Sharon Unsworth

Sharon Unsworth

Associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition, Radboud University



My research focuses on the language development of bilingual children. I investigate the role of various factors such as age of onset and input quantity and quality, as well as how a bilingual child’s two languages interact. I’m also interested in methodological questions such as how to quantify bilingual experience using parental report and how to operationalise language dominance. In addition, I am passionate about translating scientific findings about bilingual children into useful tips and tricks for parents and teachers. I regularly give workshops on raising multilingual children and I’m the director and initiator of the Netherlands’ first child language festival, Kletskoppenwhich translates as Chatterboxes. 


Unsworth, S. (2018, to appear). Quantifying experience in heritage language development. In M. Schmid & B. Köpke (Eds.) (forthcoming), The Oxford handbook of first language attrition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Unsworth, S., Chondrogianni, V., Skarabela, B. (2018, to appear). Experiential measures can be used as a proxy for language dominance in bilingual language acquisition research. Frontiers in Psychology.

Unsworth, S. (2013). Assessing age of onset effects in (early) child L2 acquisition. Language Acquisition20, 74-92.

Rankin, T. & Unsworth, S. (2016). Beyond poverty: Engaging with input in generative SLA. Second Language Research, 34, 563-572doi:10.1177/0267658316648732 

Unsworth, S. (2016). Early child L2 acquisition: Age or input effects? Neither, or both? Journal of Child Language, 43, 603-634. doi:10.1017/S030500091500080X

Sharon Unsworth