11 & 12 March 2024, HSS Conference Room (SHHK-05-57)

Jason Rothman, Ph.D.
UiT, The Arctic University of Norway

Title: The importance and determinism of individual differences in -lingualism research: Evidence from Heritage Language bilingualism

Abstract: Individual differences in bi/multilingualism outcomes (e.g. grammar representation, linguistic processing, relative adaptations to bilingual experience) are abundant and, crucially, not random. Rather, they are governed by a unique set of dynamic variables we do not quite yet fully understand. The present talk will revolve around two central points falling out from the importance of better understanding the systematicity behind individual differences: (i) the determinism of various internal and external factors—as well as their interactions—contributing to the acquisition and processing of  heritage languages specifically, and thus, by extension language more generally and (ii) questioning the utility, if not appropriateness, of default aggregate comparisons as the norm, especially to illusive monolinguals.

Speaker's Bio: Jason Rothman is professor of Linguistics and the Neurocognition of Multilingualism at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway as well as senior research fellow at the Nebrija Research Center in Cognition at Universidad Nebrija, Madrid, Spain.

Alice Chan, Ph.D.
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Title: Navigating Bilingual and Biliterate Development: Predictors and Pathways to Success

Abstract: I will be discussing language trends among young bilingual children in lower primary school settings in Singapore. The general observation is that children tend to use more English and less of their mother tongue languages both at home and in school. I will share results of studies conducted by our lab on this unique group of bilingual and bi-literate children. Two sets of data will be shared: first, the relationship between implicit learning ability (a general cognitive skill) and reading ability in bilinguals' two languages, and second, the effect of teaching instructions on children of varying language profiles and how it may lead to different learning outcomes.

Speaker's Bio: Before joining NTU, Dr Chan worked in the Communication Neural Systems Research Group, Dept of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University. She is an Associate Professor, Head of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, and Director of Master of Arts in Linguistics School of Humanities.

Her research work utilizes neuroimaging (fMRI, and EEG) and behavioral measures to investigate language, communication, and learning. Her studies demonstrated that the language experience shapes the perception and cognition of individuals across the lifespan. Her most recent work focuses on bilingual and biliteracy development and dyslexia in Singapore. These projects are supported by the Ministry of Education Tier 2 and SSRTG funding schemes.

W. Quin Yow, Ph.D.
Singapore University of Technology and Design

Xiaoqian Li, Ph.D.
Singapore University of Technology and Design

Title: A life-course perspective on the impact of bilingual experience on social cognition - Evidence from children and older adults

Abstract: In this talk, we will share our thoughts on how bilingualism may act as a life-course enrichment factor that promotes social cognition among bilinguals. We will present two research projects examining the effects of bilingual language experience (e.g., early bilingual acquisition, language diversity) on both social cognitive development in children and social cognitive decline in healthy older adults

Quin's Bio: Professor W. Quin YOW is currently Head of Humanities, Arts & Social Science at the Singapore University of Technology and Design, and a visiting Senior Academician at the Changi General Hospital. She obtained her PhD (Psychology), MA (Psychology) and MSc (Statistics) from Stanford University, USA. Her main area of research is examining socio-cognitive development across the lifespan, including how factors such as the language environment that we grow up in influence our cognitive functioning, as well as how technology influences the way we communicate and interact with each other. 

Professor Yow has published more than 80 international peer-refereed papers, conference proceedings and book chapters in top-tiered journals and conferences such as Developmental Science, Child Development, Journal of Gerontology Series B, Bilingualism: Language & Cognition, Innovation in Aging, Frontiers in Psychology, Cognitive Development, GSA, SRCD, Cognitive Science Society, etc., in the area of social cognition, bilingualism, technology and aging. She currently serves as the Associate Editor for Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, as well as Innovation in Aging. She is also a consulting Editor for Child Development, co-Chair of Publications Committee, SRCD, and a recipient of multiple awards, such as the Public Administration Medal (Bronze), GSA Diversity Mentoring & Career Development Fellowship, SUTD Outstanding Education Award, and the Society of Personality and Social Psychology Teacher/Scholar Award

Xiaoqian's Bio: Xiaoqian LI is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, SUTD. She obtained her BSc (Psychology) and MEd (Developmental Psychology) from Zhejiang University, China, PhD from SUTD, and was a visiting scholar in the Department of Psychology at Stanford University. Her research examines the development of social cognition, with an emphasis on how children draw inferences about other agents, including robots, to guide their social learning.

Gigi Luk, Ph.D.
McGill University

Title: Examining Multilingualism at the Intersection of Development and Learning

Abstract: Multilingualism is an interactional experience between an individual and her environment through multiple languages. In this presentation, I shared a research framework examining multilingualism from developmental and learning aspects and how multilingual research could benefit from a transdisciplinary perspective integrating ecologically grounded questions and laboratory-based research approaches.

Speaker's Bio: Gigi Luk obtained her Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology from York University, Canada. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rotman Research Institute at the Baycrest Center before joining the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In January 2019, she joined the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology at McGill University. Luk’s research on the cognitive and neural consequences of multilingualism extends across the lifespan. She leads a research program that examines how diverse language experiences shape development and learning using neuroimaging methods, behavioral methods, and educational data. Her research has received funding from agencies in Canada and the U.S. She has served as associate editor for Bilingualism: Language and Cognition and is currently an associate editor for Child Development.