Current Lab Members

Gita Martohardjono

Lab Director

Gita Martohardjono’s research focuses on the development of syntax, semantics and phonology in adult second language acquisition and bilingualism. Her projects investigate the acquisition of gap structures, such as wh-questions, relative clauses, control structures and null pronouns in bilingual adults and children from a cross-linguistic perspective. In the area of semantics, her research investigates the acquisition of temporal and aspectual markers by child and adult bilinguals. In phonology, her work centers on the role of L1 phonotactics as a potential source of interference in L2 acquisition. A variety of languages have been examined, including Italian, Spanish, Indonesian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese. Recent projects investigate non-standard varieties of Italian and Spanish, as spoken by “heritage” speakers, and include the use of electrophysiology (ERP). A second research area is the development of literacy in emergent bilinguals. Since 2004, she has conducted research on immigrant students with low literacy in the native language, and has been a leader in the construction of academic language and literacy assessments benefiting this population. She is currently PI on several externally funded projects creating multilingual, online assessments for use in NY public schools.

CV: Here

Jennifer Chard

Research Associate

Jennifer Chard is the Project Director for the Multilingual Literacy SIFE Screener (MLS) at the Second Language Acquisition Laboratory. Her dissertation, entitled Mandarin assessment in Chinese-English bilingual preschoolers, examines Chinese/English bilingual children’s sentence comprehension skills in Mandarin and English. It adds to the body of literature emphasizing that home language assessment is critical when evaluating young children who may have special needs, and it specifically demonstrates that care must be taken in identifying the home language so that children are not inappropriately tested. Jennifer has spent a lot of time working directly with teachers and administrators at the preschool through high school levels to help them understand the importance of using students’ home language skills and abilities to design instruction, and promoting the maintenance and development of the home language in classroom settings. Jennifer is also the Project Manager for Bridges to Academic Success.

Contact: jchard@gradcenter.cuny.edu 

Website: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-chard/

Cass Lowry

Lab Manager
Research Coordinator

Cass Lowry is the current coordinator of the lab’s multi-year study of Spanish-English bilingualism, The Second-Generation Bilinguals Project. He is a Linguistics PhD student at the Graduate Center and has an MA in Applied Linguistics with a TESOL Certificate from the University of Pittsburgh. His research uses psycholinguistic methods to investigate the morphosyntactic processing of heritage languages, specifically Heritage Georgian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Contact: clowry@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Pamela Franciotti

Graduate Researcher 
Research Coordinator

Pamela Franciotti is a Ph.D. student in the Linguistics program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research interests mainly focus on generative L2 acquisition of syntax, L2 psycholinguistics and experimental syntax. In the lab, she is currently conducting her pre-dissertation research, an eye-tracking sentence reading study in L2 Italian investigating the processing of relative clauses and the role played by morphosyntactic features in the processing of such dependencies. She is also conducting a study on the interpretation of null and overt pronouns in anaphora resolution contexts across different Romance varieties.

Pamela holds a B.A. in Foreign Languages and Literature and a M.A. in Linguistics, both from the University of Siena, Italy. Her M.A. research study investigated the acquisition of passives in L2 Italian, in both comprehension and production. Before joining The Graduate Center, Pamela worked as a Teaching Assistant of Italian at Vassar College, NY and as a teacher of Italian for asylum seekers and refugees in several reception centers in Italy.

Email: pfranciotti@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Michael Michael Stern

Research Coordinator

Michael Stern is an MA student in the Linguistics Program at the CUNY Graduate Center and a research coordinator in the SLA Lab, where he currently coordinates (1) an eye-tracking investigation of sentence processing in Spanish-English bilinguals, and (2) a behavioral investigation of the acquisition of English articles by Mandarin speakers. He also assists in the development and maintenance of multilingual literacy assessments for the New York State Education Department. His thesis research examines the role of speech perception in contact-induced sound change.

Contact: mstern@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Michael’s ResearchGate

LeeAnn Stover

Research Coordinator

LeeAnn Stover is a PhD student in the Linguistics Department at the CUNY Graduate Center and a research coordinator in the SLA lab. Her interests include bilingual processing, experimental syntax, and heritage linguistics. In the lab she is involved in projects on multilingual assessment, relative clause processing, fluency measures, and sociolinguistic profile analyses. She holds a B.A. in Spanish Secondary Education, a B.S. in Psychology, an M.A. in Hispanic Studies, and an M.A. in Linguistics. Her Master’s thesis from the Graduate Center examined L2 relative clause processing in Spanish-English heritage speakers and first-generation immigrant bilinguals, comparing group differences and exploring the role that language dominance plays in bilingual processing.

Contact: lstove21@gmail.com

Matt Matthew G. Stuck

Research Assistant

Matthew Stuck is a Research Assistant in the SLA Lab and PhD student in the Linguistics Program at The Graduate Center. He is currently assisting in editing texts for the Multilingual Literacy Development project, and is also involved in ongoing research on the Second-Generation Bilinguals Project. His research interests are broadly tied to the study of second language acquisition, and he is particularly interested in investigating how the variationist sociolinguistics framework can be applied to both interlanguage and endangered languages. He has performed research on the variable realization of embedded clauses among L2 speakers of English. He holds a BA in Linguistics from the University of Washington and an MA from NYU Steinhardt. Before joining CUNY, he was an adjunct lecturer of ESL with programs in America and abroad.

Contact: mstuck@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Daniela Castillo

Research Assistant

Daniela is a Ph.D. student in Linguistics and a Research Assistant in the SLA lab. She graduated from Queens College with a double major in General Linguistics and Communication Sciences and Disorders. Daniela has also worked as a Research Assistant in the Neurolinguistics lab and in the Developmental Neurolinguistics Lab at the CUNY Graduate Center. Previously, she received a degree in early childhood education in Argentina, where she worked teaching English as a Foreign Language in private and public schools. Her research interests include bilingualism and second language acquisition, with a particular focus on code-switching.

Contact:  mailbox.dcastillo@gmail.com

Christina Dadurian

Research Assistant

Christina Dadurian is a Masters student in the Linguistics Department at the CUNY Grad Center. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the Ohio State University, and a B.A. in Linguistics from CUNY Brooklyn College. She is interested in sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics of bilingualism, and pragmatics, but has also worked on language recovery in populations of children with autism at Rockefeller University.

Contact: cdadurian@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Enas Al-Busairy

Research Assistant

Enas Albasiri is a PhD student in the Linguistics Department at the CUNY Graduate Center and a research assistant in the SLA lab. She holds a B.A. in English language, and an M.A. in Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University. Her interests include neurolinguistics, Alzheimer’s, second language acquisition, bilingualism and syntax of Arabic.

Contact: enasalbusairy@gmail.com

Ilaria Porru

Research Assistant

Ilaria Porru is a Research Assistant in the SLA Lab at The Graduate Centre. She is currently assisting in the Turkish-English Bilingual Phonetics Project. Her broader research interests are sociolinguistics, language contact, language acquisition and phonology. In 2018 she completed an MA at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy) in Language and Civilisation of Asia and Mediterranean Africa with a specialization in Turkish Language. Her MA thesis at Ca’ Foscari, the fieldwork for which was carried out in Berlin, (2018, Evidentiality and Language Contact: A case study of Turkish Children in Berlin) focused on language change in immigrant communities, specifically in the context of the use of the evidential suffix -mIş/ (y)mIş in first, second, and third generation Turkish children in the German capital.

Contact: 989092@stud.unive.it

William Oliver

Research Assistant

William Oliver is an MA student in the Linguistics Program at the CUNY Graduate Center and a research assistant in the Second Language Acquisition Lab. His research interests include investigating how Spanish speakers acquire English as a second/foreign language in different contexts as well as language education in US schools. He is currently working on the Multilingual Literacy Screener for the Identification of Students with Interrupted/Inconsistent Formal Education. This is a diagnostic tool that New York schools use to determine students’ literacy levels in their primary language. He holds a BA in Philosophy and Art History from SUNY Binghamton and an M.Ed. from Harvard University in Language and Literacy. Before studying linguistics, he taught English and English as a second language for five years in Arizona and Texas.

Contact: wio563@mail.harvard.edu

Maria Elekidou

Research Assistant

Maria Elekidou is a Master’s student in the Linguistics program at the CUNY Graduate Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from her native Greece and an MA in Liberal Studies from The New School for Social Research. She worked for years as English tutor for Greek children and then on various editorial teams in educational publishing. Her research interests include psycholinguistics, bilingualism and cross-linguistic transfers from native to second languages.

Contact: melekidou@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Kara Morgan

Research Assistant

Kara Morgan is a writer and researcher working with the MLS team on quality control, content management, and website materials. Kara holds a B.A. in political science and international affairs from Northeastern University, with a capstone focused on discourse between public officials and activists during the AIDS crisis. Their interests include the politics and expression of gender and sexuality, mental health, comedy, climate change, and the language
interspersed between it all. Their work has ranged from producing fair trade marketing videos to slinging groceries. Before moving to New York, they have worked and lived in New Delhi, Sarajevo, Boston, Phnom Penh, and most recently, Fort Morgan, CO.

Contact: kara.liz.morgan@gmail.com

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