Bene Bassetti

I am an applied linguist, researching bilingualism and second language learning.
I am working as a Senior Lecturer (=Associate Professor)
in Bilingualism and Language Learning at the University of Birmingham, UK.

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LACAB_smallSize11 Oct 2019 — Language and Cognition at Birmingham (LACAB) launch event
The new research network Language and Cognition at Birmingham (LACAB), which I am leading, was launched with a whole-day event, which culminated in a talk by Professor Adele Goldberg (Princeton). The network consists of more than thirty  academics at the University of Birmingham and their doctoral and postdoctoral researchers. The network’s website is

FrontiersCommunication31 July 2019 — New article in Frontiers in Communication: Language Sciences
Effects of orthographic forms on the acquisition of novel spoken words in a second language. We found that L2 learners who learn a spoken L2 word while seeing its spelling can learn a non-nativelike pronunciation of the word because of its spelling. Specifically, Italians learned spoken English words as containing a long consonant if they saw that the word was spelled with double consonant letters. Also, learners who saw word spellings learned spoken words faster than those who didn’t. With Tania Cerni and Jackie Masterson.

BLC 12 July 2019 — New article in Bilingualism: Language & Cognition
English orthographic forms affect L2 English speech production in native users of a non-alphabetic writing system
We found that Japanese speakers of L2 English  produce consonants and vowels as longer if spelled with two letters and shorter if spelled with one letter. This is the first evidence of such orthographic effects in native users of a different script. With Mirjana Sokolović-Perović and Susannah Dillons.

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23 June 2019 — Theme session at ISB 12
I organised and chaired a four-hour theme session on ‘Language and thought in bilinguals and second language learners‘ at the International Symposium on Bilingualism (Edmonton, Canada, 23-29 June 2019). Speakers: Jeanette Altarriba, Luna Filipović, Henriëtte Hendriks, Anna Marklová, Barbara Mertins, Jyotsna Vaid, and myself.

LanguageAndSpeech19 Nov 2018 — New article in Language and Speech
Orthography-induced length contrasts in the second language phonological systems of L2 speakers of English: Evidence from minimal pairs.
We found that English orthographic forms lead L2 speakers to produce English homophonic word pairs as phonological minimal pairs, for instance producing /ˈfɪnɪʃ/ with a short [n] or a long [nː] to distinguish finish from Finnish. With Mirjana Sokolović-Perović, Paolo Mairano and Tania Cerni. Thank you to Christine Shea for organising the work
shop and putting together the special issue! Read the pre-print here.

UniBhamFreePictorreDelMangia10 Sept 2018 — First day at the University of Birmingham

First day on campus in my new role as Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the School of Education at the University of Birmingham. Such a lovely place, I’m feeling at home already.
It even has a replica (on the left) of the Mangia Tower in Siena (on the right) — not very accurate TBH.