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Dr. J. (Josje) Verhagen

Faculty of Humanities
Capaciteitsgroep Nederlandse Taalkunde

Visiting address
  • Spuistraat 134
Postal address
  • Postbus 1637
    1000 BP Amsterdam
Contact details
  • Profile

    Research interests

    My research focuses on language development in children. I'm particularly interested in relationships between language development and executive functions (working memory, attention), and in bilingualism. I also study the role of language input in monolingual and bilingual language acquisition, in particular, how children acquire language structures from input that is variable or contains conflicting information. 

    Current projects:

    Project MIND (2018 - 2022)

    MIND is short for 'Multilingualism in Daycare'. This project, commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs, aims to investigate the effects of bilingual English-Dutch daycare on 0- to 4-year-old children's development in Dutch and English (see also Specifically, in this project, we investigate how children respond to the bilingual input provided at daycare and how much input and what type of input they need to develop vocabulary and grammatical proficiency in a language they are not exposed to at home. We also investigate whether particular aspects of Dutch are subject to crosslinguistic influence. Another question investigated is how parents' home language and literacy activities affect children's development of Dutch and English. Project members are Sible Andringa, Folkert Kuiken, Suzanne Aalberse, Eva Vos, Anne-Mieke Thieme, and Darlene Keydeniers.

    Replication studies (2019 - 2021)

    In this NWO-funded project, two infant studies are replicated (Marcus et al. (1999) and Kovács & Mehler (2009)), in four labs in the Netherlands. The aim of the project is to increase the statistical power of the studies and to test the robustness of the original results when the experiments are performed in four different labs, with babies from different backgrounds. With: Claartje Levelt (PI), Frank Wijnen, Sabine Hunnius, Elma Blom, Ingmar Visser, and Caroline Junge.

    Pre-COOL (2009 - 2020)

    Pre-COOL is a national cohort study in which ca. 2900 children were followed from age 2 to age 6 years, to examine the effects of early childhood education and care provisions on children's language, social-emotional, and cognitive development. From age 6, a subset of the cohort was included in the COOL cohort study, to be followed until age 18. Pre-COOL is carried out by the Kohnstamm Institute, former ITS (Radboud University), and Utrecht University. 

    Past projects:

    L2TOR (2016 - 2018)

    L2TOR (pronounced ‘el tutor’) is a research project, funded by the Horizon 2020 programme of the European Commission, which aimed to design a child-friendly tutor robot that can be used to support kindergarteners' second language learning (see also The project was carried out by a consortium of Tiburg University, University of Bielefeld, Plymouth University, Koç University, QBMT, and Softbank Robotics.

    VENI (2011 - 2016)

    In my VENI project, funded by NWO, I investigated whether bilingual children are better in acquiring structural relations from novel input than monolingual children. Specifically, I studied whether bilingual children learned non-adjacent dependencies more readily from novel input than monolingual peers, using statistical learning tasks. In a series of studies, I investigated whether bilingual children learned such dependencies more successfully than monolingual children if the input was variable (i.e., contained exceptions to a predominant pattern). In another series of studies, I studied whether differences in executive functioning and verbal memory accounted for bilinguals' advantage in statistical learning.

    QuaLIBi (2012 - 2014)

    This project - Quality of Input in Bilingual acquisition - investigated the role of non-native or variable language input in bilingual children's acquisition, in collaboration with Sharon Unsworth (Radboud University) and Elise de Bree (University of Amsterdam).

  • Publications


    Verhagen, J., van Stiphout, M., & Blom, W.B.T. (to appear). Determinants of early lexical acquisition: Effects of word- and child-level factors on Dutch children’s acquisition of words. Journal of Child Language. (link to open access article)

    Leseman, P.P.M., & Verhagen, J. (to appear). Working memory and L2 grammar development in children. The Cambridge Handbook of Working Memory and Language.

    Thieme, A.M.M., Hanekamp, K., Andringa, S.J., Verhagen, J., & Kuiken, F. (2021). The effects of foreign language programmes in early childhood education and care: A systematic review. Language, Culture and Curriculum. (link to open access article)

    van den Berghe, M.A.J., Oudgenoeg-Paz, O., Verhagen, J., Brouwer, S.M., de Haas, M., de Wit, J., Willemsen, B., Vogt, P., Krahmer, E., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2021). Individual differences in children’s (language) learning skills moderate effects of robot-assisted second-language learning. Frontiers in Robotics and Artificial Intelligence, section Human-Robot Interaction. (link to open access article)

    Verhagen, J., & Andringa, S.J. (2021). The role of existing language knowledge in bilingual and multilingual toddlers’ repetition of cross-linguistic and language-specific nonwords. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism. (pdf)


    Verhagen, J., & de Bree, E.H. (2020). Effects of bilingualism on statistical learning in preschoolers. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism.

    van den Berghe, M.A.J., de Haas, M., Oudgenoeg-Paz, O., Krahmer, E., Verhagen, J., Vogt, P., Willemsen, B., de Wit, & Leseman, P.P.M. (2020). A toy or a friend? Children's anthropomorphic beliefs about robots and the relation with second language word learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 37, 396-410. (link to open access article)

    Leeuwestein, H., Barking, M., Sodaci, H., Oudgenoeg, O., Verhagen, J., Vogt, P., Aarts, R., Spit, S., de Haas, M., de Wit, J., & Leseman, P.P.M. (accepted). Teaching Turkish-Dutch kindergarteners Dutch vocabulary with a social robot: Does the robot's use of Turkish translations benefit children's Dutch vocabulary learning? Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 37, 603-620. (link to open access article)


    Verhagen, J., de Bree, E.H., & Unsworth, S. (2019). Effects of bilingual language use and language proficiency on 24-month-olds' cognitive control. Journal of Cognition and Development, 21, 46-71. (link to open access article)

    *Verhagen, J., *van den Berghe, M.A.J., Oudgenoeg, O., Kuntay, A., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2019). Children's reliance on the non-verbal cues of a robot versus a human. PLoS ONE, 14: e0217833. (*co-first author) (link to open access article)

    Unsworth, S., Brouwer, S.M., de Bree., & Verhagen, J. (2019). Predicting bilingual preschoolers’ patterns of language development: Degree of non-native input matters. Applied Psycholinguistics, 40, 1189-1219. (pdf)

    Mulder, H., van Ravenswaaij, H., Verhagen, J., Moerbeek, M., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2019). The process of early self-control: An observation study in two- and three-year-olds. Metacognition and Learning, 14, 293-264. (link to open access article)

    Verhagen, J., & Boom, J., Mulder, H., de Bree, E.H., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2019). Reciprocal relationships between nonword repetition and vocabulary during the preschool years. Developmental Psychology, 55, 1125-1137.  (pdf)

    Vogt, Paul, Van Den Berghe, Rianne, De Haas, Mirjam, Hoffman, Laura, Kanero, Junko, Mamus, Ezgi, Montanier, Jean Marc, Oranç, Cansu, Oudgenoeg-Paz, Ora, García, Daniel Hernández, Papadopoulos, Fotios, Schodde, Thorsten, Verhagen, Josje, Wallbridgell, Christopher D., Willemsen, Bram, De Wit, Jan, Belpaeme, Tony, Göksun, Tilbe, Kopp, Stefan, Krahmer, Emiel, Küntay, Aylin C., Leseman, Paul & Pandey, Amit Kumar (22-03-2019). Second language tutoring using social robots - a large-scale study.14th ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) (pp. 497-505). IEEE Computer Society Press. (link to open access article).

    Van den Berghe, M.A.J., Verhagen, J., Oudgenoeg., O., van der Ven, S., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2019). Social robots for language learning: A review. Review of Educational Research, 89, 259-295. (link to open access article).


    Blom, W.B.T., Oudgenoeg-Paz, O., & Verhagen, J. (2018). Wat als ouders talen mixen? Een onderzoek naar de relatie tussen mixen van talen door ouders en de taalvaardigheid van meertalige kinderen. [What if parents mix languages? A study on the relationship between parental language mixing and multilingual children's language proficiency]. Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Logopedie, 90, 18-25.

    Belpaeme, T., Vogt, P., van den Berghe, R., Bergmann, K., Göksun, T., de Haas, M., Kanero, J., Kennedy, J., Küntay, A.C., Oudgenoeg-Paz, O., Papadopoulos, F., Schodde, T., Verhagen, J., Wallbridge, C.D., Willemsen, B., de Wit, J., Geçkin, V., Hoffmann, L., Kopp, S., Krahmer, E., Mamus, E., Montanier, J., Oranç, C., Pandey, A.K. (2018). Guidelines for designing social robots as second language tutors. International Journal of Social Robotics, 10, 325-341. doi:10.1007/s12369-018-0467-6. (link to open access article)

    van den Berghe, R., van der Ven, S.H.G., Verhagen, J., Oudgenoeg-Paz, O., Papadopoulos, F., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2018). Investigating the effects of a robot peer on L2 word learning. Companion of the 2018 ACM/IEEE International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction (pp. 267-268). Chicago: ACM.


    *Mulder, H., *Verhagen, J., van der Ven, S., Slot, P.L., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2017). Early executive function at age two predicts emergent mathematics and literacy at age five. Frontiers in Psychology, Developmental Psychology, 8, 1706. (*co-first author) (link to open access article)

    Verhagen, J., Grassmann, S., & A. Küntay (2017). Monolingual and bilingual children's resolution of referential conflicts: Effects of bilingualism and relative language proficiency. Cognitive Development, 41, 10-18. (pdf)

    *de Bree, E.H., *Verhagen, J., Kerkhoff, A.O., Doedens, W.J., & Unsworth, S. (2017). Language learning from inconsistent input: Bilingual and monolingual toddlers compared. Infant and Child Development, 26, e1996. (*co-first author) (pdf)

    Verhagen J., Mulder, H., & Leseman, P. P. M. (2017). Effects of home language environment on inhibitory control in bilingual three-year-old children. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 20, 114-127. (pdf)

    Slot, P.L., Boom, J., Verhagen, J., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2017). Measurement properties of the CLASS Toddler in ECEC in the Netherlands. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 48, 79-91. (link to open access article)

    Slot, P.L., Mulder, H., Verhagen, J. & Leseman, P.P.M. (2017). Preschooler's cognitive and emotional self-regulation in pretend play: Relations with executive functions and quality of play. Infant and Child Development, 26, e3038.

    Verhagen, J., de Bree, E.H., Mulder, H., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2017). Effects of vocabulary and phonotactic probability on two-year-olds' nonword repetition. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 46, 507-524. (link to open access article)


    Verhagen, J. & Leseman, P.P.M (2016). How do verbal short-term memory and working memory relate to the acquisition of vocabulary and grammar? A comparison between first and second language learners. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 141, 65-82. (pdf)


    Slot, P.L., Leseman, P.P.M., Verhagen, J., & Mulder, H. (2015). Associations between structural quality aspects and process quality in Dutch early childhood education and care settings. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 33, 64-76. (link to open access article)

    Messer, M. H., Verhagen, J., Boom, J., Mayo, A.Y., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2015). Growth of verbal short-term memory of nonwords varying in phonotactic probability: A longitudinal study with monolingual and bilingual children. Journal of Memory and Language, 84, 24-36. (pdf)

    Verhagen, J., Leseman, P.P.M., & Messer, M.H. (2015). Phonological memory and the acquisition of grammar in child L2 learners. Language Learning, 65, 417-448. (pdf)


    Verhagen, J., & Blom, E. (2014). Asymmetries in the acquisition of subject-verb agreement in Dutch? Evidence from comprehension and production. First Language, 34, 315-335. (pdf)

    Blom, E., Küntay, A., Messer, M., Verhagen, J., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2014). The benefits of being bilingual: Working memory in bilingual Turkish-Dutch children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 128, 105-119. (link to open access article)

    Mulder, H., Hoofs, H., Verhagen, J., Veen, van der I., & Leseman, P. P. M. (2014). Psychometric properties and convergent and predictive validity of an executive function test battery for two-year-olds. Frontiers in Psychology, section Developmental Psychology, 5 (JUL). (link to open access article)

    Blom, E., Küntay, A., Messer, M., Verhagen, J., & Leseman, P.P.M. (2014). Do bilingual Turkish-Dutch children show working memory benefits despite lower linguistic proficiency? In W. Orman & M.J. Valleau (Eds.), Proceedings of the 38th annual Boston University Conference on Language Development (pp. 64-76). Boston: Cascadilla Press.


    Blom, E., Van de Craats, I., & Verhagen, J. (2013). Dummy auxiliaries in first and second language acquisition. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

    Verhagen, J. (2013). From dummy auxiliary to auxiliary in Moroccan adult learners' production and comprehension of Dutch. In E. Blom, I. Van de Craats & J. Verhagen (Eds.), Dummy auxiliaries in first and second language development. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.


    Schimke, S.,Verhagen, J., & Turco, G. (2012). The different role of additive and negative particles for the development of finiteness in early adult L2 German and L2 Dutch. In Watorek, M., S. Benazzo and M. Hickmann (Eds.), Comparative Perspectives to Language Acquisition: A tribute to Clive Perdue (pp. 73-91). Bristol: Multilingual Matters.


    Verhagen, J. (2011). Verb placement in second language acquisition: Experimental evidence for the different behaviour of auxiliary and lexical verbs. Applied Psycholinguistics, 32, 821-858.


    Dimroth, C., Andorno, C., Benazzo, S., & Verhagen, J. (2010). Given claims about new topics. The distribution of contrastive and maintained information in Romance and Germanic languages. Journal of Pragmatics, 42, 3328-3344. 


    Verhagen, J. (2009). Finiteness in Dutch as a second language. Doctoral dissertation. Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam & Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen.

    Verhagen, J. (2009). Temporal adverbials, negation and finiteness in Dutch as a second language: A scope-based account. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 47, 209-237.

    Verhagen, J., & Schimke, S. (2009). Differences or fundamental differences? Comment to Meisel’s target paper ‘Second language acquisition in early childhood’. Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft, 28, 97-106.

    Verhagen, J. (2009). Light verbs and the acquisition of finiteness and negation in Dutch as a second language. In C. Dimroth & P. Jordens (Eds.), Functional elements: Variation in learner systems (pp. 203-234). Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.


    Schimke, S., Verhagen, J., & Dimroth, C. (2008). Particules additives et finitude en néerlandais et allemand L2: Etude expérimentale. Acquisition et Interaction en Language Etrangère, 27, 191-210.


    Arends, J.,  Dikker, S., Cardoso, H., Van Lier, E., & Verhagen, J. (2006). On the presence versus absence of morphological marking in four Romance-based Creoles. In B. Parth & I. Plag (Eds.), The structure of creole words:Segmental, syllabic and morphological aspects. Tübingen: Niemeyer.


    Verhagen, J. (2005). The role of the auxiliary ‘hebben’ in Dutch as a second language. Zeitschrift für Literaturwissenschaft und Linguistik, 140, 99-127.


  • Teaching

    2021 - 2022

    See here for Courses in 2021 - 2022 in UvA Course Catalogue.

    2020 - 2021

    • Current Issues 2 (rMA Linguistics)
    • Perspectives on Universals 2 (rMA Linguistics)
    • Capita Selecta: Applied Linguistics (BA Dutch)
    • Second Language Acquisition (BA Linguistics)
    • Multilingual Society (MA Dutch)
    • Coordinator of Tutorials 1 and 2 in (rMA Linguistics)
    • Coordinator of Research Project and Thesis (rMA Linguistics)

    2019 - 2020

    • Current Issues 2 (rMA Linguistics)
    • Perspectives on Universals 2 (rMA Linguistics)
    • Cognition, Language and Communication in Research Papers 1 (BA Cognition, Language, and Communication)
    • Designing Research in Cognition, Language and Communication (BA Cognition, Language, and Communication)
    • Capita Selecta: Applied Linguistics (BA Dutch)
    • Second Language Acquisition (BA Linguistics)
    • Multilingual Society (MA Dutch)

    2018 - 2019

    • Capita Selecta: Applied Linguistics (BA Dutch)
    • Second Language Acquisition (BA Linguistics)
    • Multilingual Society (MA Dutch)

    2017 - 2018

    • Capita Selecta: Applied Linguistics (BA Dutch)
    • Second Language Acquisition (MA Linguistics)
    • Urban Multilingualism 1 and 2 (Electives)
  • Ancillary activities
    No known ancillary activities