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Department of Education

Athina Ntalli

Research Officer

Athina is a Research Officer working on TalkTogether: Supporting Oral Language Development.

The project investigates children’s oral language in multilingual urban poor contexts, with an aim to develop and evaluate an intervention programme for kindergarten classes. TalkTogether is an international collaboration led by Prof. Sonali Nag and involves academic and non-academic partners in India.

Athina completed her PhD in Applied Linguistics at the University of Cambridge being awarded a PhD Studentship from the Department of Theoretical and Applied Linguistics in an agreement of the University with EF Education First. Before her PhD, Athina obtained a MA in Linguistics from the Radboud University Nijmegen, in the Netherlands. During her MA studies, she did an internship at the University of Amsterdam where she was involved in testing bilingual children and used the data to write her MA thesis on the occurrence of cross-linguistic influence in the acquisition of grammatical gender by Greek-Dutch bilingual children. She also worked as a student assistant for three months at the Center for Language and Speech Technology of the Radboud University of Nijmegen with her task being the preparation of a literature overview of the indicators investigated and reported in the literature to predict L2 oral proficiency, as well as, a review of the systems (manual and automatic) used to evaluate speaking proficiency. She holds a BA in Greek Philology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. During her BA, she also spent an academic year at the University Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain as a student being awarded an Erasmus scholarship. Finally, she has a CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and has some teaching experience with children and adults in various settings (immigrant populations, undergraduates, foreign and repatriated students).

In her previous research, she investigated age (of onset) and first language effects on the acquisition of English grammar (focusing on finiteness) by Chinese and Russian child learners in a minimal input EFL (English as a Foreign Language) context. During her current role, she is involved in various research projects within TalkTogether all focusing on shedding light on child oral language development of (Kannada-speaking) children and/or aiming to support their oral language development through interventions.

Her research interests involve child (second) language acquisition with a particular interest in the development of morphosyntax, the factors both linguistic and contextual that shape it, and the support of oral language development through classroom interventions to help children be ‘readier’ for literacy and school.

 

Conference Papers

  1. ‘Age in child L2 acquisition: The case of finiteness’ (In collaboration with Theodora Alexopoulou, Henriette Hendriks, Ianthi Maria Tsimpli, University of Cambridge). Paper presented at the EuroSLA 28 conference, Munster, Germany, September 5-8, 2018.
  2. ‘The acquisition of finiteness in English by Chinese and Russian speaking children: the impact of age’ (In collaboration with Theodora Alexopoulou, Henriette Hendriks, Ianthi Maria Tsimpli, University of Cambridge). Paper presented at the workshop: ‘Age effects in bilingual language acquisition’ in Poznan, Poland, March 7-8, 2019.
  3. ‘The acquisition of finiteness in English by Chinese and Russian speaking children: the impact of L1 (In collaboration with Theodora Alexopoulou, Henriette Hendriks, Ianthi Maria Tsimpli, University of Cambridge). Paper presented at the workshop: ‘Tenselessness II’ in Lisbon, Portugal, October 3-4, 2019.

Poster presentations

  1. Age in child L2 acquisition: The case of finiteness (In collaboration with Theodora Alexopoulou, Henriette Hendriks, Ianthi Maria Tsimpli, University of Cambridge). Poster presented at the Lead summer school for L2 acquisition, University of Tübingen, Germany, July 23-27, 2018.
  2. Age in child L2 acquisition: The case of finiteness (In collaboration with Theodora Alexopoulou, Henriette Hendriks, Ianthi Maria Tsimpli, University of Cambridge). Poster presented at the School on Experimental and Corpus Linguistics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, September 25-27, 2018.
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