Dr. Marta Kopinska talked about her personal experience with learning Basque and other issues related to languages on Euskadi Irratia (Amarauna saioa, 03/06/2018):

“There is no good excuse not to learn a (new) language” our colleague, Dr. Marta Kopinska talked about languages in an interview by Berria (18/05/2018):

Our colleagues, Dr. Agurtzane Azkarai and Dr. Marta Kopinska, members of the research group LASLAB, took part in the Pint of Science event (Kafe Antzokia Kutxa Beltza/Bilbao and Altxerri Bar & Jazz/Donostia) where they talked about language learning and the way in which research findings might help language students not to get (too) frustrated.

Listen to the interview on Bilbo Hiria radio (14/05/2018):

La Facultad de Letras de la Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea acogió el congreso internacional ‘The oral-written connection in second/foreign language learning’, organizado por el Grupo de investigación consolidado Language and Speech ( y que reunió a un centenar de asistentes. En las cinco conferencias plenarias, especialistas como Bitchener, Kormos, Manchón, Storch y Tavakoli, expusieron los principales resultados de las investigaciones llevadas a cabo en torno a la conexión entre las tareas orales y escritas a la hora de aprender una lengua extranjera, prestando especial atención a las investigaciones realizadas con niños de Educación Primaria… Ir al artículo

La doctora María del Pilar García Mayo, investigadora principal del grupo Language and Speech, junto a las Dras. Esther Gómez Lacabex y María Martínez Adrián, miembros del equipo, han explicado en la sección ‘Ciencia y Tecnología’ de Cadena SER Vitoria (27/2/2018) algunos aspectos del trabajo que lleva a cabo el grupo.

A Laslab workshop entitled “Language acquisition and second language in the classroom” will be held November 6th 2015. For more details click here.


Robust noise-induced Spanish word misperceptions corpus



  • Download corpus
  • Download stimuli
  • Download entire masker files and transcripitons



The book entitled Contemporary Approaches to Second Language Acquisition by María del Pilar García Mayo, M.Junkal Gutierrez-Mangado and María Martínez Adrián receives the Spanish Association of Applied Linguistics award 2014. For more details please check:

María del Pilar García Mayo, M.Junkal Gutierrez-Mangado, María Martínez Adrián (2013). Contemporary Approaches to Second Language Acquisition

The 5th Workshop in Speech in Noise (SPIN2013) was held in Vitoria on 11-11 January 2013. For more details, see the workshop website.

A generously-funded 12 month postdoc position on speech in noise confusions is available to work in the Marie Curie network INSPIRE, with a start date of October 1st 2012.

Closing date for applications: 15th April 2012

See for more details.

A generously-funded 3-year PhD studentship on computational modelling in speech perception is available to work in the Marie Curie network INSPIRE, with a start date of October 1st 2012.

Closing date for applications: 15th April 2012

See for more details.

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“Teaching languages to foreign students ssing language technologies”

The talk will take place in room 0.14 , Faculty of Arts (Vitoria-Gasteiz) on Friday, 16th December, 11:00-12:30.

Thursday, 24 May 2012 – Friday, 25 May 2012
Submission deadline:  Monday, 9 January 2012
Location: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain
Contact person: María del Pilar García Mayo (
Meeting E-mail:
Linguistic fields: cognitive science, language acquisition

Meeting description

Workshop on Third language (L3) acquisition: A focus on cognitive approaches
Convener: Language and Speech Laboratory ( – University of the Basque Country
Conference dates: 24-25 May, 2012

This workshop is a follow-up of the successful meetings that took place in Stockholm (January 2009) and Iowa City (June 2010). Its main goal is to bring together researchers who are interested in the acquisition and use of a third (L3) language and whose work is carried out within a cognitive perspective. The main motivation behind research done within cognitive approaches to L3 acquisition so far has been to find explanations for the complex cognitive nature of the multilingual mind, that is, how issues that have been dealt with in bilingualism would fare when one individual juggles three linguistic systems. The plenary speakers invited to this workshop will consider the L3 phenomenon from a gamut of cognitive-based approaches and their work will touch upon issues which contribute to the debate on the representation and processing of lexical items, the role of control processes, the mental representation of morphosyntax, the reanalysis of different linguistic systems over time and incomplete acquisition, among others. All contributions would aim at understanding the cognitive underpinnings of L3 acquisition.

The list of plenary speakers is as follows.

► Peter Ecke (University of Arizona): Word associations in tip-of-the-tongue states and developmental changes in the multilingual lexicon
► Judith F. Kroll1, Janet G. van Hell 2 and M. Teresa Bajo3 (1 2 Pennsylvania State University and 3Universidad de Granada): A cognitive view of multilingualism:  The role of control processes in modulating the activity of more than one language
► Jason Rothman (University of Florida): The L3 connection: Highlighting the value of third language (L3) syntactic transfer data for general linguistic and psycholinguistic questions
► Kees de Bot (University of Groningen) and Carol Jaensch (University of Essex): What’s special about multilingualism?
► Maria Polinsky (Harvard University): Heritage Speakers’ Adventures in re-learning: Can an L1 become an L3?

Call for papers

Submission deadline: 9 January, 2012

We seek high quality papers that contribute to these larger issues, but also those that examine specific empirical questions related to the acquisition of L3/Ln morphosyntax, phonology, the lexicon, semantics and pragmatics from a cognitive perspective.

Abstracts must be 500 words or less (not including title, figures and references) and fit on one page, with a second page for data and references. Abstracts are due on 9 January 2012 and should be sent to A limited number of papers following peer review will be selected for oral or poster presentation. Acceptance will be announced on 1 March.


More details are available at



13th May 2011

Facultad de Letras, Paseo de la Universidad, 5, Vitoria-Gasteiz

Seminar website

Nuevo curso de formación de profesores de Español Lengua Extranjera, en colaboración con el Instituto Cervantes.

Más información en: aquí

A postdoctoral fellowship for up to 12 months is available immediately on the EU Marie Curie Research Training Network “Sound to Sense”. The post is funded for up to 12 months ending on 30th April 2011. The fellow will be based in the Language and Speech Laboratory in Vitoria but will spend some time at Charles University Prague.


The main objective of the project is to clarify the role of the various factors in foreign accent perception via a tightly-linked series of behavioural and computer modelling studies. The position involves:

  1. Collecting corpora for foreign accent analysis from Czech and Spanish speakers using English as their foreign language
  2. Identification of the main phonetic correlates of foreign accent in each language by phonetic analysis with other phoneticians in Prague and Vitoria
  3. Speech signal manipulation and re-synthesis in temporal, frequency and intensity domains
  4. Collecting data from experimental situations concerning listeners’ judgement.

More details can be found at the Sound to Sense website.

13 and 14 May, 2010

Facultad de Letras
Paseo de la Universidad, 5

The workshop is aimed at teachers, lecturers, university students and researchers interested in Second Language Acquisition (SLA).

Please visit  the workshop website for more details:


Some presentation slides and handouts from the workshop are supplied below:

  • Eva Alcón, Universitat Jaume I    PPT
  • Ana Llinares, Universidad Autónomade Madrid    PPT
  • Teresa Pica, University of Pennsylvania    PPT  Handout
  • Roumyana Slabakova, University of Iowa    PPT
  • Regina Weinert, University of Sheffield/Ikerbasque    Handout

Del 5 de marzo al 15 de mayo de 2010 se celebrará en Vitoria-Gasteiz una nueva edición del Curso de Formación para Profesores de Español Lengua Extranjera organizado conjuntamente por la Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea y el Instituto Cervantes. El título de este nuevo curso es:


Más información en:
Cursos de lenguas para profesorado

A number of research positions are available from 1st September 2010 at the University of the Basque Country (Spain) to work on the LISTA (The Listening Talker) project funded by the European Union Framework 7 FET-Open Programme until April 30 2013.

About the LISTA project

Speech is efficient and robust, and remains the method of choice for human communication. Consequently, speech output is used increasingly to deliver information in automated systems such as talking GPS and live-but-remote forms such as public address systems. However, these systems are essentially one-way, output-oriented technologies that lack an essential ingredient of human interaction: communication. When people speak, they also listen. When machines speak, they do not listen. As a result, there is no guarantee that the intended message is intelligible, appropriate or well-timed. The current generation of speech output technology is deaf, incapable of adapting to the listener’s context, inefficient in use and lacking the naturalness that comes from rapid appreciation of the speaker-listener environment. Crucially, when speech output is employed in safety-critical environments such as vehicles and factories, inappropriate interventions can increase the chance of accidents through divided attention, while similar problems can result from the fatiguing effect of unnatural speech. In less critical environments, crude solutions involve setting the gain level of the output signal to a level that is unpleasant, repetitive and at times distorted. All of these applications of speech output will, in the future, be subject to more sophisticated treatments based on understanding how humans communicate.

The LISTA project will investigate how listeners modify their production patterns in realistic environments that are characterised by noise and natural, rapid interactions. By listening while talking, speakers can reduce the impact of noise and reverberation at the ears of their interlocutor. And by talking while listening, speakers can indicate understanding, agreement and a range of other signals that make natural dialogs fluid and not the sequence of monologues that characterise current human-computer interaction. Both noise and natural interactions demand rapid adjustments, including shifts in spectral balance, pauses, expansion of the vowel space, and changes in speech rate.

While our knowledge of the way speakers adapt to their context is currently far from complete, some data exists as well as speculation about perceptual consequences. Speakers respond to the presence of noise by reallocating information-bearing elements in the spectrum and across time, in such a way as to increase intelligibility for listeners. When asked to speak clearly, talkers respond with articulatory gestures that result in greater cross-class separation and small within-class variation. Faced with competing talkers, speakers make on-the-spot prosodic alterations to reduce foreground-background overlap. Listeners provide speakers with immediate feedback using “back-channel” utterances (e.g., “yeah”, “sure”), as well as facial gestures, which speakers monitor and exploit by speeding up, slowing down or changing style. In short, talkers have at their disposal a host of strategies deployed at a range of temporal scales to promote successful speech communication. The goal of LISTA is to obtain a deeper understanding of human context-sensitivity in speech production and to translate some of these findings to synthetic, live and recorded speech.

This multidisciplinary project lasts for 3 years and is coordinated by the Language and Speech Laboratory at University of the Basque Country, Spain. Other partners are the Centre for Speech Technology Research at the University of Edinbugh (UK), the Sound and Image Processing Laboratory at KTH (Stockholm, Sweden) and the Networks and Telecommunications Laboratory at the Institute for Computer Science (Crete, Greece).

Positions. Two post-doctoral research positions are available to start on 1st September 2010.  A PhD in speech communication in humans or machines is essential. Experience in the design, execution and analysis of speech perception experiments is desirable. Salary is in the range €30-35k.

Application procedure. Please send your CV to the project coordinator, Prof. Martin Cooke by Friday 16th July 2010.


Call for Proposals: Up to 4 Travel/Accommodation Fellowshipsfor Participating Scholars

Application Deadline: Tuesday, January 5, 2010.
Seminar Dates: Monday June 7 – Friday June 11, 2010.
More details can be found at or flyer

The acquisition of a third language (L3) or more in adulthood, otherwise labeled successive multilingualism, sits at the forefront of current international linguistic inquiry for many scientific and practical reasons. Within the cognitive science study of language acquisition, adult multilingualism embodies an understudied instance of language learning that is essential for a more complete understanding of the human capacity for language. Its study provides a unique perspective that allows an exploration of theoretical issues that have yet to be fully explicated in studies to date. On the more practical side, in an age of increasing globalization, knowledge of multiple languages is necessary even in societies where socalled monolingualism has prevailed in recent times. Since recent estimates have indicated that up to twothirds of the world’s population is at least bilingual, studies on multilingualism are needed now more than ever before.

The seminar invites applications from scholars in all related fields, including but not limited to linguistics, applied linguistics, language pedagogy and education, psychology, and sociology. Participants selected from this call will join a team of invited international scholars, at various stages in their careers, representing a wide range of approaches.

How well can you recognise simple English words in noise? Take our 2-minute online listening test at


The master’s programme in Language Acquisition in Multilingual Settings, has been launched. For details of the 2013-2014 academic year please download the leaflet or click the animation below:


This is a meeting of the Marie Curie Research Training Network Sound2Sense and incorporates 2 one-day workshops on morphology and L2 acquisition. The meeting is open to S2S fellows and scientists, and local researchers.


  • Mon. 14th: Fellows’ day
  • Tue. 15th: Morphology Workshop. Evening social activity.
  • Wed. 16th: Fellows’ presentations/posters followed by research issue discussions.
  • Thu. 17th: Further group discussions of research issues; business meeting; conference meal.
  • Fri. 18th: L2 Speech Workshop.


Facultad de Letras
Paseo de la Universidad, 5
01006 Vitoria-Gasteiz

The venue is 5-10 minutes walk from the centre of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

More details can be found at the website:

The Language and Speech Laboratory is a multidisciplinary research group based in the University of the Basque Country which investigates issues concerning speech and language acquisition including the following specific areas:

  1. Acquisition of syntax, morphology, lexicon, discourse and pragmatics
  2. Speech perception and production
  3. Auditory modelling
  4. Bilingualism and multilingualism
  5. Language attitudes
  6. Instructed Foreign Language Acquisition
  7. Robust automatic speech recognition
  8. Computer models of word recognition in noise

We have also organised the following events since 1999:

  • 2012. International Workshop on Third Language Acquisition: A Focus on Cognitive Approaches. Vitoria, 24-25 May
  • 2011. International Seminar on Instructed Second Language Learning. Vitoria, 13 May
  • 2010. Multiple Perspectives on Second Language Acquisition. Vitoria, 13-14 May.
  • 2009. L2 Acquisition and Morphology Workshop, Marie Curie RTN Sound to Sense. Vitoria, 15-18 de septiembre.
  • 2009. Symposium on Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL). Vitoria, 8-9 de mayo.
  • 2009. Jornadas de divulgación de Lingüística Aplicada: Reflexiones en torno a la lengua y su adquisición. Bilbao 9-10 de marzo.
  • 2009 . Workshop on Signal Processing, Experiment Design and Signal Manipulation, Marie Curie RTN Sound to Sense. Vitoria, 19-23 de enero.
  • 2004. The 14th European Second Language Acquisition (EUROSLA) conference. San Sebastián, 8-11 de septiembre.
  • 2001. Symposium on Language Awareness in the Foreign Language Classroom. Vitoria, 11-12 de mayo.
  • 2000. Curso de verano de la UPV/EHU/Curso Europeo The Age Factor in the Acquisition of a Foreign Language. San Sebastián, 10-12 de julio.
  • 1999. The VIII Conference of the International Association for the Study of Child Language. San Sebastián.