Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

Leiden Learner Corpus

The Leiden Learner Corpus (LLC) is a collection of written and spoken data by Dutch learners of Romance languages (French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish) and by learners of Dutch with a variety of native languages. The LLC also includes control data from native speakers of all five languages.

Elisabeth Mauder

During the academic year 2015/16 (our first year) we aimed at collecting data from more than 150 students. 

In the long run, the LLC project will test their participants multiple times over the course of their language learning, allowing not only cross-linguistic comparisons, but also longitudinal, within-subjects comparisons, thus filling in an existing gap in language learner corpora. 

The LLC data will be made available for research purposes to both researchers and students at Leiden University and to the scientific community world-wide.

In this project we will collect spoken and written data of Leiden University students, to follow their language acquisition process throughout their studies. This data collection will make it possible to get a better insight into how young adults learn foreign languages and which factors contribute to increasing their proficiency. We will be following students from different language departments for a period of some two years. This will, in the long run, yield data for longitudinal evaluations within the specific language and also for comparisons across languages. The material will be fully anonymized and will then be made available for academic use within Leiden University and internationally to investigators (and their students) for investigations on language acquisition and related subject matters.

We are continuously looking for students who are willing to have their language skills tested. Your participation is a valuable contribution to scientific research.

Who can take part?

We are addressing three groups of persons:

  1. Dutch language learners of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian or French
  2. Non-Dutch natives learning Dutch
  3. Native speakers of Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, French and Dutch

There are few other requirements, you are preferably (but not necessarily) a student at Leiden University or have a comparable education background and you are ideally between 16 and 35 years old. And you should speak English, since all the instructions are in English.

What is the test like?

The test consists of four parts: Before the actual test, we will send you a questionnaire for getting an impression of your language learning history. For the data collection, we will make a recording of you telling a story on the basis of a series of pictures and you will be asked to write a couple of short pieces of text (none longer than 200 words). We will also ask you to do a language competence test for the language in which are tested. If you are interested in your score, you can get it immediately after the taking the test.

Where is the test taken?

You can take the test at the Leiden Humanities Campus (Witte Singel Complex) or at the The Hague Campus.

How long does the test take?

The full test takes about one hour for language learners and about 90 minutes for native speakers.

Do participants get paid?

You will receive a remuneration of € 10 in cash immediately after finishing the test.

What happens to my data?

All data will be anonymized immediately after the test. The data will be stored safely at Leiden University and are available for research purposes. In the long run, we plan to make the data available to the international scientific community via a specific website.


Click here to sign up as a participant now!

Dr. E.M.A. (Elisabeth) Mauder

See her personal page on the university website for more information.

Dr. M. (Maria del Carmen) Parafita Couto

See her personal page on the university website for more information.





Dr. J. (Johanneke) Caspers

See her personal page on the university website for more information.





Emma van der Deijl

My name is Emma van der Deijl. My bachelor's degree is in Dutch Language and Literature and am now doing the Research Master Linguistics and the Master Neerlandistiek. In my studies, I am mainly interested is Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric, but I am also interested in Pragmatics. As a student-assistant in the Leiden Learner Corpus I mainly help in recruiting participants and taking the tests. I am happy to be part of such an interesting project!


Marisol Salamanca

Third year bachelor student of Latin America Studies at Leiden University. Previously I studied Modern Languages (English, French and Spanish) for three years at La Salle University in Bogotá (Colombia). In both cases, language are at the centre of the course but other subjects including linguistics and literature are very important.



Wei-Wei Lee

After a linguistics-oriented humanities bachelor in Utrecht, I am now doing the Research MA in Linguistics here in Leiden. My research interests include linguistic typology, ethnolinguistics and cognitive linguistics, grammaticalization, conceptual metaphor, and the syntax-semantics interface. In the LLC project, I mainly helped developing the tests, recruiting participants, and currently I am working on the website. I am enjoying this opportunity to experience and learn about all the different aspects of a research project.


José Manuel García del Río

My name is José Manuel García del Río, I have a Bachelor in History and I am currently doing a Bachelor in Musicology. As part of the Leiden Learner Corpus staff I take part in the design of the logos, banners, posters, flyers… I also take part on the project by recruiting participants and transcribing some recordings. It is a great experience to be part of the LLC.




Sara Sánchez-Molina

I'm currently studying the Research Master in Linguistics here in Leiden. Previously, I studied a bachelor in English Philology and another in Classic Philology at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. I also hold a Master's degree in Classic Philology by the same university. As part of the LLC project, I help recruiting participants and taking tests. I also take care of transcriptions and help organizing the data gathered. It is really interesting to have the opportunity of participating in this project.

Emma Bierings

More info coming soon.

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