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Interview COM2019 Keynote speaker Kristin Lemhöfer

Our next Keynote speaker interview is with Kristin Lemhöfer from the Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

Please tell us who you are

My name is Kristen Lemhöfer and I am an Associate Professor at Radboud University and PI at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour in Nijmegen, Netherlands.

What is your research about?

Most estimates state that in the world, multilinguals outnumber monolinguals. Still, a large part of research on language processing is still conducted on monolinguals or (even more worrisome) on multilinguals in one of their languages, assuming that their other language(s) do not play a role. Together with my group, I investigate, very generally speaking, the (neuro-)cognition of bi- and multilingualism: How are two or more languages handled within the same brain?

What are your expectations from COM2019?

COM has always been one of my favorite conferences, because it covers exactly my research field – the study of multilingualism from a cognitive point of view. I am therefore very honored to be asked to give a keynote lecture at this wonderful conference!

Finally, what are you particularly proud of in terms of your research career?

Phew... This sounds a bit as if my career was already finished, however it always feels as if I just got started! I am grateful that science has remained as exciting for me as it was when I started. As a cognitive psychologist working in a field (second language acquisition and processing) inhabited by many linguists, I think my main motivation is to find new and possibly unorthodox ways to answer old, but still unanswered questions in bilingualism or second language acquisition research. I hope I can give some convincing examples in my keynote lecture.

Another, more recent conviction of mine is that we should try to move closer to real-life scenarios in our laboratory paradigms without compromising experimental control. One example for this are dialogue-games which we have explored in much detail in the last years, in the context of my vidi-grant L2 learning ‘in the wild’. Finally, apart from ‘content’, another one of my goals is to help increase visibility of women in science and encourage young talented women to pursue an academic career – sadly, many of them give up at an early stage due to the unclear career prospects.

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