Meet the Plenary Speakers of ISBPAC 2024

Gwennan Higham

(Provisional) Title: Developing personal integration projects through a multilingual Welsh language provision for adult migrants

Dr Gwennan Higham joined the Welsh Department at Swansea University as Lecturer in October 2016, having previously completed a doctorate at the School of Welsh, Cardiff University, on teaching Welsh to immigrants; platform to an inclusive Welsh citizenship. Her area of expertise are in Welsh as a second language; minority languages; migration; integration; education; multiculturalism; interculturalism; citizenship. She has experience in teaching Welsh to adults, especially developing Welsh language provision for immigrants. In 2020, she won the Learned Society of Wales’ Dillwyn Medal (Humanities & Creative Arts), awarded in recognition of early career research excellence. She is currently managing a research project funded by the AHRC Impact Acceleration Account on ‘Pathways to the Welsh language for international migrants’. Her latest publication is entitled “International migration and the Welsh language: exploring an interdisciplinary framework for linguistic integration” in Jones, R. & Edwards, C. (eds.), A Welcoming Nation? Intersectional Approaches to Migration and Diversity in Wales (UWP, 2024).

Holger Hopp

(Provisional) Title: How Sentence Processing supports Language Learning

Holger Hopp has been Professor of English Linguistics at the TU Braunschweig (Germany) since 2016. He previously taught at the University of Mannheim (Germany), and obtained his PhD from the University of Groningen (Netherlands). His research interests span from second language acquisition and multilingualism, to language processing (especially eye tracking) to syntax and its interfaces. Currently, he is the Principal Investigator of multiple projects: “Learning to Process and Processing to Learn: How linguistic and cognitive processing shapes grammar acquisition”, funded by DFG (2020-2023; with Sarah Schimke and Gregory Poarch); “SILPAC – Structuring the Input in Language Processing, Acquisition and Change”, a research unit funded by DFG (2022-2026); “Ini-Seg – Initial foreign speech segmentation in school-aged children”, funded by DFG (2022-2025; with Katie Von Holzen); “BILDEV – Modelling bottom-up and top-down linguistic knowledge across different contexts of bilingual development”, funded by DFG, ANR and ESRC (2023-2026; with Monika S. Schmid and Barbara Köpke). In addition, he is an Executive Editor of “Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism”, an associate member of the Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism at the University of Reading, UK and an International Partner, PIRE Project “PIRE: Bilingualism, mind, and brain: An interdisciplinary program in cognitive psychology, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience”, National Science Foundation.

Teitl: How Sentence Processing supports Language Learning

Mae Holger Hopp wedi bod yn Athro Ieithyddiaeth Saesneg yn TU Braunschweig yn yr Almaen ers 2016. Yn flaenorol, bu’n addysgu ym Mhrifysgol Mannheim yn yr Almaen, ac enillodd ei PhD o Brifysgol Groningen yn yr Iseldiroedd. Mae ei ddiddordebau ymchwil yn amrywio o gaffael ail iaith ac amlieithrwydd, i brosesu ieithoedd (yn enwedig olrhain llygaid), i gystrawen a’i rhyngwynebau. Ar hyn o bryd, ef yw Prif Ymchwilydd sawl prosiect: “Learning to Process and Processing to Learn: How linguistic and cognitive processing shapes grammar acquisition”, wedi’i ariannu gan DFG (2020-2023, gyda Sarah Schimke a Gregory Poarch); “SILPAC – Structuring the Input in Language Processing, Acquisition and Change”, uned ymchwil wedi’i hariannu gan DFG (2022-2026); “Ini-Seg – Initial foreign speech segmentation in school-aged children”, wedi’i ariannu gan DFG (2022-2025, gyda Katie Von Holzen); “BILDEV – Modelling bottom-up and top-down linguistic knowledge across different contexts of bilingual development”, wedi’i ariannu gan DFG, ANR a’r Cyngor Ymchwil Economaidd a Chymdeithasol (2023-2026, gyda Monika S. Schmid a Barbara Köpke). Yn ogystal, ef yw Golygydd Gweithredol “Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism”, ac mae’n aelod cyswllt o’r Ganolfan Llythrennedd ac Amlieithrwydd ym Mhrifysgol Reading yn y DU ac yn bartner rhyngwladol ym mhrosiect PIRE, “PIRE: Bilingualism, mind, and brain: An interdisciplinary program in cognitive psychology, linguistics, and cognitive neuroscience”, yr NSF (Sefydliad Gwyddoniaeth Cenedlaethol yr Unol Daleithiau).

Dr Christos Pliatsikas

(Provisional) Title: Bilingualism and Neuroplasticity: Taking stock and moving forward

Dr Christos Pliatsikas is an Associate Professor in Psycholinguistics in Bi-/Multilinguals School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading and External Affiliate Researcher at the Centro de Investigación Nebrija en Cognición, Universidad Nebrija, Spain. His research is on experience-based neuroplasticity, with a primary focus on the effects of bi-/multilingualism on brain structure and function, investigated with behavioural and MRI (functional and structural) methods. His research interests include: (1) Are brain structure and function, and cognition, affected by learning additional languages? (2) How are these effects modulated by the individual experiences of the language learner? (3) How do these effects interact with typical brain development and ageing, and what are the implications for age- or disease- related neurodegeneration? (4) Are there particular effects on the brain and/or cognition caused by language situations like diglossia, digraphia and biliteracy? He is part of the following research centres and groups: Bilingualism in the Brain lab (personal lab); Psycholinguistics & Neurolinguistics Lab; Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism (CeLM); Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN).

Teitl: Bilingualism and Neuroplasticity: Taking stock and moving forward

Mae Dr Christos Pliatsikas yn Athro Cysylltiol Seicoieithyddiaeth Pobl Ddwyieithog/Amlieithog yn yr Ysgol Seicoleg a Gwyddorau Ieithyddol Clinigol ym Mhrifysgol Reading ac yn Ymchwilydd Cyswllt Allanol yn Centro de Investigación Nebrija en Cognición, Universidad Nebrija, Sbaen. Mae’n ymchwilio i niwroplastigedd sy’n seiliedig ar brofiad, gan ganolbwyntio’n bennaf ar effeithiau dwyieithrwydd/amlieithrwydd ar adeiledd a gweithrediad yr ymennydd drwy ddefnyddio dulliau ymddygiadol ac MRI. Mae ei ddiddordebau ymchwil yn cynnwys: (1) A yw dysgu ieithoedd ychwanegol yn effeithio ar adeiledd a gweithrediad yr ymennydd, a gwybyddiaeth? (2) Sut mae profiadau unigol dysgwyr ieithoedd yn dylanwadu ar yr effeithiau hyn? (3) Sut mae’r effeithiau hyn yn rhyngweithio â’r ffordd y mae’r ymennydd yn datblygu ac yn heneiddio fel arfer, a beth yw’r goblygiadau o ran niwroddirywiad sy’n ymwneud ag oedran neu glefyd? (4) A yw sefyllfaoedd ieithyddol megis diglossia, digraphia a’r gallu i ddarllen ac ysgrifennu dwy iaith yn achosi effeithiau penodol ar yr ymennydd a/neu wybyddiaeth? Mae’n rhan o’r canolfannau a’r grwpiau ymchwil canlynol: Labordy Dwyieithrwydd yn yr Ymennydd (ei labordy personol); Labordy Seicoieithyddiaeth a Niwroieithyddiaeth; Y Ganolfan Llythrennedd ac Amlieithrwydd (CeLM); Y Ganolfan Niwrowyddoniaeth a Niwroddynameg Integreiddiol (CINN).

Sharon Unsworth

(Provisional) Title: Priming cross-linguistic influence and predicting priming: Evidence from bilingual children

Sharon Unsworth is a linguist at the Centre for Language Studies, Radboud University. Originally from the UK, she moved to the Netherlands over 20 years ago to do her PhD (Utrecht) and has worked at Radboud University since 2014. Her research focuses on figuring out which factors contribute to making bilingual language development a success, and she is passionate about all things multilingual! Her research has been funded by national and international funding agencies. Recent studies include topics such as how a bilingual child’s two languages influence each other, the role of older siblings, and the impact of hearing non-native input. Together with colleagues in the UK and France, she as recently developed a tool for researchers and professionals to quantify bilingual experience (Q-BEx). She is involved in various initiatives designed to make scientific insights more accessible to parents, teachers and policy makers, and to engage children with language science. These include the the “Kletsheads” podcast, available in both English (www.kletsheadspodcast.org) and Dutch (www.kletsheadspodcast.nl). and “Kletskoppen” child language festival (www.kletskoppenfestival.nl).

Teitl: Priming cross-linguistic influence and predicting priming: Evidence from bilingual children

Mae Sharon Unsworth yn ieithydd yng Nghanolfan Astudiaethau Iaith Prifysgol Radboud. Yn wreiddiol o’r DU, symudodd i’r Iseldiroedd fwy nag 20 mlynedd yn ôl i gwblhau PhD yn Utrecht ac mae wedi gweithio ym Mhrifysgol Radboud ers 2014. Mae ei hymchwil yn canolbwyntio ar ddehongli pa ffactorau sy’n cyfrannu at ddatblygu dwyieithrwydd yn llwyddiannus, ac mae’n frwd am bopeth sy’n ymwneud ag amlieithrwydd! Mae ei hymchwil wedi cael ei hariannu gan asiantaethau cyllid cenedlaethol a rhyngwladol. Mae ei hastudiaethau diweddar yn cynnwys pynciau megis sut mae dwy iaith plentyn dwyieithog yn dylanwadu ar ei gilydd, rôl brodyr a chwiorydd hŷn ac effaith clywed mewnbwn anfrodorol. Ar y cyd â chydweithwyr yn y DU a Ffrainc, mae wedi datblygu adnodd yn ddiweddar i alluogi ymchwilwyr a gweithwyr proffesiynol i feintioli profiadau dwyieithog (Q-BEx). Mae’n cyfranogi mewn mentrau amrywiol sydd â’r nod o wneud dealltwriaeth wyddonol yn fwy hygyrch i rieni, athrawon a llunwyr polisi, ac ennyn brwdfrydedd plant am ieithyddiaeth. Mae’r rhain yn cynnwys podlediad “Kletsheads”, sydd ar gael yn Saesneg (www.kletsheadspodcast.org) ac Iseldireg (www.kletsheadspodcast.nl), a gŵyl ieithyddol “Kletskoppen” i blant (www.kletskoppenfestival.nl).