Welcome


Job J. Schepens
Biological Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Freie Universität, 
Habelschwerdter Allee 45, Rost- / Silberlaube — Room JK 25/216, 14195 Berlin

CV

News

February 2018
The article "L1 and L2 distance effects in learning L3 Dutch" received the 2018 AAAL Research Article Award. We are very happy with this additional award! Coincidentally, another article covering the same topic was published this month as a book chapter in the book: Mixed-Effects Regression Models in Linguistics, available as preprint here [PDF].

Summer 2017
Presenting a poster at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society in London and the 3rd Multidisciplinary Conference on Reinforcement Learning and Decision Making in Ann Arbor.

March 2017
The article "L1 and L2 distance effects in learning L3 Dutch" received the 2016 Language Learning Outstanding Article Award. We are very happy with this! Thanks a lot to the reviewers and editors of Language Learning and everyone involved in the process. Wiley publishers provides free downloads to everyone interested for one year (https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12150). The Language Learning Website under the heading Key Articles has a nice announcement about this news.

September 5 to 22, 2016
Research visit at the University of Basel to work with Rui Mata and Renato Frey on computational models of aging effects on learning and decision-making from experience, specifically on exploration strategies in sampling problems. 

September 1, 2016
This is the starting date of my new Job at the Freie Universität Berlin to work on the new project AGERISK, funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 708507). 

August 28 – 30, 2016
Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroeconomics with Poster

March 4 to 6, 2015
Workshop: "Universal biases on phonological acquisition and processing" at the 37th Annual Meeting of the German Linguistics Society (DGfS) [URL]. Leipzig, Germany.  [slides]

February 2015
I will start a new research project on the multidisciplinary topic of cognitive aging effects on how people make inferences from experience. The project is funded by a postdoctoral fellowship awarded by the Max Planck International Research Network on Aging. I will carry out the project at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, DE

November 25, 2014
My dissertation manuscript was approved by the Doctoral Thesis Committee. The defense is scheduled for March 26, 12.30. The thesis is available online [here]

September 29, 2014

March 14 to 16, 2014
GURT, Washington, DC

January 18 to April 18, 2014
I was awarded a Fulbright grant in the "promovendi category" for a placement period of three months at the HLP / Jaeger Lab in Rochester. The Fulbright Program is jointly supported by the Dutch and US governments. The title of the project is: Learning Additional Phonemes: A Phonological Account of L2 Learnability

March 2013
A paper on cross-language distributions of high frequency and phonetically similar cognates was published Friday May 10 (5 p.m. Eastern Time, USA). http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0063006

September 5 to 8, 2012
EuroSLA22, Poznan

August 30 to September 1, 2012
45th Annual Meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea, Stockholm

August 6 to 10, 2012
DiaTyp12, ESSLLI, Opole

June 14 to 26, 2012
Porto

June 7 and 8, 2012
Leuven statistics days: mixed models and modern multivariate methods in linguistics, Leuven

May 9, 10, and 11, 2012
Workshop relations in relativity: new perspectives on language and thought, Nijmegen

February 27 to April 27, 2012
Work visit at the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig

October 24 and 25, 2011
Workshop on comparing approaches to measuring linguistic differences, Gothenburg

Research

Interests

I have a background in cognitive science / artificial Intelligence. My PhD thesis studies the relation between linguistic distance and language learning.  I am now working on learning mechanisms and cognitive aging. 

Dissertation

  • Schepens, J. (2015). Bridging linguistic gaps: The effects of linguistic distance on the adult learnability of Dutch as an additional language (LOT Dissertation Series 383). Utrecht: LOT. Retrieved from http://www.lotpublications.nl/ (open access). [PDF][bib].

Publications

(cognitive aging and learning mechanisms)
  • Schepens, J., Hertwig, R., van den Bos, W. (in preperation). Aging of the exploring mind: Older adults deviate more from optimality in complex choice environments. 

(linguistic distance and language learning)
  • Schepens, J., Jaeger, T. F., & Van Hout, R. (in preparation). Learning new sounds: A phonological account of L2 learnability. [PDF].
  • Schepens, J., Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2018). The L2 impact on acquiring Dutch as an L3: the L2 distance effect. Speelman, D, Heylen, K. & Geeraerts, D (eds). Mixed Effects Regression Models in Linguistics. Springer. [PDF][bib].
  • Van der Slik, F., Van Hout, R., & Schepens, J. (2017). The Role of Morphological Complexity in Predicting the Learnability of an Additional Language: The Case of La (Additional Language) Dutch. Second Language Research, April 11, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1177/0267658317691322. (open access).
  • Schepens, J., Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2016). L1 and L2 distance effects in learning L3 Dutch. Language Learning, 66(1), pp. 224–256. [PDF]. [bib]. https://doi.org/10.1111/lang.12150 Supporting Information in PDF Supporting Information in CSV. (open access in 2017). Language Learning Outstanding Article Award 2016.
  • Van der Slik, F., Van Hout, R., & Schepens, J. (2015). The gender gap in second language acquisition: Gender differences in the acquisition of Dutch among immigrants from 88 countries with 49 mother tongues. PLoS ONE, 10(11), e0142056. [bib]. http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0142056 (open access). Supporting Information in PDF.
  • Schepens, J., Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2013). Learning Complex Features: A Morphological Account of L2 Learnability. Language Dynamics and Change, 3(2). 218-244. Special issue, "Phylogeny and Beyond: Quantitative Diachronic Approaches to Language Diversity", edited by Michael Dunn. [PDF][bib]. http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1163/22105832-13030203
  • Schepens, J., Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2013). The effect of linguistic distance across Indo-European mother tongues on learning Dutch as a second language. In L. Borin & A. Saxena (Eds.), Comparing Approaches to Measuring Linguistic Differences, pp 199-230. Mouton de Gruyter. [PDF][bib].
(computing cross-linguistic differences)

Conference talks and posters (* indicates presenter)

  • Schepens, J.*, Hertwig, R., van den Bos, W. (2017/7). Aging of the exploring mind: Older adults deviate more from optimality in complex choice environments. Poster presented at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Online Proceedings. London, UK. [poster][proceedings]
  • Schepens, J.*, Hertwig, R., van den Bos, W. (2017/6). Aging of the exploring mind: Older adults deviate more from optimality in complex choice environments. Poster presented at the 3rd Multidisciplinary Conference on Reinforcement Learning and Decision Making. Online Proceedings. Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Schepens, J.*, Hertwig, R., Lorenz, R., van den Bos, W. (2016/8). Aging of the exploring mind: Older adults rely more on simpler decision strategies than younger adults when trading off exploration and exploitation in complex choice environments. Poster presented at the 12th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroeconomics. Berlin, DE.
  • Schepens, J.* & Jaeger, T. F. (2015/3). L2 phonological learning in adults: The role of language background, length of exposure, and age of acquisition. Paper presented at the 37th Annual Meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Sprachwissenschaft: Universal Biases on Phonological Acquisition and Processing workshop. Leipzig, DE. [slides]
  • Schepens, J.*, Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2014/3). A large-scale study of L1 and L2 influences on learning L3 Dutch. Paper presented at the 65th Georgetown University Round Table: Usage-based Approaches to Language, Language Learning, and Multilingualism. Washington D.C., US. [slides]
  • Schepens, J.*, Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2013/9). Learning complex features: A morphological account of L2 learnability. Paper presented at the Adaptation and Implicit Learning during Linguistic Processing workshop. Donders Centre for Cognition. Nijmegen, NL.
  • Schepens, J.*, Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2012/9). The L2 impact on the acquisition of Dutch as a L3: The L2 distance effect. Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Conference of the European Second Language Association. Poznań, PL.
  • Schepens, J.*, Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2012/8). Feature configurations in L2 learnability: New insights in patterns of borrowing and transfer? Paper presented at the 45th annual meeting of the Societas Linguistica Europaea: Quantitative Diachronic Explanations of Language Diversity workshop. Stockholm, SE.
  • Schepens, J.* (2012/8). Regressing morphological differences on an empirical measure of learning difficulty. Paper presented at the Computational Approaches to the Study of Dialectal and Typological Variation workshop. Online proceedings. Opole, Poland. (Student award) [slides][proceedings], [bib].
  • Schepens, J.*, Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2012/6). The L2 impact on the acquisition of Dutch as a L3: The L2 distance effect. Paper presented at the biennial Leuven Statistics Days. Leuven, BE.
  • Schepens, J.*, Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2012/5). L2 acquisition costs and typological differences. Poster presentation at the IMPRS Relations in Relativity: New Perspectives on Language and Thought workshop. Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics.
  • Schepens, J., Van der Slik, F.*, & Van Hout, R. (2012/4). An empirically-based measure of linguistic distance. Paper presented at the 34th Language Testing Research Colloquium. Princeton.
  • Schepens, J.*, Van der Slik, F., & Van Hout, R. (2012/2). Learnability of L2 Dutch across different mother tongues. Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the Algemene Vereniging voor Taalwetenschap. Utrecht, NL.
  • Schepens, J., Van der Slik, F.*, & Van Hout, R. (2011/10). An empirically-based measure of linguistic distance. Paper presented at the Comparing Approaches to Measuring Linguistic Differences workshop. Gothenburg, SE.
  • Schepens, J.*, Dijkstra, T., Grootjen, F., & Van Heuven, W. (2011/10). Cross-language distributions of high frequency and phonetically similar cognates. Paper presented at the Comparing Approaches to Measuring Linguistic Differences workshop. Gothenburg, SE.
  • Schepens, J.*, du Pau, G.C.S.*, Brandmeyer, A., Sadakata, M. (2009). Synchronization with beats in different modalities and tempi. Poster presented at the 25th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Psychophysics. Printed and online proceedings (pp. 529-532). Galway, Ireland. (Student award).  [proceedings][bib].
Invited Presentations
  • 2016/06. Cross-language distributions of highly frequent and phonetically similar cognates. Max Planck Research Group Reading Education and Development (READ). Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Berlin, DE.
  • 2015/05. Dynamics of learning across the lifespan. International Max Planck Research Network on Aging Research School. Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. Rostock, DE.
  • 2014/12. Learning complex features: A morphological account of L2 learnability. Cross-Linguistic Aspects of Complexity and its Role in L2 Development symposium. Brussels, BE.
  • 2014/02. Learning additional phonemes: A phonological account of L2 learnability. Human language processing / Jaeger Lab. University of Rochester, NY, US
  • 2013/11. L2 distance and complexity in L3 Dutch learnability. Potsdam research institute for multilingualism. University of Potsdam, DE.
  • 2012/03. Exposing feature configurations in learning difficulty of Dutch. Department of Linguistics. Max Planck institute for evolutionary anthropology, Leipzig, DE
  • 2009/11. Computing linguistic distance using frequency distributions of cognates. Bilingualism group, School of psychology. University of Nottingham, UK

(Other)
  • Poster presentation at HaBilNet. May 2018. La Dolce: Brussel. [PDF]
  • Poster presentation and demonstration at Long night of the sciences. June 2017. Freie Universitaet. Berlin. [PDF]
  • Poster presentation at Drongo festival for Multilingualsm. September 2014. Public Library: Amsterdam. [PDF]

Fun

Visiting Ukraine (a.o. Севастополь)

Visiting UK and Ireland (a.o. Halloween)

Visiting Uganda (teaching ICT)

Playing records