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Juana M. LICERAS is a Distinguished University Professor and a full-time professor in the Department of Modern Languages and the Department of Linguistics of the University of Ottawa (Canada). She is a member of several editorial boards and editor of RESLA-SJAL, as well as the director of the Language Acquisition Research Laboratory of the University of Ottawa. Her research interests and publications deal with the relationship between linguistic theory, first and second language acquisition, bilingualism, psycholinguistics, language contact and comparative grammar. Contact: jliceras@uottawa.ca.

Elena VALENZUELA is an associate professor in the Department Modern Languages and Literatures of the University of Ottawa (Canada). She is the co-director of the Language Acquisition Research Laboratory of the University of Ottawa. Her research interests are in the area of language acquisition, bilingualism, heritage speaker bilinguals, and linguistic theory. Contact: Elena.Valenzuela@uottawa.ca.


Alain DESROCHERS is a professor at the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa (Canada).  His area of expertise includes research methods in psycholinguistics, the study of language processes in children and adults, and statistical analysis of language data. His research program aims at investigating the historical evolution of alphabetic languages, the development of language assessment tools, the development of language skills in children aged 5 to 12, cognitive processes that support fluent reading in French-, English-, and Spanish-speaking adults, and the quantitative analysis of the French, English, Spanish lexicons. Contact: damch@uottawa.ca.

Nikolay SLAVKOV is an associate professor at the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute at the University of Ottawa. I am interested in bilingualism and multilingualism from various perspectives, including linguistic, cognitive, social and pedagogical. I hold a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa and have taught in Canada, the United States, China and Bulgaria. Contact: nslavkov@uOttawa.ca.



Graduate Students

Elisa ACEVEDO. Ph.D. candidate.

Leonardo ALVES-SOARES. Ph.D. candidate.

Kassandra AYALA-NAJERA. M.A. candidate. Kassandra joined the lab in 2017. She is currently studying in the Master’s in Spanish program at the University of Ottawa where she completed her BA in Communications and Spanish in 2017. Her areas of interest include heritage language maintenance, language attrition, and code-switching in general and on social media.

Joselyn BROOKSBANK. Ph.D. candidate. Joselyn joined the lab in 2017. She completed both her MA in Bilingualism Studies (2017) and her BA in Spanish and Linguistics (2014) at the University of Ottawa. She also holds a Montessori Casa dei Bambini degree (2015) from the Instituto Montessori de México A.C. in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. She is currently a full-time student in the PhD in Spanish at the University of Ottawa. Her areas of interest include heritage language maintenance, bilingual first language acquisition, and second language teaching in Montessori environments.

Isabel CONTRO CASTALDO. PhD candidate at the University of São Paulo, Brazil. She completed her MA at University of São Paulo in 2014, and her undergraduate in Portuguese and Spanish Languages at the University of Mackenzie in São Paulo. Her main subjects of interest are second language acquisition, mainly Spanish as a second language by Brazilian learners, and comparative grammar Brazilian Portuguese – Spanish. She held a 6-month Brazilian government scholarship (CAPES) to work at the University of Ottawa with Juana Muñoz Liceras, her Ph.D. co-supervisor. She works as an assistant professor at the Faculty of Technology of São Paulo (Brazil). Contact: isacontrocastaldo@usp.br.

Ariane DEI TOIS CARDENUTO. Ph.D. candidate.

Estela GARCÍA-ALCARAZ. Ph.D. candidate.

Nelson MÉNDEZ. Ph.D. candidate. Nelson joined the lab in 2010. He completed his Master of Education at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León in Monterrey, Mexico and his BA in Modern Languages at Universidad de Los Andes, Mérida, Venezuela. He is currently working on his Ph.D dissertation. His research topic is on the Spanish-Guajiro language contact situation. Particularly, his research focuses on the expression of the subject personal pronoun and subject-verb agreement of the Spanish spoken by the Guajiro indigenous people of Uribia, Guajira State, Colombia. Contact: nelsonmendez@nelsonmendez.com

Saul Leonardo MORENO. Ph.D. candidate. Leonardo is an instructor in the Department of Modern Languages of the University of Ottawa and a member of the Language Acquisition Research Laboratory. He has an MA in Linguistics and Hispanic Studies from the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa (UA). He was a Fulbright visitor instructor at University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). His research interests are Languages in Contact, Sociolinguistics, Hispanic Linguistics and Language Acquisition. His current research is devoted to cross-linguistic influence in highly proficient bilinguals. He aims to describe the extent to which bilingual speakers show similar or dissimilar linguistic behavior as compared to monolingual speakers.

Jérôme SIMON. M.A. candidate. Jérôme joined the lab in 2016. He completed his Honours BA in Spanish and Minor in Italian Language and Culture (2017) at the University of Ottawa. He is currently working on a research project on ambiguous relative clauses in French-English Bilingualism and his MA thesis focuses on Spanish differential object marking used by Hispanic immigrants and Heritage speakers living in Ottawa (ON), Canada.

Marta VILOSA SÁNCHEZ. PhD candidate at the University of Girona, Spain. Her supervisors are Francesc Roca and Juana Muñoz Liceras. She has a BA Honours in Romance and Spanish Philology from the University of Girona and an MA from the University of Jaén, Spain. In her dissertation she investigates the Spanish Interlanguage of adult Egyptian students, specifically the acquisition of the Determiner Phrase. She works as a part-time instructor at the Instituto Cervantes of Alexandria and at the University of Alexandria in Egypt. Contact: martavilosa@gmail.com.



Yoriko Aizu joined the lab in 2010. She holds an PhD in Linguistics from the University of Ottawa (2016) and an Honours BA in Languages from Ritsumeika University in Japan (1999). Her main research interest is the acquisition and processing of Japanese sentence structure by L2 learners and Heritage speakers. Contact: yaizu@uottawa.ca.



Almudena BASANTA joined the lab in 2011. She holds a Ph.D. from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Since 2004 she has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and from 2008 to 2012 she was an invited Professor at the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium). She has also taught Spanish at European Institutions such as the Instituto Cervantes in Brussels (Belgium) and the UNAM-Canada. Her research interests include language pedagogy and the teaching of Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE), language contact and the history of Romance languages.

Nicté FULLER-MEDINA is an Assistant Professor at the University of Belize. She leads two on-going projects on the linguistic outcomes of language contact and the historic development of language mixing in spontaneous speech. The Language Contact in Belize project examines bilingual compound verbs, mixed DPs, and Kriol-Spanish codeswitching in contemporary data. The second project Language, Culture and History: Belize in a Digital Age uses the tools of digital scholarship to create a real-time benchmark in analyzing language change and variation in multilingual speech communities from older recordings of Belizean varieties of Spanish.

Irina GOUNDAREVA is currently the Spanish Program Coordinator and professor at UNAM-Canada. She holds a PhD in Spanish from the University of Ottawa, an MA in Spanish from the University of British Columbia and a BA from the University of Victoria in Spanish and Linguistics. She joined LARLab in 2011. Her research interests include Spanish as a foreign language acquisition, pedagogy, assessment and teacher training.


Rachel KLASSEN is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow in the Language Acquisition, Variation & Attrition Group at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Her current project entitled Multiple Perspectives on Grammatical Gender in the Bilingual Lexicon examines the representation and processing of grammatical gender across a spectrum of bilingual speaker profiles. She is interested in language acquisition, bilingualism, psycho- and neurolinguistics as well as experimental design. Contact: rachel.klassen@uit.no.

María LANDA-BUIL holds a PhD from the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.  Her main field of research is Second Language Acquisition. In her PhD dissertation, she investigated the Spanish Interlanguage of Swahili speakers. She aimed to determine whether there were traces of the Bantu noun classification in the Spanish Interlanguage of Swahili speakers. She also compared the data with Spanish Creole languages, especially with Palenquero, which has a Bantu substratum.

Raquel LLAMA joined the lab in 2010. She holds a PhD in Spanish Linguistics from the University of Ottawa, an M.A. in Applied Linguistics from Concordia University, in Montreal, and an Honours BA in Translation from Universitat Pompeu Fabra, in Barcelona. Her main area of expertise is Third Language Acquisition. Her research interests include heritage language acquisition in trilingual contexts and language attrition. She is currently a part-time professor at the University of Ottawa.

Cristina SENN joined the lab in 2002. She collaborated on research projects, gathering and analyzing experimental data from native and non-native Spanish speakers. She completed her PhD in Spanish Linguistics at the University of Ottawa in 2008. With the aim of revising the characterization of the term “near-native speaker”, her PhD dissertation investigated two constructions that evidence “unstable” areas of the Spanish language: Resumptive Pronouns in ambiguous Restrictive Relative Clauses, and Optional Dative Clitic Doubling. In 2009, Cristina joined the Department of Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia-Okanagan, where she works as a Spanish Lecturer and as a DELE examiner. Contact: Cristina.senn@ubc.ca.