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 Vicky Chondrogianni

Deputy Director; Lecturer in Bilingualism

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

Deputy Director; Lecturer in Bilingualism

Dr Thomas Bak

Deputy Director; Reader in Human Cognitive Neuroscience

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

Deputy Director; Reader in Human Cognitive Neuroscience

Katarzyna Przybycien

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

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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Katarzyna Przybycien

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 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

Dr Mariana Vega-Mendoza

Postdoctoral Research Associate, MEITS Project
m.vega-mendoza@ed.ac.uk

Before joining the MEITS project as a Research Associate, Mariana was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the MULTAC-Lab at Anglia Ruskin University. Her background is in psycholinguistics and neuropsychology. Mariana’s doctoral work at the University of Edinburgh focused on the effects of bilingualism on cognitive performance and on second-language processing using structural priming and ERPs. Mariana earned an M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics from the Ohio State University, where she also collaborated in aphasia rehabilitation research, and taught Spanish as a second language. In Mexico, Mariana completed a B.A.(Hons) in Psychology (UNAM), a Diploma in Neuropsychology (REAPRENDE-BUAP), and received training on cognitive assessment of patients with brain tumours (INNN).

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Dr Mariana Vega-Mendoza

Dr Mariana Vega-Mendoza

Postdoctoral Research Associate, MEITS Project

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

Timea Kutasi

Research Assistant, AThEME Project

I am a research assistant in psychology, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics on the AThEME project at the University of Edinburgh, and also at Heriot-Watt University (on Gaelic-English bilingualism). I investigate: how bilingualism affects our cognitive functions; whether being bilingual leads to a single, shared representation of similar linguistic structures in our minds; how speakers of minority languages perceive themselves and other speakers of the same language and how they use their minority language; and how people adapt their language behaviour when they interact with a monolingual vs. bilingual speaker.

I am also interested in how linguistic and cognitive skills evolve over time and in later life, both in healthy populations and in populations with developmental or acquired language and communication disorders.

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Timea Kutasi

Timea Kutasi

Research Assistant, AThEME Project

Maddie Long

PhD candidate in Linguistics

Maddie Long is studying for a PhD in Linguistics, supervised by Professor Antonella Sorace, Dr Thomas Bak, and Dr Hannah Rohde.

Her research explores the relationship between language and cognition in adults, in particular the effects of second language acquisition on cognitive ageing. Results so far show a positive impact of language learning on mental skills, even in previously monolingual older learners - meaning it is never too late!

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Maddie Long

Maddie Long

PhD candidate in Linguistics

Michela Bonfieni

PhD student in Linguistics, AThEME Project

Michela studies the cognitive and linguistic effects of bilingualism in different multilingual populations. Her research is part of the AThEME Project. As a volunteer for Bilingualism Matters, she writes blogposts and scientific digests, and displays her research at science dissemination events.

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Michela Bonfieni

Michela Bonfieni

PhD student in Linguistics, AThEME Project

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Eva Hanna

MSc student in Developmental Linguistics

Part-time MSc student in Developmental Linguistics (2015-2017), full-time 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 student in Developmental Linguistics

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

Jennifer Seidel

MSc student in Developmental Linguistics

Jennifer has a BA in Applied Linguistics from Tufts University, where she conducted research focused on narrative development in multicultural preschool classrooms.  She also has a TEFL certification and taught English in Quito, Ecuador, before coming to Edinburgh to continue her education.  She is particularly interested in bilingual development and biliteracy, as well as the interaction of multilingualism with atypical language development.

As a volunteer within Bilingualism Matters, Jennifer is part of our active Refugee Working Group.

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Jennifer Seidel

Jennifer Seidel

MSc student in Developmental Linguistics

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

Simona Perrone

Phd student in Developmental Linguistics
Simona.Perrone@ed.ac.uk

Simon's main project focuses on individual differences in cognition and the acquisition of a second language over the lifespan. She’s currently working with infants but she is interested in cognitive and linguistic developmental milestone at all ages.

As a volunteer with Bilingualism Matters, Simona has been involved in various events and also developing video production within the Centre. She is eager to be involved in new projects in the coming year.

 

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Simona Perrone

Simona Perrone

Phd student in Developmental Linguistics

Wenjia Cai

PhD candidate in Psycholinguistics
wenjiacai09@gmail.com

Wenjia is studying as a PhD candidate in psycholinguistics, and she is currently working on first language attrition among Chinese-English bilinguals, supervised by Prof. Antonella Sorace, Dr. Andra Martin, and Dr. Patrick Sturt. She is interested in the interactions between language performances and general cognitive functions, such as working memories, and attention controls.

As a volunteer within Bilingualism Matters, she is involved in cataloguing and analysing engagement statistics relating to the Centre to assist with ongoing strategy development.

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Wenjia Cai

Wenjia Cai

PhD candidate in Psycholinguistics

Carine Abraham

MSc student studying Developmental Linguistics

Carine has previously she has worked as an elementary English teacher in Japan, which has led to an interest in bilingual word learning. Her current research interests are in bilingual pronoun acquisition and use.

As a volunteer for Bilingualism Matters, she has been involved in event preparation and delivery, as well as video production and editing.

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Carine Abraham

Carine Abraham

MSc student studying Developmental Linguistics