November 8, 2019 — Talk at BUCLD 44 (with link to slides)
It was my first time at the Boston University Conference on Language Development (BUCLD), and I had the honour of presenting a talk about word learning by 5-year-olds from books containing code switched passages. I was also awarded the Paula Menuk Travel award— what a weekend! Thank you for all the wonderful questions and conversations; it was a pleasure meeting you all!
My talk was about the effect of code switching through book reading on word learning in young bilinguals. Find my slides here.
November 8, 2019. Presenting my talk, "The effect of code switching on bilingual five-year-olds", featuring the ASL interpreter. Yay for the accessibility of this conference!
In case you missed it, here is the gist:
The effect of code switching on bilingual five-year-olds
Most bilingual parents report regularly code switching—alternating between languages—when speaking to their child (Byers-Heinlein, 2013). Greater frequency of code switching predicts smaller vocabularies and slower word recognition in toddlers (Byers-Heinlein et al., 2017; Potter et al., 2019), raising the possibility that code switching could impair children’s word-learning processes (Byers-Heinlein, 2013)—a hypothesis we tested in this study. We taught French-English bilingual 5-year-olds (n = 67) novel words in both of their languages via a shared storybook reading task, manipulating code switching frequency. We predicted that children would learn more words in the single-switch condition (1 switch) than in the frequent-switch condition (31 switches). Surprisingly, children showed strong and equal learning regardless of the frequency of code switching. These results demonstrate that bilingual children are adept word learners even when faced with code switching, and that young bilinguals are flexible in acquiring vocabulary in a variety of bilingual contexts.
April 30, 2019 — Awarded SSHRC & FRQSC scholarships
I am very grateful to have received graduate scholarships from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada ($17 500) and from the Fonds de recherche du Québec - Société et culture ($35 000, first year will be declined due to receiving SSHRC scholarship).
What a great start to this M.A.— let the research begin!
March 23, 2019 — Talk at SQRP 41 (with link to slides)
I presented my first conference talk in French — entitled "La lecture partagée auprès des enfants bilingues de cinq ans: Une comparaison de deux formats de livres" ("Shared book reading with bilingual 5-year-olds: A comparison of two book formats") at the Société Québécoise pour la Recherche en Psychologie (SQRP). This invited talk was part of a symposium entitled "Études en psycholinguistique : quand la psychologie rencontre le langage" ("Studies in psycholinguistics: When psychology meets language"). Find my slides here.
March 8, 2019 — A dream come true: Admittance to MA in Clinical Psychology at Concordia University
A lifelong dream is coming true; I will begin my training to become a clinical psychologist starting this September! To top it off, this will enable me to continue the fantastic research I have been doing on early bilingual environments here at Concordia. I am truly grateful, and I cannot wait to see the wonderful things this will allow me to do both clinically and research-wise.
February 9, 2019 — CRDH Conference (with link to poster)
It was great seeing the lab so well represented at the CRDH Conference, including some undergrads for whom this was their first poster presentation!
I presented Can't Find Bilingual Participants? How Facebook Sponsored Posts Can Help, a poster about how to find participants from hard-to-recruit populations - find the poster here. Many thanks to everyone who stopped by, and for those who had questions, please do not hesitate to reach out should you need further assistance!
Lab photo to the right: (left to right): Nicholas Salama-Siroishka, Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez Barrero, Esther Schott, Beatrice Necsa, Meghan Mastroberardino, Maria Tamayo, Elizabeth Di Flumeri and Nathalie Germain. Not pictured: Lena V. Kremin, Stephanie Côté.
January 23, 2019 — The Concordia Infant Research Lab Goes Green
Lately, I've been thinking a lot about ways to make our lab greener. We switched our paper towels for cloth towels, and I brought a compost bin to the lab that now sits in our kitchen area (we're lucky to have bigger compost bins in certain locations at Concordia where I can empty it). I'm currently thinking of ways to reduce our paper usage, perhaps by first tackling the paper back-ups of electronically-completed questionnaires.
If you have any suggestions to help our lab go greener, I'm eager to hear them!