ac.uk

I am a PhD student in Psycholinguistics, supervised by Morag Donaldson, Vicky Chondrogianni and Holly Brannigan. My research focuses on investigating the role of cognitive control and priming effects on syntactic ambiguity resolution in children with and without developmental language disorders (DLD). I am interested in language processing, first and second language acquisition,  language pathology, language learning and executive functions.

As a volunteer with Bilingualism Matters, I am a member of the Refugee Working Group since 2016 and have been involved in the planning and delivery of events as part of the Scottish Refugee Festival.

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Diana Lopez-Lugo

Diana Lopez-Lugo

PhD student in Psycholinguistics

Dr Tracey Hughes

Research Assistant, Language, Place and Identity Project
Tracey.hughes@ed.ac.uk

Tracey is a research assistant working on a Carnegie Trust funded project titled Language, Place and Identity.  The research is a collaborative project between Bilingualism Matters and the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, at the University of Edinburgh, and Sabhal Ostaig and The Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, at the University of the Highlands and Islands.

As a volunteer within Bilingualism Matters, she is a part of the School Partnerships Group.

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Dr Tracey Hughes

Dr Tracey Hughes

Research Assistant, Language, Place and Identity Project

Eva Hanna

MSc in Developmental Linguistics

Former MSc student in Developmental Linguistics (2015-2017),  parent of 2 bilingual children, and Bilingualism Matters volunteer since 2012. Currently co-organizing the Bilingualism Matters Refugee Working Group.

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Eva Hanna

Eva Hanna

MSc in Developmental Linguistics

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Mimo Caenepeel

Research Communication Advisor
mimo.caenepeel@googlemail.com

Mimo Caenepeel is the director of Research Communication Scotland, a consultancy that helps researchers articulate their ideas and research outcomes in a clear, succinct and engaging way. Mimo has a PhD in Applied Linguistics (University of Edinburgh) and has worked as a research fellow in Canada, France and the US. She has extensive editorial experience and completed a five-year training in contemplative psychotherapy. She offers writing and communication support in a variety of formats, from workshops, master classes and writing retreats to high-level editing and one-to-one coaching.

As a volunteer in Bilingualism Matters, Mimo has the role of Research Communication Advisor.

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Mimo Caenepeel

Mimo Caenepeel

Research Communication Advisor