My research has focused on cross-linguistic differences in how every-day events are conceptualized and described (cf. Thinking and Seeing 0for Speaking). These cross-linguistic differences represent the basis for analyses of the impact of non-nativeness on event construal (in videoclips) by very advanced language learners: do they adhere to patterns in Thinking/Seeing for Speaking from their L1 or their L2, or are there cases of learner-specific conceptualization patterns? In future research we will look at the extent to which Thinking/Seeing for Speaking patterns relating to events (videoclips) are also evident in babies and young children speaking different mother tongues. In short, I am specifically interested in the interrelation between visual and linguistic processing in language production, using eye tracking as a research method.
In my current research I focus on the first hours of exposure to a second language. I investigate the question how we break into the speech stream of a novel language and begin to learn it. The international NWO-ORA project that I am co-ordinating at the moment on this theme is VILLA: Varieties of Initial Learners in Language Acquisition carrying out research on controlled classroom input (Polish) in five different countries: Germany, The Netherlands, France, England and Italy.