PhD Students

Yesi Cheng (ResearchGate)

Areas of interest: Syntactic processing; Cognitive and language deficits in individuals with aphasia and dementia; Bi/multilingualism and brain; Eye-tracking; EEG/ERP


PhD thesis: My current research aims to probe how the human brain processes language and how that correlates with cognitive processes such as verbal memory during real-time sentence comprehension through behavioural paradigms, eye tracking and electrophysiological techniques. I am also interested in looking into connected speech production in patients with aphasia and with dementia.

Beth Phillips (ResearchGate)

Areas of interest: Artificial grammar learning, formal grammar theory, psycholinguistics


PhD Thesis:
My PhD will focus on artificial grammar learning, specifically the experimental methodology of AGL studies. I will also be using AGL paradigms to test formal languages, including the Chomsky Hierarchy and Lindenmayer systems, investigating their learnability and any similarities in processing of these to processing of natural languages.

Adel Chaouch Orozco (ResearchGate, Google Scholar)

Areas of Interest: Multilingualism, L3/Ln acquisition, Lexical access, Adult L2 acquisition, Psycholinguistics


PhD Thesis:
My PhD thesis will explore the departure point of third language acquisition in adulthood. I am especially interested in understanding which particular variables from the previous linguistic experience (e.g. proficiency/dominance, typology) condition cross-language transfer at the beginning stages of learning a new language. My research will investigate L3 acquisition at the morphosyntactic and lexical level by combining offline and online methodologies (i.e. behavioural grammatical tasks and lexical priming), in an attempt to bring together the literature from both domains of grammar with regard to late multilingual acquisition.

Debra Page (ResearchGate, Google Scholar)

Areas of Interest: Bi/multilingualism, English as an Additional Language, primary and secondary education, child development, peer mentoring, peer brokering.


PhD Thesis: My PhD project is an evaluation the Young Interpreter Scheme (YIS). The Young Interpreter Scheme is an award-winning scheme created by Hampshire Ethnic Minority and Traveller Advisory Service – the Collaborative Partner in this project. The specific mission of the YIS is to facilitate the transition to school for children who are new to English, i.e. novice EAL (English as an Additional Language) learners. Their role is to act as mentors to novice EAL learners in everyday school activities. The scheme has now been adopted throughout the UK in more than 800 primary and secondary schools. This is the first time the successful scheme will be systematically evaluated since it began 10 years ago. The aims are to 1) address the impact of the YIS on related educational and linguistic levels (language use, empathy and intercultural awareness) and 2) collect survey information from teachers and other school staff about their experience of the YIS.

Emily Wright (Twitter)

Areas of Interest:Paediatric deafness, Bi-/multilingualism, English as an Additional Language (EAL), language development, cognitive development


PhD Thesis: My PhD thesis will explore the development of language and cognition in deaf children who use cochlear implants and two spoken languages, with English as an Additional Language (EAL). By crossing the bilingualism and the deafness dimensions in a 2×2 design we will assess the contribution of each to the children’s language and cognitive skills. We currently know that bilingualism may confer an advantage in cognitive skills and that deafness has a detrimental effect. An outstanding question is whether bilingualism may have a protective effect in the case of deaf children. An investigation into the advice given by UK professionals to parents on raising a deaf child to use two spoken languages will also be conducted.

Tamara Schmidt (ResearchGate)

Areas of Interest: Pragmatics, Language acquisition Child language development, Speech Acts, Psycholinguistics


PhD Thesis:
My PhD thesis explores various aspects of communicative-pragmatic development that become evident in the production of speech acts. This exceeds verbal behaviour and linguistics, and includes nonverbal and paraverbal behaviour as well as cognitive and social-emotional skills. In a cross-sectional descriptive study the relationships between the above developmental areas will be explored in 2-3-year-old English-speaking children to inform developmental trajectories of the multi-facetted area of pragmatic development.

Shatha Alaskar

Areas of Interest: Psycholinguistics, in particular native and non-native language processing; sentence comprehension in adults; L2 acquisition; Bilingualism


PhD Thesis: My PhD research investigates native (L1) and non-native (L2) sentence comprehension and the factors that may affect L2 speakers’ processing of sentences in real-time. Inspired by the increasing interest in the working memory mechanisms that underpin sentence comprehension, I will specifically look into the extent to which non-native processing is influenced by the memory retrieval process involved during real-time dependency formation as compared to native processing using offline and online measures. A better understanding of the parsing mechanism used by L2 speakers might reveal the nature of L1/L2 processing differences and also explain the target-deviant L2 performance occasionally observed in L2 acquisition literature.

Recent Posts