Academic Staff

Professor Monika Schmid

Position in departmentDeputy Head of Department, Research Director, Statistics Adviser
Telephone01206 872089
Office hoursBy appointment, please email me at

Monika's main topic of research is the loss of the native language, also called First Language Attrition. Please click here for her personal website on this topic.

Monika received her PhD in English Linguistics from the University of Duesseldorf, Germany, in 2000, for a PhD thesis on first language attrition among German-Jewish refugees in the UK and the US. Her thesis was published with John Benjamins Publishing Co. in 2002 under the title First Language Attrition, Use and Maintenance: The case of German Jews in Anglophone countries.

She subsequently held positions as lecturer at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (2000-2007) and as Senior Lecturer (2007-2010) and Professor of English Language (2010-present) at the University of Groningen. Her employment in Groningen will continue on a part-time basis alongside her position in Essex until the end of her research projects in 2015.

Her research interests focus on bilingual development and, in particular, on change, deterioration and stability in the native language of migrants who become dominant in the language of the environment (this process is called first language attrition). Her recent work focuses on the impact of personal factors such as the age at migration and working memory capacities on these processes. Together with Barbara Kopke of the University of Toulouse she has organised a series of conferences and conference panels and edited a number of books and special issues of journals on this topic. The next conference will take place in Colchester, July 5th-7th 2016.

Monika has been the PI on a number of projects funded by the German Science Foundation (DFG) and the Dutch Organisation for Research (NWO).

Dipl. Literaturuebersetzen (translation of literature), University of Duesseldorf, Germany, 1996

PhD English Linguistics, University of Duesseldorf, Germany, 2000

Current research

Monika's current research projects attempt to provide a perspective on the question of whether there are age-related constraints in the development of first and second languages. She is the PI on a neurolinguistic investigation of the development of grammatical gender in Dutch and German by both second language learners and first language attriters of these languages, with varying ages of onset (the full project description can be found here). A second project investigates the acquisition of English and the attrition of German among German-Jewish refugees who left Germany in 1938/1939, aged between 7 and 17, to live in the UK and the US (the project description is available here).

Research interests

- first language attrition

- ultimate attainment in second language acquisition

- age effects and maturational constraints on language development

- psycho-/neurolinguistics

Teaching responsibilities

LG113: Skills for Linguists (with Ryan Blything)

LG116: Psycholinguistics II - Language processing (with Ryan Blything and Florence Myles)

LG214: Language Development throughout the Lifespan

LG507: Language Attrition

LG638: The role of age in bilingual development


Most of my publications can be downloaded in manuscript format from

Keijzer, M & Schmid, MS 2016 Individual differences in cognitive control advantages of elderly late Dutch-English bilinguals. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 6(1), 64-85.

Bergmann, C, Nota, A & Schmid, MS 2016 L2 influence causes non-native-like pronunciation of vowels and consonants in German L1 attriters. Journal of Phonetics 58, 71-86.

Schmid, MS 2016 Language attrition: timeline. Language Teaching 49(2): 186-312.

Meulman, N., Wieling, M., Sprenger, S.A., Stowe, L.A. & Schmid, M.S. 2015. Age effects in L2 grammar processing as revealed by ERPs and how (not) to study them. PLOS One 10(12): e0143328. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0143328.

Bergmann, Christopher, Nienke Meulman, Laurie A. Stowe, Simone A. Sprenger and Monika S. Schmid. 2015. Prolonged L2 immersion engenders little change  in morphosyntactic processing of bilingual natives. Neuroreport 26: 1065-1070.

Yılmaz, Gülsen and Monika S. Schmid. 2015. Second Language Development in a Migrant Context: Turkish community in the Netherlands. International Journal of the Sociology of Language 236: 101-132.

Bergmann, Christopher, Simone Sprenger and Monika S. Schmid. 2015. The impact of language co-activation on L1 and L2 speech fluency. Acta Psychologica 161: 25-35.

Meulman, Nienke, Laurie Stowe, Simone Sprenger, Moniek Bresser and Monika S. Schmid. 2014. An ERP study on L2 syntax processing: When do learners fail? Frontiers in Psychology: Language Sciences 5:1072. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01072

Schmid, Monika S. 2014. The debate on maturational constraints in bilingual development: a perspective from first language attrition. Language acquisition 21(4), 386-410.

Schmid, Monika S. and Holger Hopp. 2014. Comparing foreign accent in L1 attrition and L2 acquisition: Range and rater effects. Language Testing 31(3), 367–388.

Schmid, Monika S. and Scott Jarvis. 2014. Lexical first language attrition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 17(4), 729-748.

Schmid, Monika S., Steven Gilbers and Amber Nota. 2014. Ultimate attainment in late second language acquisition: phonetic and grammatical challenges in advanced Dutch-English bilingualism. Second Language Research 30(2), 129-157.

Schmid, Monika S. 2013. First language attrition: state of the discipline and future directions. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism 3(1), 97-116.

Schmid, Monika S. 2013. First Language Attrition. WIRE's Cognitive Science 4(2): 117-123.

Schmid, Monika S. and Barbara Köpke. 2013. Language attrition. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Schmid, Monika S., Barbara Köpke and Kees de Bot. 2013. Language attrition as a complex, non-linear development. International Journal of Bilingualism 17(6). doi 10.1177/1367006912454619

Hopp, Holger and Monika S. Schmid. 2013. Perceived foreign accent in L1 attrition and L2 acquisition: the impact of age of acquisition and bilingualism. Applied Psycholinguistics 34(2): 361-394

Koops, Bert-Jaap Koops, Christoph H. Lüthy, Annemiek Nelis, Carla Sieburgh, J. P. M. Jansen and Monika S. Schmid (eds). 2013. Engineering the Human. Human enhancment between fiction and fascination. Heidelberg: Springer.

Loerts, Hanneke, Martijn Wieling and Monika S. Schmid. 2013. Neuter is not common in Dutch: Eye movements reveal asymmetrical gender processing. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 26(2): 561-580. DOI:10.1007/s10936-012-9234-2

Loerts, Hanneke, Laurie Stowe and Monika S. Schmid. 2013. Predictability speeds up the re-analysis process: an ERP investigation of gender agreement and cloze probability. Journal of Neurolinguistics 26:5, 561-580.

Schmid, Monika S. 2012. The impact of age and exposure on forgetting and retention of the birth language in international adoptees: a perspective from Holocaust survivors. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, Vol. 2(2), 177-208.

Schmid, Monika S. 2012. Language attrition and multilingualism, in Carol A. Chapelle (ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell Wiley.

Schmid, Monika S. and Teodora Mehotcheva. 2012. Foreign language attrition. Dutch Journal of Applied Linuistics 1(1): 102-124.

Verspoor, Marjolijn, Xioyan Xu and Monika S. Schmid. 2012. A dynamic usage based perspective on L2 writing development. Journal of Second Language Writing 21(3):239–263. Voted ‘Best article of the year 2012’ by the editorial team of JSLW.

Yılmaz, Gülsen and Monika S. Schmid. 2012. L1 accessibility among Turkish-Dutch bilinguals. The Mental Lexicon 7(3): 249-274.

Schmid, Monika S. 2011. Language Attrition. Cambridge University Press.

Schmid, Monika S. and Wander Lowie (eds). 2011. Modeling Bilingualism: From structure to chaos. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Schmid, Monika S. 2011. Contact x time: External factors and variability in L1 attrition, in: Monika S. Schmid and Wander Lowie (eds.) Modeling Bilingualism: From structure to chaos. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, pp. 155-176.

Köpke, Barbara and Monika S. Schmid. 2011. Aspects psycholinguistiques de l'attrition de la première langue. Language, Interaction and Acquisition 2(2):197-220.

Schmid, Monika S. 2010. Languages at play. The relevance of L1 attrition to the study of bilingualism. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 13(1): 1-7.

Schmid, Monika S. and Elise Dusseldorp. 2010. Quantitative analyses in a multivariate study of language attrition: the impact of extralinguistic factors. Second Language Research 26(1): 125-160.

Schmid, Monika S. and Kristy Beers Fägersten. 2010. Disfluency markers in language attrition. Language Learning 60(4): 753-791.

Leeuw, Esther de, Monika S. Schmid and Ineke Mennen. 2010. Perception of foreign accent in native speech. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 13(1): 33-40.

Schmid, Monika S. 2009. On L1 attrition and the linguistic system. EuroSLA yearbook 9: 212-244.

Schmid, Monika S. and Merel Keijzer. 2009. First language attrition and reversion among older migrants. International Journal of the Sociology of Language Vol. 2009, Issue 200: 83-101.

Köpke, Barbara, Monika S. Schmid, Merel Keijzer and Susan Dostert (eds). 2007. Theoretical issues in language attrition research. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Schmid, Monika S., Barbara Köpke, Merel Keijzer and Lina Weilemar. 2004 (eds). First Language Attrition: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Methodological Issues. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.


Keynote addresses at international conferences

2014 Einar Haugen lecture, University of Oslo Centre for Multilingualism

2013 Keynote address at the 9th International Symposium on Bilingualism

2012 Language attrition. Winter School on Multilingualism across the Lifespan, Fribourg, Feb. 2012.

2009 The discrepancy between L1 and L2: a perspective from L1 attrition. 19th International Symposium on Theoretical and Applied Linguistics, Thessaloniki, Greece, April 2009.

2008 Problems and challenges for language attrition research. The Neurocognition of Language and Memory: Retention, Attrition, and Aging. Center for the Brain Basis of Cognition, Georgetown University, Washington DC, March 2008.

2008 Development of linguistic incompetence? – On L1 attrition and the linguistic system. EuroSLA 18, Aix-en-Provence, Sept. 2008.

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