Jun. Prof. Dr. Katharina Schuhmann 

Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, GERMANY
Jul 2023 - Jun 2026
Associate Junior Fellow

Katharina Schuhmann

Projekte & Publikationen


The process of perceiving, listening to, and comprehending spoken language are typically

reported to be more challenging in a non-native language (L2) than in a native language (L1).

Such findings have been accounted for by differences in linguistic representations, i.e.,

memory traces, for L1 versus L2. In addition, it is very well understood that language

processing and comprehension in bilingual and L2 listeners is generally more impacted by

adverse listening conditions, such as noise, than in L1 listeners.

The impact of adverse listening conditions on L2 versus L1 listeners has been well

demonstrated for sentence comprehension in noise. L2 listeners require a higher SNR

(Signal-to-Noise Ratio), in essence less noise, to understand spoken sentences compared to

L1 listeners. Perhaps surprisingly, L2 listeners have been shown to not make use of

contextual cues to the same extent as L1 listeners when listening to sentences in adverse

listening conditions. Similarly, L2 listeners struggle more with the perception of sounds

compared to L1 listeners when these are embedded within higher-order level contexts.

Many open questions remain about how L2 listeners process small linguistic units, such as

morphemes, in context. This symposium brings together experts and early-career

researchers to discuss latest research finding, current obstacles, and open questions.