Research Assistants

Kathlyn Canales

I am a senior majoring in Language Science with a minor in Hearing and Speech. I am Bilingual in English and Spanish. I’ve been very interested in Bilingualism and want to continue to learn more. I want to learn more about language acquisition and how it is affected when learning two languages at once.

Jiachen Jin

Hi! I’m a junior majoring in psychology, and recently I plan on minoring in fields like linguistics. Personally, I found it interesting to experience different languages and see the difference between cultures, which is also the main reason why I started self-studying Japanese this summer. One of my research interests is how our brain functions during code switching. Though there’s a saying that our brain is like a computer, I suggest our brain is far more flexible. As someone that is fluent in two languages, I sometimes notice how effortless code switching could be. Hopefully, we will all have a meaningful time here!

Andrew Lei

Hi! I am a third-year majoring in Cognitive Sciences. I am interested in how a human’s brain works and how each individual neurotransmitter collaborates with other neurotransmitters to carry out different actions. Growing up in a Cantonese-speaking household, I always wondered how I acquired Cantonese effortlessly but when I learned a second language, it was much harder. I am so excited to be part of the Bilingualism, Brain, and Mind Lab. 

Kailey Suda

Hi everyone! I am a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Language Science and looking to minor in Japanese Language and Literature. I’m really interested in language acquisition and how multilingualism affects cognitive processes and hope to learn more about these as a research assistant. I look forward to being a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab!

Nicole Wu

Hi! I am a second-year undergraduate student majoring in cognitive science. I am fluent in languages including English, Cantonese, and Mandarin Chinese. As a multilingual, it is fascinating to see that people from different age groups will have different experiences when learning a new language. Through this lab, I am curious to see how brains will relate to our learning in language at different age groups. Also, this research experience will allow me to understand more aspects of multilingual speakers that find it easier to acquire new languages than others.

Michelle Chao

Hello! I’m a third-year double majoring in Cognitive Sciences and Language Science, minoring in Spanish. I’m fluent in English and Spanish, and grew up speaking Cantonese. As a native speaker of Cantonese who is more proficient in other languages, I am primarily interested in second language acquisition as well as bilingual education and I look forward to working on research related to these areas in the BMB lab!

Sandy Matsuda

Hello! My name is Sandy Matsuda and I’m a third-year Cognitive Sciences major, minoring in Linguistics. I am bilingual in Japanese and English which piqued my interest in joining the BMB lab. I am excited to learn about how bilingual brains’ cognition differs from monolinguals.

Jian Meng

I’m a second year master’s student at Human Development program, University of Pennsylvania. I’ve joined BMB lab for one year! My research interests include psycholinguistics, bilingualism and experimental phonetics. The past one year experience at BMB has been amazing. I learned so much from peers and faculty. Already looking forward to this year!

Natalie Salgado

Hello everyone! I am a third-year transfer student majoring in psychology and minoring in hearing and speech sciences. I am fluent in both English and Spanish, Spanish being my native language. Some of my research interests include language acquisition in children on the autism spectrum, code-switching, and communication disorders in children who are bilingual. My career goal is to become a Speech-Language Pathologist. I am excited to be part of the lab and learn more about language and the research process!

Faye Lin

Hi! I am a senior pursuing a degree in Psychological Sciences and a minor in Hearing and Speech Sciences. As a bilingual student who is native in Mandarin and Cantonese, fluent in English, I would love to learn more about cognitive neuroscience in bilingualism to further my understanding in the field. The interplay between bilingual language development and cognitive processing in the human brain is fascinating yet still has a lot to be explored. I am so excited to gain amazing insights and experiences with the team in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab!

Moon Nguyen

Hello! My name is Moon Nguyen. I am a rising 4th-year student at UCI studying Political Science and Economics. I am bilingual in Vietnamese and English, and a first-generation immigrant. I find it very intriguing how bilinguals navigate their different identities between different languages. I’m looking forward to working with everyone in the lab and contributing to the process of knowledge enrichment.

Remie Lou

Hello! My name is Remie Lou, I am a fourth year Language Science student. What sparked my interest in this field is my little brother who was born deaf. Living in a multilingual household that includes Arabic, English, French, and ASL, I was able to observe as well as participate in code switching. I am fascinated by different languages and want to learn as many as I can; challenging the critical period. I am looking forward to learning more while being a part of this team!

Shannon Syracuse

Hi! I’m a fourth year majoring in Language Science with a minor in Medical Anthropology. I have always been interested in language acquisition and how the brain registers sound. I grew up speaking English and have experience with American Sign Language. My career goal of becoming an audiologist paired with my interest in sign language led me to pursue this lab. I love researching how bilingual speakers interact with the world and I could not be happier to participate!

Yiqun Zhang

Hello! My name is Yiqun Zhang, and I’m a fourth-year majoring in B.A. Psychology and minoring in Digital Information Systems at UC Irvine. Since I am bilingual in English and Mandarin myself, I have always been curious about the scientific mechanisms of bilingualism. I am interested in the functional differences between the brains of bilinguals and monolinguals when processing linguistic information and the cognitive process of bilinguals for their L1 and L2. I look forward to being a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and exploring bilingualism!

Ali Chak

Hi there! I’m Ali Chak, currently a third year English major looking to branch out into Criminology, Law and Society and seeking a minor in Creative Writing. I’ve taken an interest in this lab as my background makes me very curious about language, bilingualism, and how it affects us. As a child, I was surrounded by Cantonese speakers, my parents included. It was always interesting to see the shift as some of them swapped between the two fluidly. I hope that, through the lab, I can learn about such topics and explore bilingualism and how it affects the mind, as it hits so close to home!

Makeda Telahun

Hello, I’m Makeda Telahun! I am a junior majoring in Language Science. Growing up, I spoke Amharic and English with my family. Coming from a bilingual environment piqued my interest in speech production and language processing. I have gained some proficiency in Spanish and Swedish, which has also interested me in bilingual acquisition at all ages.  I very excited to be joining the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab.

Daniel Yeung

Hi, I’m Daniel Yeung! I am a first year majoring in Linguistics with an Emphasis in Japanese.

In high school I studied American Sign Language for 4 years, and Japanese in community college through dual enrollment and self study. Learning these different languages has made me interested in language acquisition and how being multilingual affects our cognition, and the ways in which language connects us!

I’m looking forward to learning more about such things and answering some of the questions I have regarding them in this lab!

Paola Canseco Ruiz

Hi! I’m a first-year Education Sciences major at UC Irvine. I’m looking to minor either in public health, or psychology. I don’t have much experience in research but I’ve always been interested in bilingualism, as a Spanish and English speaker myself I’ve wondered how both languages have affected my learning and skills. I’m excited to gain a greater understanding of how knowing more than one language can benefit cognition.

Xiangqian Yu

Hi! I am a third-year student majoring in Education Science and psychological science. I am interested in how speaking a second language can help people with their cognitive development. I am from China, we speak Mandarin in our home. I didn’t learn to speak English until I was 13 years old. I want to know what makes the difference between people who learn a second language when they were young and people who learn a second language after their minds are fully developed. I hope to learn how learning language and cognitive development interact with each other through this Lab.

Mandolin Cai

I am a sophomore in education major. Really interested in learning bilingualism because I am a bilingual. I am still loving boxing and yoga, watching TV shows, and a shopping lover.

Yuto Aki

Hi there! I’m a junior majoring in language science. As a Japanese-English bilingual, I have always been infatuated with the world of language, especially second language acquisition
and bilingualism. My current research interests are emotional expression in second language learning and affective neuroscience of language! I am super excited to be a part of
the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and to grow up both intellectually and mentally! I love learning languages, watching the NBA (huge Warriors fan), and traveling around the world!

Joey Ye

Hello everyone! My name is Joey and I am a 3rd year Business Administration and International Studies double major. I love learning languages and because of that, I am very interested in bilingualism and language acquisition. I grew up speaking Cantonese at home and it is so interesting to me how being bilingual can affect the way I think and how I perceive things. Aside from English and Cantonese, I have also dabbled in other languages such as Mandarin, Spanish, Korean, French, and Italian. I am very excited to be part of this lab and I hope to learn more about bilingualism and language acquisition!

Elina Dern

Hello! My name is Elina, and I am a second year International Studies student minoring in Spanish/English Bilingual Education at UCI. I am fluent in English and highly proficient in Spanish though it is my goal to become completely fluent in Spanish as well. Bilingualism has always been important to me because I come from a multilingual multicultural family with various language learning backgrounds while my mom is a teacher who has spent most of her career teaching English and Spanish as second languages. For these reasons, it has been exciting for me to be able to take classes on bilingualism in college and to start participating in research on bilingualism myself. My research group within the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab is currently focusing on the interactions between language and gender perception which has been really fascinating. Other areas of research on bilingualism that I am especially interested in include research on second language acquisition among late bilinguals and research on bilingual education.

Sabrina Chiu

Hello! My name is Sabrina and I am a third-year majoring in Social Policy and Public Service. I grew up speaking Cantonese and English and definitely took for granted how easy it was to communicate in both languages after realizing the difficulty of acquiring proficient use of Mandarin at the age of fifteen. Being bilingual has influenced my inner thinking which can occur in one or both languages, and shaped how I communicate with family as our conversations consist of both Chinese and English vocabulary. All of these experiences have contributed to my research interests in studying how the cognitive processes of bilingual brains differ from monolingual brains and how bilingualism changes with age. Working in the Bilingualism Mind and Brain Lab is meaningful to me because despite Cantonese being a dialect that is widely spoken in my hometown, I know it is slowly becoming less spoken in China, so I am excited for the opportunity to meet other Cantonese-speaking bilinguals and to work alongside people who also share a passion for language acquisition and bilingualism.  

Kaitlyn So

Hi everyone! My name is Kaitlyn Gwen So. I am a third year Language Science major. I’m bilingual, speaking English and Tagalog. My interests include language acquisition and the cognitive neuroscience of bilingualism, which is what sparked my interest in joining the lab. I look forward to being a part of the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain Lab and am excited to learn and work with everyone!

Ashley Sunwoo

Hi! I am currently a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Cognitive Sciences and minoring in Hearing and Speech Sciences. My interests in developmental psychology, bilingualism and the brain’s mechanisms of language processing have led me to pursue a career path focused towards becoming a pediatric speech and language pathologist! I look forward to working in the Bilingualism Mind and Brain Lab to successfully pursue research and data coding as well as grow my knowledge and experiences in the psychological, cognitive, and language science fields!

Taryn Christenson

Hi! My name is Taryn Christenson and I’m a fourth year language science major. I hope to one day become a speech pathologist. While I am, unfortunately, not bilingual, I think it is so incredibly important and fascinating to study how being bilingual impacts people and their brains. I am also especially interested in language acquisition and the factors that impact child language learning.

Ahva Salari 

Hello! My name is Ahva and I am a recent graduate from UCSD who majored in Global Health with a minor in General Biology. I am bilingual, with my two major languages being Farsi and English, so the BMB lab hits close to home. I am interested in how language development is displayed in regard to brain activity and I look forward to exploring language learning not only on a scientific scale but on a personal one while conducting research in the lab.

Airong Li

Hi! I am a junior majoring in Education Science. I am bilingual in English and Chinese. I have interest in bilingual education and literacy development, which is also the reason I applied for a research assistant position in the Bilingualism, Mind, and Brain lab. I am looking forward to learning more about bilingualism in the BMB lab!

Claire O’Connell

Hello! I’m a third year Language Science major. I grew up speaking English, but since coming to UCI and starting my major I’ve become interested in language acquisition and bilingualism. My interest in pursuing a career in speech pathology in combination with mirroring a lot of the topics I’ve been studying led to my interest in this lab. Understanding bilingualism and language in the mind are things I find very interesting so I’m excited to be a part of the BMB lab! 

Ashley Yu

Hi! I am a second year undergraduate student majoring in Language Science. I took a class called Acquisition of Language here at UCI, which started my interest in this field. I am excited to learn more about language acquisition and the cognitive differences between monolingual and bilingual brains.

Hannah Bode

Hello! My name is Hannah Bode, and I am a third year undergraduate pursuing a B.A. in Education Sciences as well as a B.A. in Dance. I have a specific interest in elementary education, and I am motivated to learn more about how bilingual students use code-switching to adapt to their academic environments. I am looking forward to applying the knowledge I gain from working as an RA to my future classroom and students! 

Wenjiao Guo

Hi, everyone! My name is Wenjiao Guo! I just graduated from UC Irvine and my major is education science. My native language is Mandarin and I started learning English since elementary age. Bilingual learning always drives my curiosity. I have taught Mandarin for almost a year and I have also learned Japanese for one year. There are a lot of interesting things when teaching a language to others and learning a new language. I am really excited to learn more about bilingualism and help the lab to discover more interesting things!

Leah Patzkowsky

Hi! I’m a fourth year student at Mount Holyoke College double majoring in French and Film Studies. I spent my junior year abroad in the south of France studying at Université Paul-Valéry. During my time abroad I spoke a mix of French and English with friends. Because of these interactions, it made me interested in bilingualism and how people can switch between different languages multiple times in a conversation. I’m really excited to be a part of this lab and learn more about bilingualism!

Hannah Chu

I’m a third-year at UCLA studying linguistics and minoring in professional writing. I grew up speaking English, French, Cantonese, and Mandarin, and have been wanting to study code-switching since I discovered linguistics! I also enjoy learning about syntax and sociolinguistics, and I’m a big fan of cherry tomatoes. 

Patricia Sabordo

Hi everyone! My name is Patricia Sabordo and I am a 4th year Language Science major. I am fluent in English and Tagalog. As a bilingual myself, I’ve always been interested in exploring how the acquisition of multiple languages affects the brain. In the future, I would like to pursue a career in Speech Pathology and so joining this lab will be a good opportunity for me to learn more about language acquisition, as well as the bilingual mind, which can help me relate it to communication disorders among bilinguals. I am looking forward to joining this lab and I can’t wait to work with an amazing group of people who share the same interests as me!

Kharis Tran

Hi, I’m a 4th year language science major at UCI and I’ve always been interested in how different languages operate in the mind. I was born in Vietnam but I am not fluent in Vietnamese at all. I love learning languages despite being bad at retaining them.  So far I’ve taken French, Korean, Vietnamese, and now Spanish during my last year as an undergraduate.

Ha Phung

Hi everyone, I’m a new transfer, and this is also my first time in the lab. Nice to meet you all!

Vanessa Quiroz

Hi! My name is  Vanessa Quiroz. I am a Language Science Major and moving forward I hope to become a Speech Language Pathologist. I grew up in a Spanish-English household and have always been fascinated with the way my family was able to code switch. I’m looking forward to be able to grow and learn more by being a research assistant, and very excited to have this opportunity 

Leah Beastrom

Hi all! I am an incoming third year majoring in Language Science (and graduating this year!) I took a course last quarter discussing code-switching and multilingualism and how it affects our cognitive processing and found it fascinating! I am so excited to continue this discussion as a research assistant in this program and to also further my Spanish-speaking abilities so that I can incorporate it into my future career goal as a Speech-Language Pathologist. I’m looking forward to being a part of this team!