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Prof. Catherine Best Visits SFL

and Gives Academic Report

Between 13:30-15:00 on November 4, SFL welcomed Prof. Catherine Best, who is the chief editor of Phonetica, the outstanding speaker of ISCA, professor of psychological linguistics in MARCS Research Institution of the University of Western Sydney and the founder of PAM (Perceptual Assimilation Model) in second language acquisition (SLA). She delivered a lecture titled “Cross-language speech perception: Late versus early second-language bilinguals”, which was hosted by Prof. Ding Hongwei. In addition to Prof. Jonathan Locke Hart, special researcher Xu Zheng, associate professor Wu Shiyu, young faculty members like Yang Xiaohu, Wang Yuxia and doctoral and graduate students of SFL, many from Tongji University, Shanghai International Studies University, East China Normal University, Shanghai Normal University and the Shanghai office of iFLYTEK were also present.

During the report, Prof. Best emphasized the role of listening skills in SLA and explained the relationship between phonetic varieties and phonological perception. Also, she showed the application of PAM in language acquisition with detailed examples and introduced the latest development of her theory (Vocab Model, Extension of PAM-L2), which indicated the connection between perception and vocabulary and the influence that L2 vocabulary has on L2 phonological acquisition. With rich content and vivid explanation, the lecture was a huge success and received many different opinions concerning PAM from the attendees. Prof. Best patiently answered all questions and spoke highly of the in-depth questions raised by SFL faculty members.

After the lecture, Prof. Best visited the laboratory of language cognition with great interest and took a group photo together with the faculty and students of SFL.


The laboratory of language cognition of SFL covers an area of nearly 80 square meters and is equipped with Eyelink 2000, NeuroScan EEF/ERP system-64channels, sound-proof EM shielded room, advanced computers, professional sound cards, microphones, earphones, sound console and various types of professional software. In addition, SFL is planning to build a professional recording studio to facilitate the study on phonetic technology.

SFL not only has a group of experts on language cognition who are determined to make progress with innovation and creativity, but also boasts advanced equipments. The focus of Prof. Best’s study, which includes SLA and speech disorder in children, is consistent with that of SFL. And the professor also showed her intention to further cooperate in study and in international exchange programs.

Copyright: 2013 School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Jiaotong University cross ICP No. 2010919    Technical support: :Shanghai Yi Chao