Vita Kogan

Vita Kogan
University College London | UCL

PhD in Cognitive Science and Language

About

24
Publications
10,000
Reads
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317
Citations
Citations since 2016
24 Research Items
317 Citations
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2016201720182019202020212022020406080
2016201720182019202020212022020406080
Introduction
I am a lecturer (US: assistant professor) at University College London. My research concerns psycholinguistic aspects of the acquisition of L2 speech. I research how adults learn new language sounds (esp. individual differences) and what pedagogical methods support this learning the best way. My other research interests include phonaesthetics (understanding the aesthetic pleasure we derive from listening to the sounds of languages) and the acquisition of L2 Russian.
Additional affiliations
May 2021 - December 2021
Queen Mary, University of London
Position
  • Lecturer
February 2020 - April 2021
University of Kent
Position
  • Lecturer
June 2017 - May 2020
Monterey Institute of International Studies
Position
  • Visiting Professor
Education
October 2016 - February 2020
University of Barcelona
Field of study
  • Cognitive Science and Language / Applied Linguistics
September 2015 - September 2016
The University of Edinburgh
Field of study
  • Psychology of Language
September 2010 - December 2012
Monterey Institute of International Studies
Field of study
  • Teaching Foreign Language (TFL/TESOL)

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
Full-text available
Native (L1) phonetic categories can constrain the perception of non-native contrasts which deviate from the listener’s L1 (Best & Tyler, 2007; Flege, 1995). Yet, some individuals are remarkably successful at accurately perceiving non-native sounds (e.g., Bongaerts, van Summeren, Planken, & Schils, 1997). We hypothesize that compact L1 categories gi...
Chapter
Previous research has shown that phonological short-term memory (PSTM) is closely connected to non-native perceptual abilities. PSTM facilitates the development of target-like cue-weighting and is an important factor in the acquisition of L2 (second language) categories (Cerviño-Povedano & Mora, 2015; MacKay, Meador & Flege, 2001). Another importan...
Article
Full-text available
The communicative approach to language teaching (CA) has commonly been recognized as having a positive impact on student motivation. However, language instructors notice that the CA does not elicit enthusiastic response from all learners. Based on the dynamic conception of motivation (Dörnyei & Ryan, 2015), this paper shares data from the empirical...
Article
Full-text available
This paper concerns sound aesthetic preferences for European foreign languages. We investigated the phonetic-acoustic dimension of the linguistic aesthetic pleasure to describe the “music” found in European languages. The Romance languages, French, Italian, and Spanish, take a lead when people talk about melodious language – the music-like effects...
Chapter
Full-text available
An increasing number of people (e.g., polyglots) report studying foreign languages out of pure pleasure derived from sound or melody. The Romance languages, particularly French, Italian, and Spanish, take the lead when people talk about attractive or sexy-sounding languages/accents (Burchette, 2014), while languages like German and Arabic are often...
Article
Full-text available
Composing sentence meaning is easier for predictable words than for unpredictable words. Are predictable words genuinely predicted, or simply more plausible and therefore easier to integrate with sentence context? We addressed this persistent and fundamental question using data from a recent, large-scale ( n = 334) replication study, by investigati...
Preprint
Open Architecture Curriculum Design (OACD) is constitutes an emerging curricular design paradigm, which supports many innovative language-teaching approaches originated in the socio-constructivist theory of knowledge acquisition and the transformative pedagogy trend. OACD recommends a non-textbook-based modular structure of the curriculum, which is...
Preprint
Full-text available
Composing sentence meaning is easier for predictable words than for unpredictable words. Are predictable words genuinely predicted, or simply more plausible and therefore easier to integrate with sentence context? We addressed this persistent and fundamental question using data from a recent, large-scale ( N = 334) replication study, by investigati...
Article
Full-text available
Do people routinely pre-activate the meaning and even the phonological form of upcoming words? The most acclaimed evidence for phonological prediction comes from a 2005 Nature Neuroscience publication by DeLong, Urbach and Kutas, who observed a graded modulation of electrical brain potentials (N400) to nouns and preceding articles by the probabilit...
Data
p-values for the articles for each laboratory and each channel.
Data
r-values for the articles for each channel, computed across laboratories.
Data
r-values for the nouns for each channel, computed across laboratories.
Data
p-values for the nouns for each channel, computed across laboratories.
Data
This file contains Supplementary Tables 1-3. Supplementary Table 1 contains the sentence materials with cloze probabilities (0-100%) of articles and nouns, along with post-noun sentence endings, comprehension questions and expected answer. Of note, because expectedness of the noun is here determined by the cloze value of the preceding article, the...
Data
r-values for the nouns for each laboratory and each channel.
Data
r-values for the articles for each laboratory and each channel
Data
r-values for the nouns for each laboratory and each channel.
Data
p-values for the articles for each channel, computed across laboratories.
Conference Paper
Although recent studies on second language (L2) speech acquisition acknowledge that individual differences play a crucial role in learning outcomes, the ways in which individual differences in the processing of specific phonetic features in unfamiliar sounds interact with L2 speech learning ability for languages that exploit those phonetic features...
Article
Full-text available
In current theories of language comprehension, people routinely and implicitly predict upcoming words by pre-activating their meaning, morpho-syntactic features and even their specific phonological form. To date the strongest evidence for this latter form of linguistic prediction comes from a 2005 Nature Neuroscience landmark publication by DeLong,...
Article
In current theories of language comprehension, people routinely and implicitly predict upcoming words by pre-activating their meaning, morpho-syntactic features and even their specific phonological form. To date the strongest evidence for this latter form of linguistic prediction comes from a 2005 Nature Neuroscience landmark publication by DeLong,...

Questions

Questions (9)
Question
Hello,
Do ggplot regression plots actually show the number of the participants accurately? I had 27 participants, but only see 13 dots on the graph. Is it OK, or I'm missing something here?
Thanks,
Vita
Question
Hello,
I am looking for the speech database / corpus that contains speech materials of children with atypical development (due to speech disorders or lagging speech development). I am actually interested in contributing to such corpus.
Thank you,
Vita
Question
I am trying to synthesize a set of vowels for an experiment using Klatt and Praat but lacking the mush-needed knowledge to do it / to adjust the parameters appropriately (for the more natural sound). Is there a good book / resource that will guide me through the process?
Question
Hello!
Where can I find "North Wind and the Sun" tale written in various languages with the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) transcriptions?
Thank you!
Question
Hello,
To correct for a negative skew, I performed a reverse log transformation to my response variable, as such: log10(K + 1 - X), where K is the highest value of the variable X. If I understand correctly, to interpret the coefficients in my linear model, I now have to exponentiate them as such: 10^coefficient and... how do I correct for reversing the scores?
Question
I am new at using generalized liner mixed models (GLMM) and not sure which distribution I should specify for my dependent variable (auditory perception). It's an integer: positive numbers from 1 to 10. The distribution is unimodal and has an obvious negative skew. Any ideas?
Thank you!
Question
Hello everyone!
When validating a linear mixed model, I get the attached plot created with plot() in R.
The model formula is Auditory Perception ~ Acoustic Memory + (1|Subject) + (1|Item). Perception is assessed on a 1-to-10-point scale and Acoustic Memory is on a 1-to-74-point scale. There is obviously a mistake somewhere, because this plot looks nothing as I've seen before. But I have no clue what I' have done wrong. Any ideas?
Question
Hello,
Any article recommendations on Spanish learners of Russian, particularly — the acquisition of the Russian sound system?
Question
Hello,
Any recommendations on a good online master's program in neuroscience?
Thanks,
Vita

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Our ever-growing dependence on various technological tools has impacted the way we now conceptualize second language acquisition and teaching. This technological revolution has prompted educators to consider the ways in which digital media are connected to language learning through digitally mediated social interaction. The projet aims to study the impact of digital technology on L2 pedagogy and to conceptualize the usage of computer-assisted activities from a perspective of students' proficiency. Among other research themes, we study text-based telecollaboration applied to L2 learning at low level of proficiency.
Project
The Cognitive Pedagogy for Language Learning (cognitivepedagogy.weebly.com/) is an interdisciplinary international research group that unites researchers and language practitioners interested in the cognitive mechanisms of second language acquisition. Our aim is to understand the innate cognitive machinery of a language learner and to translate this knowledge into applicable classroom activities that would promote best teaching practices and maximize learning outcomes. Cognitive pedagogy is analyzing and implementing educational decisions from the perspective of information processing in the brain. Why cognitive and not neuro-? Our deliberate choice for cognitive as opposed to neuro-pedagogy is based on the understanding of the term neuro- in its narrow sense, which refers to data from empirical brain imaging studies (despite the common trend to extend neuro- to human cognitive functions). We share Dr. Daniel Willingham’s position who insists upon distinguishing between a neuro- and cognitive level of analysis and considering the cognition (cognitive processes) as a bridge between the pure physiological brain activities and the learning process rooted in a social environment. Cognitive condition-based theory Our position is rooted in the cognitive conditions-based theory which postulates that "instructional strategies should facilitate the internal processes of learning" (Richey, Klein & Tracey, 2011, p. 105). It means that a teacher is responsible to design and conduct classroom activities in a way that maximizes learner’s cognitive ability and facilitates information processing. Guiding research topics - cognitive and neuro-processes underlying first and foreign languages learning and using - specifics of language acquisition by adults - existing language teaching methods and practices reviewed from a cognitive perspective - designing new instructional strategies and activities to enhance language learning from a cognitive perspective (action-research-development) - linguistic theories and representations of language underlying language teaching methods and practices - technology in the foreign language classroom: a cognitive perspective
Project
We investigated how individual differences in first language perception affect discrimination ability of a novel Russian contrast that does not exist in participants’ L1 Spanish. Previous research suggested that a native phonological system functions as a filter and impedes accurate perception and production of novel sounds (Best & Taylor, 2007; Escudero, 2005; Flege, 1995). We argue that not only are individuals with various L1s are equipped differently for the task of L2 perception, but also individuals with the same L1 vary in how their native phonological categories are represented in the perceptual space. Such variability is observable in measures of compactness of L1 phonetic categories (Kartushina & Frauenfelder, 2014), and its effects on initial L2 perceptual learning can be assessed by relating degree of compactness to the discrimination accuracy of novel L2 contrasts. Sixty-eight Spanish monolinguals participated in the study. The degree of compactness of their native category /i/ was measured through a goodness-of-fit rating task, where participants listened to synthesized variants of a Spanish /i/ (differing in F1, F2 or both) and rated them as either good or bad exemplars of their internal representation of the category /i/ on a 10-point scale. These ratings provided an individual /i/ compactness index for each participant that was related to an individual discrimination accuracy score for the novel Russian contrast /i - ɨ/. The results revealed that the compactness of the L1 category /i/ contributed significantly to the participants’ ability to discriminate Russian /i - ɨ/. These findings suggest that having more compact vowel categories might facilitate the process of category formation for unfamiliar L2 sounds.