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Feedback on "Workshop on Bilingualism and Language Acquisition: Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series"

Here is the feedback from Workshop participants. Click here!

Workshop Photos

Photos of the workshop are available online now. Please click here.



(co-organized by CUHK MoE-Microsoft Laboratory of Human-Centric Computing and Interface Technologies & CBRC, Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages)

Taking "Interaction" Seriously: how to engage Japanese learners of English in oral and/or written communication in college language classes

Speaker: Professor Yasunari Harada
Date: 23 March 2010
Venue: Swire Hall 2, Fung King Hey Building, CUHK



Workshop on Bilingualism and Language Acquisition: Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series

Date: 17 March 2010 (Wednesday)
Venue: Cho Yiu Conference Hall, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


An interview with Virginia Yip in IASCL Child Language Bulletin

Topics: bilingual first language acquisition, child second language acquisition, and the acquisition of Chinese in bilingual and multilingual contexts Click here!

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Conference Presentations


The Sixth International Conference on Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism September 10-12, 2009

Members presented at the Sixth International Conference on
Third Language Acquisition and Multilingualism
at Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, 10-12 September 2009.

Transfer from L3 German to L2 English: tense-aspect.
Cheung, Anna, Stephen Matthews and Wai Lan Tsang.
This paper was awarded the Best Student Paper Prize.

Trilingual children have a distinct linguistic profile: relative clauses in Cantonese, Mandarin and English
Yip, Virginia, Angel Chan and Stephen Matthews

Conference photos are available at Picasa album. Click here!


International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB7),
July 8 – 11, 2009

Members of CBRC presented our work at the 7th International Symposium on Bilingualism (ISB7) in Utrecht, the Netherlands from July 8 - 11, 2009.

Cross-linguistic influence in bilingual and multilingual contexts
Yip, Virginia and Stephen Matthews

Acquiring rhythmically different languages at an early age: the case of Cantonese and English
Mok Peggy

The acquisition of verb particle construction in bilingual Cantonese-English children
Wong Hin Yee Hinny

Early Cantonese tonal characteristics in a Cantonese-English bilingual child
Shum Ka Yee Kelly

Conference photos are available at Picasa album. Click here!


Feedback on “Conference on Bilingual Acquisition in Early Childhood” (BAEC)

Example image - aligned to the right

Here are some written comments received from presenters and participants on BAEC:

"The Conference on Bilingual Acquisition in Early Childhood was in many respects a ‘breakthrough event’ for linguistics in Asia. It was the first-ever conference in this part of the world on bilingualism—a long-over due event...."read more

BAEC Photos

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If you could not make it or you were there and would like to recall what had happened, more news and photos about BAEC are now online.

Visit Conference Homepage now to download the final program and program book. Day 1 and Day 2 Conference photos are available at Picasa album. Don't miss it!


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Academic Visits

Visit to Sydney, Australia

Professor Virginia Yip and Dr. Stephen Matthews gave two invited lectures and visited the School of Humanities and Languages and MARCS Auditory Laboratories at the University of Western Sydney in October 2009. (Photos)

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CBRC's Visitors


Intern from Li Po Chun United World College


A multilingual family from Belgium: mother is a native speaker of Cantonese and father is a native speaker of German. They each speak their native language as well as English to their child Felix.

Very impressed by the work the Centre has been doing. Keep it up! I believe it's worth such an effort that pre-school language education can flourish.
- Chris Law

很感動。面對語言教學30年, 今天令我大開眼界。明白語言學習是需要面對實質的數據而發展。希望能聽更多, 了解更多。Thanks a lot!
- Alice Tang

Meaningful logo, meaningful work. Thank you for all your contributions.
- Karen Chan

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Invited Lectures

Professor Virginia Yip’s invited lecture at HKIED on 13 November 2009:

Do bilingual children acquire two languages like monolingual children?

Date: 13 November 2009 (Friday)Time:3:30 – 5:00 p.m.
Venue: B4-LP-06 The Hong Kong Institute of Education (Tai PoCampus)

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Messages From Around The World

Message from William O'Grady (May 19, 2010):

- Once again, it's been a delightful visit, with exciting conversation and exchange of idea. Always feel privileged to talk with leaders in the field like Steve and Virginia. I'll be looking forward to the next opportunity.

Message from Sally Charton ( March 18, 2010):

- I travelled thousand of miles to take part in the workshop bilingualism & early language acquisition and was inspired by the quality and variety of presentations during the day. The keynote speakers delivered outstanding presentations on major current research issues, i.e.cognitive-benefits of bilingualism and heritage languages. Other highlight of the day included talks on assessments of language outcomes, parental participation and issues relating to education. A perfect blend of research and practical applications. Well Done & Congratulations to Professor Yip and Stephen Matthews for taking this initiative.

Message from Kelly Chak-Marx:

- "I am a mother of a 2 year old boy, living in Luxembourg. I speak with my son mainly in Cantonese and my husband speaks with him mainly in German. In Creche, they interact in English. Luxembourg is a multi-cultural and multilingual country in Europe, the official language is French, German and Luxembourgish. If we are staying in Luxembourg for longer period, theoretically, my son will need to learn six languages (Cantonese, German, English, French, Luxembourgish plus Mandarin, because of the Chinese community here)."

- "My research interest is in the acquisition of Chinese literacy skills by multi-lingual children in non-Chinese dominant environment. I have lived in Germany before and known some Chinese-European families who are eager to teach their children Chinese. And I would very much hope that my kid will be able to communicate in Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin) and develop a sense of belonging to the Chinese culture."

Message from Wanhua, Xi'an:

- "Thank you for your message. It's a good idea to have my message and  information on the Center website. It is my honor to beinvolved in the mission of childhood bilingualism. I would like to share with you some of the situation for child english learning in mainland China. By law, children learn English from the third grade(at about 9 years old) of elementary school.Many children start to learn English even earlier. Still many of then have extra training class at the weekend. However, what children can get is just some English words. For college students, a great of them normally spend over 50 percent of their study time to learn English in order to take a series of English exams, but most of them are still incompetent for communication. English learning is becoming more and more time-and-money-consuming. There should be a way to relieve the burn of learning English, and childhood bilingualism will be the way. So I think it is really valuable to understand more about this field. And it does interest me a lot.

As I shared with you that I was only a beginner of this field though I made my effort to prove "non-native speech input can satisfy the needs of child language acquisition" for my master degree, I feel I'm still very weak in the foundations of modern linguistics branches. I had some classes about the courses of linguistics, but mostly just on the surface. When I read your paper, sometimes I could not understand completely. I wonder if you can give a reading list of some fundamentals. Thank you!"

- "Thanks so much for your encouragement. Actually, it was my first time to contact the top researchers. To my great excitement, a fast reply. I have read the feedback of the workshop. I really admire the participants who got a lot about childhood bilingualism from the workshop. It is very genourous of you to have all those valualble matierals available to anyone who is interested in the field, just as your mission says ,"to serve children and parents in Hong Kong and the region by studying childhood bilingualism and propagating its positive outcomes erve children and parents in Hong Kong and the region by studying childhood bilingualism and propagating its positive outcomes."

About a year ago, I searched "child bilingualis" in google, and got to log on to website of the conference on bilingual acquisition. And my eyes were broadened for this field. I got the valuable papers to get to know more about this field which there is still a blank area in mainland China.Having being at work as an english teacher for two years, as to research, there have been one thing in my mind that is to do something valuable, which can benifit people as well as my own family as a whole. I apreciate you so much for your invitation to visit to the campus and the CBRC of CUHK, which I believe will open our eyes. My wife visited HK last year as a trainee of “优质教育". The values of education she learned are now in practice in her nursary. We would like to visit you some time in the future, though I don't know the exact time when I got some preparations and also be your  convinience. However, I hope this time can be soon. Frankly speaking, what I got from Master period is still far for me to do some international standard reseach. I got the reading list of your department, hoping to make up the fundamental knowlege about linguistics.

I'm so grateful to  your patience and support. Best wishes to you!"

- "I'm an English teacher in a University of Xi'an, a beginner of child language acquisition research. and My wife is in charge of a nursery in which the children are from five different countries. We are planning to have a baby, and we would like to help our child become a bilingual just like you have done."

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Other Announcements

Welcome to the team


Emily Yiu joined CBRC as research assistant from early November till the end of December 2009. Emily is currently a PhD student in Linguistics at the University of Alberta, Canada.

During her stay at CBRC, she is involved in corpus- based research. She is interested in bilingual acquisition and language typology.





We’d like to extend our warm welcome to a new advisor joining CBRC’s Advisory Board:
Dr. Gerald Chan, Director of Morningside Foundation


Professor Andy Kirkpatrick's public lecture at HKIED on 9 October 2009:

Learning English and other languages in multilingual settings: Myth and Principles

9 October 2009 (Friday) 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
D1-LP-03, The Hong Kong Institute of Education (Tai Po Campus)


Funeral Announcement for Wally Lambert

Wally Lambert, a world-renowned researcher in the field of social psychology and bilingualism, passed away on Sunday August 23 from complications related to pneumonia.


Welcome to the team

Sunny Park joined CBRC as honorary research assistant from mid May till mid June 2009. Sunny is currently a PhD student in Linguistics at Purdue University. During her stay at CBRC, she was involved in the research project on “Hong Kong Children’s English Competence”.

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