Welcome! Since 2018, Suzanne van der Feest is a Research Associate Professor at the GC Ph.D./M.A. Program in Linguistics, at The Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She leads the Developmental Speech Perception Lab, which is located on the 7th floor of The Graduate Center building. She also coordinates the Professional Development meetings for the Linguistics Program (office hours Fall 2019: W1-2 or by appointment).
Her main line of research is focused on how children learn language(s), and especially how they take the very first steps on their road to becoming native speakers and listeners: How do children identify the relevant sounds they hear in their daily environment, and how do they then use that knowledge to build a “phonological lexicon” (in other words, a “mental dictionary” of what words should sound like). Her research investigates how young children use their knowledge about sounds for recognizingsounds in spoken words – and also, for learning how to say the sounds and words of their native language (for more information about research and publications, please see the Developmental Speech Perception Lab website).
From 2014-2018, Dr. Van der Feest managed the Child Language Lab Austin at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Texas at Austin, where she is currently affiliated as a visiting researcher. At UT Austin, she taught Child Language and Intro to Cognitive Science in the Linguistics department, and has taught and conducted research in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at UT (2009-2014). She also taught in the Department of Psychology at Villanova University, PA (2008).
Dr. van der Feest is from the Netherlands, where she got her PhD in Linguistics from the Radboud University Nijmegen in 2007, (with a focus on Developmental Phonology and Psycholinguistics). She moved to the United States in 2006, first to work as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology (IRCS) at the University of Pennsylvania. Her experiences working with Linguists, Psychologists, and Speech-Language Pathologists have given her a full appreciation for all unsolved aspects of the complex language acquisition and development puzzle.
Contact Dr. van der Feest (svanderfeest at gc dot cuny dot edu) if you are interested in getting involved in the Developmental Speech Perception Lab at the CUNY Graduate Center!