In November 2016, I started a PhD Project titled 'Meta-linguistic awarenss in early (second) language acquisition' . This project investigates the common assumpution that children learn their first language entirely implicitly and without any conscious awareness of form and grammar. Although the role of meta-linguistic awareness in adult language acquisition is extensively studied such research is virtually absent in the field of child language acquisition. In this project, I investigate whether children develop any meta-linguistic knowledge when acquiring a language. Using an Esperanto based miniature language, a first study investigates if young monolingual Dutch children show any awareness when acquiring a language. A follow-up study will investigate whether children might even benefit from this kind of awareness when acquiring a language.
In 2017, I have been chosen as one of the 'Faces of Science' by the KNAW (The Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences). This project aims to inform people about what it means to be a scientist. You can stay up to date here (in Dutch).