Home / People / Faculty / Janet van Hell

Janet van Hell
Professor of Psychology and Linguistics
Director of the Linguistics Program

Department of Psychology
4G Thomas Building
University Park, PA 16802




Phone (Penn State): 814-867-6754
Email: jgv3@psu.edu

Lab Affiliation: Bilingualism and Language Development Lab (BiLD lab)

Research Interests:

Second language learning and bilingualism/multilingualism.

The Bilingualism and Language Development (BiLD) Lab studies the cognitive and neurocognitive processes related to language development, second language learning, and bilinguals’ use of two languages. We combine behavioral, neuropsychological (ERPs), and linguistic techniques to study patterns of cross-language interaction and transfer in second language learners at different levels of proficiency, as well as neural and cognitive mechanisms involved in code-switching. We also study sign-speech bilinguals who use spatial and oral languages from two different modalities. A second research theme in the BiLD Lab focuses on language development in school-aged children with typical or atypical development, including children with dyslexia or with specific language impairment, and children who are deaf.

Research Opportunities:

The Bilingualism and Language Development (BiLD) Lab studies the cognitive and neurocognitive processes related to language development, second language learning, and bilinguals’ use of two languages. We combine behavioral, neuropsychological (ERPs), and linguistic techniques to study patterns of cross-language interaction and transfer in second language learners at different levels of proficiency, as well as neural and cognitive mechanisms involved in code-switching. A second research theme in the BiLD Lab focuses on language development in school-aged children with typical or atypical development, including children with dyslexia or with specific language impairment, and children who are deaf.

The Bilingualism and Language Development (BiLD) Lab is focuses on language development and bilingualism at middle childhood and beyond. Questions we examine include: How do bilinguals with different levels of proficiency in their second language process words and sentences in their first and second language? Why do bilinguals switch between languages and what triggers a switch to the other language? How do beginning second language learners learn new words and syntactic structures in the second language? How do children with dyslexia or with Specific Language Impairment process complex morphosyntactic structures? How does sign language influence processing in an oral language in sign-speech bilinguals?


Recent Publications:

* denotes a student author

Bakker*, I., Takashima*, A., van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. (accepted pending minor revision). Changes in theta and beta oscillations as signatures of novel word consolidation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.

Dijkstra, T., van Hell, J. G., & Brenders*, P. (accepted pending minor revision). Sentence context effects in bilingual word recognition: Cognate status, sentence language, and semantic constraint. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.

Van Hell, J. G., Kootstra*, G. J., & Litcofsky*, K. A. (accepted pending minor revision). What triggers intra-sentential code-switching in bilinguals? Bridging psychological and linguistic approaches. Invited paper, Language and Linguistic Compass.

Van Hell, J. G., & van Weerdenburg, M. (accepted pending minor revision). Taalontwikkeling and taalproblemen [Language development and language disorders]. In: K. Verschueren & H. Koomen, Handboek diagnostiek in de leerlingenbegeleiding, Second Edition [Handbook for diagnostics in school service] Leuven, Belgium: Garant.

Bultena*, S., Dijkstra, T., & Van Hell, J. G. (in press). Switch cost modulations in bilingual sentence processing: Evidence from shadowing. Language, Cognition, and NeuroScience.

Bultena*, S., Dijkstra, T., & Van Hell, J. G. (in press). Language switch costs in comprehension depend on language dominance: Evidence from self-paced reading. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.

Poarch*, G., & Van Hell, J. G. (in press). Cross-language activation in same-script and different-script trilinguals. International Journal of Bilingualism.

Poarch*, G. J., Van Hell, J. G., & Kroll, J. F. (in press). Accessing word meaning in beginning second language learners: Lexical or conceptual mediation? Bilingualism: Language and Cognition.

van Hell, J.G, Litcofsky*, K. A., Ting*, C. Y. (in press; 2015). Sentential code-switching: cognitive and neural approaches. In J. W. Schwieter (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Bilingual Processing.

Bakker*, I., Takashima*, A., van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. M. (2014). Competition from unseen or unheard novel words: Lexical consolidation across modalities. Journal of Memory and Language, 73, 116-130.

Bultena*, S., Dijkstra, T., & Van Hell, J. G. (2014). Cognate effects in sentence context depend on word class, L2 proficiency, and task. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 67 (6), 1214-1241.

Klip*, H. J., Cillessen, A. H. N., & Van Hell, J. G. (2014). Predictors of social understanding in high ability children. Gifted Child Quarterly, 58, 259-271.

Starreveld, P. A., De Groot, A. M. B., Rossmark*, B. M. M., & Van Hell, J. G. (2014). Parallel language activation during word processing in bilinguals: Evidence from word production in sentence context. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17, 258-276.

Takashima*, A., Bakker*, I., Van Hell, J. G., Janzen, G., & McQueen, J. (2014). Richness of information about novel words determines how episodic and semantic memory networks interact during lexicalization. NeuroImage, 84, 265–278.

Tanner*, D. & Van Hell, J. G. (2014). ERPs reveal individual differences in syntactic processing mechanisms. Neuropsychologia, 56, 289-301.

van Hell, J. G., & Poarch*, G. J. (2014). How much bilingual experience is needed to affect executive control? Commentary, Applied Psycholinguistics, 35, 925-928.

Bultena*, S., Dijkstra, T., & Van Hell, J. G. (2013). Cognate and word class ambiguity effects in noun and verb processing. Language and Cognitive Processes, 28 (9), 1350-1377.

Van Hell, J. G., & Kroll, J. F. (2013). Using electrophysiological measures to track the mapping of words to concepts in the bilingual brain: a focus on translation. In J. Altarriba & L. Isurin (Eds.), Memory, Language, and Bilingualism: Theoretical and Applied Approaches (pp. 126-160). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Van Hell, J. G. & Poarch*, G. J. (2013). Lexical and conceptual representations in second language acquisition. In C.A. Chapelle (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics.

Hoogeveen*, L., Van Hell, J. G., & Verhoeven, L. (2012). Social-emotional characteristics of gifted accelerated and non-accelerated students in the Netherlands: Social and emotional characteristics and behavior. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 82 (4), 585-605.

Kootstra*, G. J., Van Hell, J. G., & Dijkstra, T. (2012). Priming of code-switches in sentences: The role of lexical repetition, cognates, and language proficiency. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15 (4), 797-819.

Poarch*, G., & Van Hell, J. G. (2012). Executive functions and inhibitory control in multilingual children: Evidence from second language learners, bilinguals, and trilinguals. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 113, 535-551.

Poarch*, G. J. & Van Hell, J. G. (2012). Cross-language activation in children’s speech production: Evidence from second language learners, bilinguals, and trilinguals. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 111 (3), 419-438.

Schwartz, A. I. & Van Hell, J. G. (2012). Bilingual visual word recognition in sentence context. In J. Adelman (Ed.), Visual Word Recognition (pp. 131-150). Psychology Press.

Van Beijsterveldt*, L. M., & Van Hell, J. G. (2012). The development of deaf writers’ tense marking in narrative and expository text: a bimodal bilingual perspective. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 15, 128-144.

Van Hell, J. G., & Tanner*, D. (2012). Second language proficiency and cross-language lexical activation. Language Learning, 62,148-171.

Brenders*, P., Van Hell, J. G., & Dijkstra, T. (2011). Word recognition in child second language learners: Evidence from cognates and false friends. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109, 383-396. DOI:10.1016/j.jecp.2011.03.012

Hermans, D., Ormel, E., Van den Besselaar*, R., & Van Hell, J. G. (2011). Lexical activation in bilinguals’ speech production is dynamic: How language ambiguous words can affect cross-language activation. Language and Cognitive Processes, 26 (10), 1687-1709.

Jackson, C. N., & Van Hell, J. G. (2011). The effects of L2 proficiency level on the processing of wh-questions among Dutch second language speakers of English. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 49 (3), 195-219.

Kootstra*, G. J., Van Hell, J. G., & Dijkstra, T. (2010). Syntactic alignment and shared word order in code-switched sentence production: Evidence from bilingual monologue and dialogue. Journal of Memory and Language, 63, 210-231. doi:10.1016/j.jml.2010.03.006

Kroll, J. F., Van Hell, J. G., Tokowicz, N., & Green, D. W. (2010). The Revised Hierarchical model: A critical review and assessment. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 13 (3), 373-381. doi:10.1017/S136672891000009X

Van Beijsterveldt*, L. M. & Van Hell, J. G. (2010). Lexical noun phrases in texts written by deaf children and adults with different proficiency levels in sign language. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 13 (4), 439-468. DOI: 10.1080/13670050903477039

Van Hell, J. G., & Tokowicz, N. (2010). Event-related brain potentials and second language learning: Syntactic processing in late L2 learners at different L2 proficiency levels. Second Language Research, 26 (1), 43-74. DOI: 10.1177/0267658309337637

Hoogeveen*, L., Van Hell, J. G., & Verhoeven, L. (2009). Self-concept, social status and reputation of accelerated and non-accelerated students in the Netherlands. Gifted Child Quarterly, 53, 50-67. DOI: 10.1177/0016986208326556

Kootstra*, G. J., Van Hell, J. G., & Dijkstra, T. (2009). Two speakers, one dialogue: An interactive alignment perspective on codeswitching in bilingual speakers. In: L. Isurin, D. Winford, & K. de Bot (Eds.), Multidisciplinary approaches to code switching (pp. 129-159). Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Van Beijsterveldt*, L. M., & Van Hell, J. G. (2009). Evaluative expression in deaf children’s written narratives. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 44 (5), 675-692. DOI: 10.1080/13682820802301498

Van Beijsterveldt*, L. M., & Van Hell, J. G. (2009). Structural priming of adjective-noun structures in hearing and deaf children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104 (2), 179-196. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2009.05.002

Van Hell, J. G., & Witteman*, M. J. (2009). The neurocognition of switching between languages: A review of electrophysiological studies. In: L. Isurin, D. Winford, & K. de Bot (Eds.), Multidisciplinary approaches to code switching (pp. 53-84). Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Van Hell, J. G. & De Groot, A. M. B. (2008). Sentence context affects lexical decision and word translation. Acta Psychologica, 128, 431-451. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2008.03.010

Van Hell, J. G., Verhoeven, L., & Van Beijsterveldt*, L. M. (2008). Pause time patterns in writing narrative and expository texts by children and adults. Discourse Processes, 45, 406-427. DOI: 10.1080/01638530802070080

Verhoeven, L. & Van Hell, J. G. (2008). From knowledge representation to writing text: A developmental perspective. Discourse Processes, 45, 387-405.