Heritage Language 2 Consortium

A strategic partnership for the study of Portuguese in multilingual settings

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Post-doctoral position at NOVA Lisbon: Experimental approaches L1 and L2 acquisition and processing

NOVA’s Linguistics Research Center (Centro de Linguística da Universidade Nova de Lisboa, CLUNL) is welcoming applications for a post-doctoral position.

The successful applicant will be based in CLUNL’s Research Group in Formal and Experimental Linguistics (LIFE) and contribute experimental research on the acquisition and processing of native and non-native languages, with a particular focus on (i) the linguistic development of monolingual and multilingual children from socially disadvantaged contexts and (ii) the linguistic development of Portuguese language learners in different contexts.

The official job announcement, with application deadline and salary information, can be found here (published in Portuguese). For questions, please contact the chair of the hiring committee directly, Professor Maria Lobo, maria.lobo@fcsh.unl.pt.



Call for papers: Lancaster Postgraduate Student Conference

The 16th annual Lancaster Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference will be held on June 27, 2022. The theme is “New Perspectives in Linguistics: Innovation and Dynamics.” The conference is a great opportunity for postgraduate students (pursuing an MA or a PhD) to present their work to their peers in a supportive and inclusive space. For enquiries please email Maya Dewhurst, m.dewhurst1@lancaster.ac.uk,

Conference website

MA and PhD students are invited to submit abstracts on linguistic research, in particular those that have used innovative methods. The following panels have been proposed and you may address your abstract to any one of these. If your abstract does not fit one, please submit it anyway; we are happy to consider abstracts on topics not listed below.

• Cognitive-Functional Linguistics and Typology
• Corpus and Computational Linguistics
• Discourse Studies
• Phonetics and Phonology
• Pragmatics and Literacy Studies
• TESOL and Language Pedagogy

Abstract submission deadline: Monday 11th April 2022: Link For Submission

Word limit for submissions: 300 words exl. references

Talks should be 20 minutes long, with 5 minutes allocated for Q&A (25 minute total time) in a PowerPoint format.

When submitting an abstract, you may choose to apply for a poster presentation or a longer talk. Upon acceptance, more information regarding poster dimensions and format will be provided.

Proposal Format

Abstracts should be submitted through the designated form. All submissions should include a title and a full abstract. Please note the following word limits for submissions:

Title: 20 Words
Abstract: 300 Words

Evaluation of Proposals

Upon receipt by the organising committee, all submitted abstracts will be stripped of identifying markers (name, university, etc.) and sent to a team of peer reviewers. When reviewing abstracts, the team will take into account the following:

  • Suitability to conference theme
  • Theoretical relevance
  • Research design
  • Direction of analysis/conclusions
  • Structure and clarity

Sample Submission

Title: Writing practices across the lifespan: the transition from school to university

Abstract: Educational transitions have been described as significant life events involving self-redefinitions, the acquisition of new social roles and identities and decisions about future and education (Ecclestone, Biesta & Hughes, 2010).  However, little is known about the role of writing in these transitional experiences, especially for marginalized groups in educational settings. Similarly, the development of writing abilities across contexts and throughout the lifespan has been scarcely explored (Bazerman, 2020; Bazerman, 2013; Naftzinger, 2020). By relying on a New literacy Studies perspective (Barton & Hamilton, 2012; Barton 2007; Gee, 2000; Papen, 2005) this study seeks to understand how students’ writing practices change and evolve during the transition from school to university and across different settings in everyday life. Such an understanding could help to promote well-informed policies to support students’ writing development across educational stages, specifically for groups traditionally excluded from higher education (Lillis, 2001). Based on a longitudinal design, this study follows a group of students from low-income backgrounds in Chile from their last year of school to their first year at university. During this transitional period, students will be asked to: 1) participate in “talking around text” interviews (Baker, 2018; Ivanic, 1998; Lillis, 2001), 2) submit a sample of writing pieces, and 3) complete a writing log. All these data will be analysed by using both a scheme code (Gaisler & Swarts, 2019) according to research questions and a constant comparison method to obtained emergent categories (Charmaz, 2013). In this presentation, initial results of this study will be introduced. With these findings, I hope to contribute to a better understanding of how students from less privileged backgrounds face a diverse range of writing practices as well as identify which meanings they attribute to them in the context of their daily lives and life projects.

Further Guidance

For further guidance on writing abstracts, Shungo Suzuki from LAEL at Lancaster University has kindly shared his experiences and advice here:

Shungo Suzuki

Publication Guidelines

Speakers will also be invited to submit their papers for publication in Papers from the Lancaster Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference. This is a peer-reviewed, open-access online publication featuring full papers from the annual Lancaster Linguistics and English Language Postgraduate Conference. For previous years’ publications please visit the Papers from LAEL PG.

HL2C Seminar: Montserrat Comesaña (Minho), The representational nature of grammatical gender: The relevance of language transparency

We are pleased to announce the next HL2C seminar, taking place on Thursday 24th February from 3pm-4pm GMT (Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London).


Montserrat Comesaña (Minho)


The representational nature of grammatical gender: The relevance of language transparency

How to join:

Our seminars are free to attend. Simply sign up to the HL2C Mailing List to receive the link to join us via Microsoft Teams link. You do not need a Teams account to access the talk.


The study of the representation and processing of grammatical gender during noun lexical access in language production has reached controversial results across languages. For Germanic and Slavic languages, a context of agreement has been widely found to be necessary for the emergence of gender competitive effects (e.g., slower responses when two nouns of different gender compete for selection than when these nouns are of same gender –gender congruency effect). For Romance languages, the results are instead puzzling, since some studies find that this context of agreement is necessary, but others do not. Thus, available evidence seems to support the idea that gender nodes would behave differently across language families. The picture is even more clouded with bilingual populations. Late bilinguals who carried out naming and translation tasks showed a gender congruency effect (i.e., faster responses for gender-congruent translation pairs) independently from the language family and the presence of an agreement context. The reason behind the effects obtained with late bilinguals of Germanic languages producing bare nouns (BNs) remains unknown. Here, we will present a series of experiments which are aimed at testing the tenets of a recent hypothesis developed in our lab: the Gender Acquisition and Processing (GAP) hypothesis. This hypothesis explains data discrepancies across studies with native speakers of different languages as a result of differences in the basal activation level of gender nodes due to the disparity in the degree of phonological gender transparency of each language. Also, it explain the findings with late bilinguals as a result of the way second languages (L2s) are learned and used.

PhD Defense: Mara Moita, NOVA University of Lisbon

On Thursday 20th January 2022, Mara Moita, researcher at NOVA CLUNL’s LiFE group , defended her PhD thesis in Linguistics  at NOVA University of Lisbon.


The Acquisition of Syntactic Dependencies with Movement in Deaf Children with Cochlear Implant: A movement deficit?

The PhD exams took place at 2:30pm in Auditorium 223 in Almada Negreiros College, on the Campolide Campus at NOVA University of Lisbon.

Original source


PFMO project supports the second edition of the training program for Timorese judges in Portugal


On 31st January  2022, the Camões Institute, IP, welcomed six Timorese judges who started a training programme in Portugal. This programme will run for a period of six months and includes a theory component to be taught by the Centre for Judicial Studies in Lisbon, and an internship period in Portuguese courts.

This is the second edition of the programme, and the first in the post-pandemic period, which will not only involve specialising in technical legal matters, but also developing and strengthening techniques for the application and use of legal terminology in Portuguese. This experience is also intended to build and strengthen the relationship, in the long term, between Portuguese and Timorese institutions, and between their professionals.

The training program is supported by the PFMO project – Reinforcement of Public Finance Management and Supervision in Timor-Leste, funded by the European Union and co-financed and managed by Camões, IP.

Translated from the original news item, published by Camões Institute.


HL2C/SLLAT Seminar: Xiaobin Chen (Tübingen): AISLA – An intelligent agent for second language English learning in real-life contexts

Another exciting HL2C seminar will take place on Wednesday 9th February from 12 noon to 1pm GMT (Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London).


Xiaobin Chen (Tübingen)


Aisla—An intelligent agent for second language English learning in real-life contexts (Joint talk with Lancaster’s SLLAT Group.)

How to join:

Our seminars are free to attend. Simply sign up to the HL2C Mailing List to receive the link to join us via Microsoft Teams link. You do not need a Teams account to access the talk.


Aisla, a project funded by the German Ministry of Education, aims at developing an Intelligent Computer Assisted Language Learning (ICALL) system for training spoken English within real-life contexts. The system features design principles of Task-based Language Teaching (TBLT), naturalistic speech interaction with AI-powered conversation agents, and live adaptive feedback with Natural Language Processing (NLP) technologies. In this talk, the Aisla team will present the design principles of ICALL language learning tasks, describe the Aisla system architecture, and demonstrate the current state of a mobile app implementing the above-mentioned features. We will also talk about the outlook of the project and the unique opportunities the Aisla system may offer to second language acquisition research.

PhD scholarship: Natural Language Processing and SLA

We are delighted to announce the a three-year PhD position, co-supervised by Professor Amália Mendes (University of Lisbon), Professor Detmar Meurers (University of Tübingen), and Professor Patrick Rebuschat (Lancaster University). It would be great if you could circulate the announcement within your networks.

PhD scholarship: Natural Language Processing and Second Language Acquisition

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD position in Natural Language Processing applied to foreign language learning and teaching at the Linguistics Center of the University of Lisbon (CLUL).

The deadline for applications is February 28, 2022. For additional information, including salary and application details, please visit:


The aim of the PhD project is to research, develop and evaluate a digital tool supporting the acquisition of Portuguese as a Foreign or Heritage language. The work can build on the existing ICALL approaches developed at the University of Tübingen for English and German (http://icall-research.de). The goal is to support learners in selecting texts that support noticing of key target structures and provide practice opportunities. The computational linguistic analysis can build on recent findings about linguistic structures that are acquired late by heritage speakers of Portuguese and include an empirical validation in the context of the network maintained by the Camões Institute across the globe.

The PhD project will be co-supervised by Professor Amália Mendes (University of Lisbon), Professor Detmar Meurers (University of Tübingen), and Professor Patrick Rebuschat (Lancaster University). The successful applicant will be integrated in the Heritage Language Consortium (HL2C), a strategic partnership between six European universities and the Camões Institute, a branch of the Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Further details on the HL2C can be found on our website:


For questions, email us at:
Amália Mendes amaliamendes@letras.ulisboa.pt
Detmar Meurers detmar.meuers@uni-tuebingen.de
Patrick Rebuschat p.rebuschat@lancaster.ac.uk

HL2C Seminar: Shanley Allen (Kaiserslautern), Cross-linguistic influence in heritage language speakers?

We are pleased to announce that another HL2C seminar will take place on Thursday 27th January from 3pm to 4pm GMT (Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London).


Shanley Allen (Kaiserslautern)


Information structure in the majority English of heritage speakers: Cross-linguistic influence and other patterns

How to join:

Our seminars are free to attend. Simply sign up to the HL2C Mailing List to receive the link to join us via Microsoft Teams link. You do not need a Teams account to access the talk.


Most linguistic research on heritage speakers to date has focused on their heritage language (Benmamoun et al. 2013; Kupisch 2013; Montrul 2016). In contrast, much less is known about patterns in their majority language, especially for adolescents and adults. In majority English, for example, only a few studies have been published to date, all focused on semantic structures (Lee et al. 2011; Montrul & Ionin 2010; Scontras et al. 2017).

To address this gap, we undertook a large-scale project investigating noncanonical patterns in majority English as produced by adolescent and adult heritage speakers of German, Greek, Russian and Turkish as well as English monolinguals in the USA – part of the Research Unit on Emerging Grammars in Language Contact Situations (RUEG). The 276 participants in our study all recounted a short video of a (fictitious) car accident, in each of four registers (informal spoken, informal written, formal spoken, formal written). Narratives were all transcribed and annotated in Exmaralda. We then explored several patterns related to information structure, particularly in the domains of referential expression and syntactic construction. Consistent with RUEG’s overarching approach, we assessed the impact of register, age, and language contact.

In this talk, I will present the results of our work to date on concept lexicalization, clause types, subordination, and left dislocations. While some results show cross-linguistic influence from the heritage language to majority English, others show a general pattern across all groups of heritage speakers regardless of language background. Our results contribute to the understanding of the contact-linguistic status of non-canonical patterns in the majority English of heritage speakers, the sources of their development, and their position within speakers’ broader repertoires of languages and registers.

HL2C/SLLAT Seminar: Joe Kakitani (Lancaster), Effects of distributed practice on L2 speech fluency development

Our next HL2C seminar will take place on Wednesday 26th January from 12 noon to 1pm GMT (Dublin, Edinburgh, Lisbon, London). This talk is a joint initiative with Lancaster’s SLLAT Research Group.


Joe Kakitani (Lancaster)


Effects of distributed practice on L2 speech fluency development

How to join:

Our seminars are free to attend. Simply sign up to the HL2C Mailing List to receive the link to join us via Microsoft Teams link. You do not need a Teams account to access the talk.


There has been a surge of interest in L2 research investigating how practice schedule can influence various aspects of L2 learning such as grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation (e.g., Kasprowicz, Marsden, & Sephton, 2019; Rogers & Cheung, 2018, 2020; Li & DeKeyser, 2019). Recent L2 distributed practice research has focused on oral fluency development—a dimension of L2 performance which hinges highly on L2 procedural knowledge (Kormos, 2006). Manipulating the timing of task repetitions has shown to affect the fluency of the repeated performance (Bui, Ahmadian, & Hunter, 2019), and the effects of practice schedule have been found to transfer to a performance on a novel task (Suzuki & Hanzawa, 2021). Research in cognitive psychology suggests that an ideal distribution of repeated practice rests on the ratio of the interval between practice sessions (i.e., the intersession interval; ISI) and the time gap between the final practice session and the time of testing (i.e., the retention interval; RI). However, no research to date has examined the effects of distributed practice on L2 oral fluency development by systematically manipulating the ISI–RI ratio. An investigation of specified ISI–RI ratios is necessary to gain a better understanding of distributed practice effects on L2 fluency development, and how the research findings from cognitive psychology can be applied to a rather complex skill of L2 speaking. The current study, thus, aimed to fill the research gap by examining the effects of distributed practice using the ISI–RI ratios of 10–30%, an optimal range suggested by cognitive psychology research (Rohrer & Pashler, 2007). To this end, 116 Japanese university students participated in an online experimental study. The participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups, which consisted of two experimental groups (a short-spaced group [1-day ISI] and a long-spaced group [7-day ISI]) and two control groups. The experimental groups engaged in four narrative-task practice sessions which were identical in terms of content and procedure, with the only difference lying in the distribution of the practice sessions (1 day vs. 7 days apart). The control groups, by contrast, only took the three tests (pretest, posttest, delayed posttest) which followed the same schedule as each corresponding experimental group. A total of 348 speech datasets were analyzed in terms of speed fluency (e.g., articulation rate), breakdown fluency (e.g., frequency and duration of mid-clause and clause-final pauses), and repair fluency (e.g., repetition). Linear mixed-effects modeling showed the advantage of the long-spaced practice over short-spaced practice in terms of breakdown fluency (e.g., mean length of mid-clause pauses) on the delayed posttest, demonstrating greater retention of enhanced fluency performance. The present findings contribute to the existing body of L2 research by yielding insights on how distributed practice may benefit the long-term development of L2 oral fluency.

Bui, G., Ahmadian, M. J., & Hunter, A.-M. (2019). Spacing effects on repeated L2 task performance. System, 81, 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.system.2018.12.006

Kasprowicz, R. E., Marsden, E., & Sephton, N. (2019). Investigating distribution of practice effects for the learning of foreign language verb morphology in the young learner classroom. The Modern Language Journal. https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12586

Kormos, J. (2006). Speech production and second language acquisition. New York: Routledge.

Li, M., & DeKeyser, R. (2019). Distribution of Practice Effects in the Acquisition and Retention of L2 Mandarin Tonal Word Production. https://doi.org/10.1111/modl.12580

Rogers, J., & Cheung, A. (2018). Input spacing and the learning of L2 vocabulary in a classroom context. Language Teaching Research, 1–26. https://doi.org/10.1177/1362168818805251

Rogers, J., & Cheung, A. (2020). Does it matter when you review?: Input spacing, ecological validity, and the learning of L2 vocabulary. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263120000236

Rohrer, D., & Pashler, H. (2007). Increasing retention without increasing study time. Psychological Science, 16(4), 183–186. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00500.x

Suzuki, Y., & Hanzawa, K. (2021). Massed task repetition is a double-edged sword for fluency development: An ESL classroom study. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 1(1), 1–26. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0272263121000358

Call for papers : Linguística. Revista de Estudos Linguísticos da Universidade do Porto.

Linguística: Revista de Estudos Linguísticos da Universidade do Porto has recently published a call for submissions.

Linguística is a publication of the Linguistics Centre of the University of Porto (CLUP) and of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto, one of the founding institutions of HL2C.

About the journal:

The journal welcomes original papers in the field of Linguistics, and in other areas dealing with natural languages. Both fundamental and applied research perspectives will be considered for publication. The journal publishes research papers, research notes, critical reviews, news, and discussions, among others. The texts can be written in Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and Italian; papers written in other languages may also be accepted.

Please visit the journal website for more information.

  • Instructions for authors are available on this page.
  • Information on the editorial process, including the peer review process, is available here.
  • Published texts are freely accessible at the journal’s Digital Library.

Submission information:

The anonymized manuscript and any associated materials must be sent (in pdf or word format) to linguistica@letras.up.pt
Deadline for volume 17:  31/03/2022.

Apelo a publicação para LinguísticaRevista de Estudos Linguísticos da Universidade do Porto (uma publicação da Faculdade de Letras e do Centro de Linguística da Universidade do Porto).
A Revista publica anualmente trabalhos inéditos na área da Linguística. Serão igualmente considerados para publicação trabalhos provenientes de outras áreas desde que se debrucem sobre a linguagem e as línguas naturais, quer na perspetiva da investigação fundamental, quer na da investigação aplicada. Os trabalhos publicados podem revestir a forma de artigos, notas de investigação, recensões críticas, notícias e discussões, entre outros. São aceites para publicação trabalhos redigidos em português, inglês, francês, espanhol e italiano; eventualmente poderão ser aceites trabalhos redigidos noutras línguas.
Entrega dos textos: Os textos devem ser enviados em suporte informático anonimizado (documento word ou pdf) para linguistica@letras.up.pt. Para o volume 17, de 2022, os textos devem ser enviados até 31/3/2022.
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