I am interested in language, communication, and learning processes, focusing particularly on multilingualism and second language acquisition.
Some of the themes that I work on are:
- How bilinguals are influenced by both their languages in their language use;
- How people continuously learn language by using the language in meaningful, communicative settings;
- How (bilingual) people adapt the way they produce and comprehend language to their own and each other’s language use (i.e., priming), and how this can be seen as a central mechanism of language use, language acquisition, and language change.
I work on these questions in bilingual children as a postdoctoral researcher at Radboud University Nijmegen in the 2in1 project, an NWO-funded VIDI project on cross-language priming in bilingual children, which was granted to Sharon Unsworth.
In addition to these fundamental questions, I try to make the connection between scientific research on bilingualism and applied aspects of bilingualism. Given the great value of being bilingual (for many reasons), I believe it is of the utmost importance that scientists, teachers, and policy makers increasingly work together in stimulating and optimizing the process of being and becoming bilingual.
At Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, I work on making these connections as a consultant of school teachers. For example, together with colleagues from several universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands, we work on improving the professional development of teachers who work with newcomers in the Netherlands, see www.taallectoren.nl. A recent concrete result of this initiative is a guide for primary schools on education to newcomers. The writing of this guide was commissioned by the Dutch Council for Primary Education and the Dutch Ministry for Education, Culture, and Science.