Department of Education

May Zantout

DPhil Student

College Affiliation: Lady Margaret Hall

May (Mae) has a BA in English Language from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and an MSc in Applied Linguistics and Second Language Acquisition from the University of Oxford, UK. She graduated with distinction from both universities.

Aside from her research, Mae has always been involved in student representation, serving on several committees throughout her undergraduate and graduate studies. She was President of the English Students’ Society at the American University of Beirut (2002-2003), Class Representative of her MSc cohort at the University of Oxford (2013-2014), and Class Co-Representative for her DPhil cohort (2014-2015).

Having taught in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon for over 10 years, Mae decided to pursue her graduate studies, focusing on a topic that has always intrigued her as a trilingual speaker: code-switching. Investigating the code-switching behaviour of trilingual youth in Lebanon for her MSc dissertation, she realised there is a need to continue exploring this understudied topic. In her doctoral studies, she examines how code-switching habits and language proficiency influence cognitive and linguistic task performance. She is interested in psycholinguistic studies which examine the relationship between executive functions and code-switching as well as new models of language control, such as the Adaptive Control Hypothesis and the Control Process Model. She works under the supervision of Professor Victoria Murphy (University of Oxford) and Professor Li Wei (University College London).


Investigating multilingual adolescents’ cognitive and code-switching performance: An exploratory application of language control models

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