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Emma Jenks was awarded a Santander Travel Scholarship to visit the LangUsta lab in Kraków, Poland in July 2016.  The purpose of the trip was to learn more about the approach used at the LangUsta lab within the Jagiellonian University Institute of Psychology and to establish a new collaboration between the lab and Queen’s.

LangUsta (Psychology of Language and Bilingualism Lab) was set up to focus on the cognitive processes of bilingualism and most recently completed a large longitudinal study of cognitive advantages related to varied language learning environments.

Emma said about the trip:

“My background before starting this project was in Cognitive Psychology, rather than specifically Language Psychology. Therefore, on a personal level, the daily discussions we shared about the work going on in LangUsta, as well as prior testing methods, was highly beneficial in learning more about the typical approach made in this research area. I was also given the opportunity to present my own work so far and my future plans, which helped us to highlight common areas of interest for collaboration.

In terms of practical outcomes of the visit, we were able to plan for an initial collaborative pilot study, to be completed in autumn 2016. This project will involve functionally monolingual Polish speakers recruited by LangUsta and Polish-English bilingual immigrants in Belfast, examining the impact of an immersive environment. We have also agreed to utilise and help to validate a new language use questionnaire, which was created by a member of their team”.