Andrea Huerta is currently student representative for all students enrolled on the PhD programme (whether full- or part-time).
Year of Study in Programme: Third
Area/Topic of Research: Second-Language Acquisition
Title/Provisional Title of Thesis: Null and overt subjects by heritage speakers of English: bilingual immersion vs foreign-language instruction contexts
Short Abstract: Heritage speakers are early bilinguals who are exposed to the heritage language (L1) and the community language (L2) (Benmamoun, Montrul and Polinsky, 2013) and share properties of both L1 and L2 speakers (Montrul, 2016). The present study will explore the role that different types of instruction might have on the acquisition of English by heritage speakers of English in Catalonia. More specifically, through different experimental tasks—a grammaticality judgment task, a comprehension task and a production task—this project will analyze the effects that the type of instruction and school input (immersion vs. EFL instruction) and the age of the participants may have on their production and interpretation of null and overt subjects and how these differ from English monolingual children. Potential findings will contribute to filling an important gap in the area of SLA by establishing how heritage speakers of English in Catalonia acquire English in two different instruction contexts that necessarily constrain the amount and quality of input received.