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Dr. Tamar Degani

Principle Researcher
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I am a faculty member at the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Haifa in Israel. In my previous position I was a research fellow at the Institute of Information Processing & Decision Making and Department of Psychology at the University of Haifa. I completed my graduate studies in the Department of Psychology and the Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition at the University of Pittsburgh in 2011, under the mentorship of Dr. Natasha Tokowicz and was a member of the Plum lab.

PhD Students

Mariana Elias
Mariana EliasPhd StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a BA and MA graduate of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, and currently a PhD student in the same department. My MA research, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani examined foreign language (FL) vocabulary learning with a focus on ambiguity in the mapping of form and meaning across languages. Native Hebrew speakers learned cognate words, false-cognate words and unambiguous control words. The aim of the study was to answer the questions: are false-cognates easier or harder to learn than unambiguous control words? how does the newly acquired meaning of a shared form affect the processing of this form in the L1? and how individual characteristics modulate such FL learning. our results showed cognate facilitation in learning, but no overall difference between false cognates and controls. However, individual differences in phonological short-term memory and language proficiency modulated learning. In my PhD research, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani and Dr. Anat Prior, we aim to identify patterns of lexical cross-linguistic influences amongst trilingual speakers, as a function of executive control capacities and language proficiency alterations. In a longitudinal design over the course of three years, Arabic-Hebrew-English trilingual students will participate in five experimental sessions from their first to third year of undergraduate studies while immersed in their second language (L2) environment.
Razan Silawi
Razan SilawiPhd StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I received my BA in psychology and education from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and my MA in learning disabilities from Haifa University, currently I'm a Phd student in the department of learning disabilities. My MA research was under the supervision of Dr. Anat Prior and Dr. Yasmin Shalhoub-Awwad, it focused on calibration during reading comprehension among undergraduates. Particularly, the main question was whether calibration of comprehension is a meta-cognitive ability that might be shared across languages and beyond specific language proficiency. Moreover, we assesed the development of calibration of reading comprehension throughout the academic career of Arabic native speakers in Arabic (L1), Hebrew (L2), and English (L3), by comparing first and third year students. The results showed evidences to calibration of reading comprehension as a domain general, and showed, almost, no differences between first and third year students. In my Phd research, which is under supervision of Dr. Anat Prior and Dr. Tamar Degani, we examine the cross-linguistic - syntactic- transfer of L1 (Arabic) and L2 (Hebrew) when processing L3 (English). The study highlights the role of executive control in transfer by including a group of individuals diagnosed with ADHD, in addition to assessing individual differences on executive control tasks. Moreover, the study further investigates the dynamics of transfer by comparing performance on language comprehension and production tasks.

MA Students

Zoya Kardashov
Zoya KardashovMA StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a BA graduate in Psychology. Currently, I am an MA student in Cognitive Psychology, at the University of Haifa. My research, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani, examines the direct and indirect influences of multilingualism on novel word learning. Specifically, Hebrew-English participants learn novel words in German through either their L1 (Hebrew) or through their L2 (English). The main research question addressed in my work is whether the similarity in representations (learning through English that is more similar to German) or similarity in learning processes (learning through Hebrew, a process learners have experience with) will promote word learning. In addition, three word types (cognates, false-cognates and controls) are examined. Moreover, the research explores how individual differences interact with learning outcomes.
Lama Manna
Lama MannaMA StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
My name is Lama. I am a BA graduate in Communication Disorders from Tel-Aviv University. Currently, I am an MA student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Haifa. My research, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani, examines cross language phonological influences in Trilingual speakers, using a discrimination task, a linguistic background questionnaire and objective measures. The main research question addressed in my work is whether cross-language overlap of specific representations between the first language (L1) and the third language (L3) is more or less beneficial than cross-language overlap of specific representations between the second language (L2) and L3 to the phonological perception in L3.
Or Rozen
Or RozenMA StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a BA graduate in Communication Sciences & Disorders. Currently, I am an MA student in the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders. My research, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani Dr. Rama Novogrodsky examines the syntactic and lexical changes that happen in the oral language of bimodal bilinguals while they use Simultaneous Communication (speech and sign). The main research question addressed in my work is what are the sources for the predicted changes in the spoken language: (1) the level of vocabulary of sign language of the specific target task, in the case of the current study vocabulary of the stories; (2) the proficiency level in sign language as measured by a fluency task; (3) the ability to do two tasks together as measured by a dual task condition. Because teachers in most deaf and hard of hearing classes speak and sign simultaneously, the research's findings regarding the spoken language characteristics under such conditions will inform future discussions on the best communication method for those pupils.
Einat Oz
Einat OzMA StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a BA graduate in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Haifa, and currently, an MA student in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders. My research, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani examines long term and short term modulations of phonological awareness in bilingual speakers, using a rhyme judgment task, measuring both accuracy and reaction times. The goal of my study is to explore the dynamic nature of phonological awareness abilities in bilingual speakers. In particular, we aim to examine whether long-term and short-term linguistic and environmental factors that presumably modulate the strength of lexical representations, in turn, modulate phonological awareness performance.

Lab Manager

Miri Goldberg
Miri GoldbergMA StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a B.A. graduate in Psychology and English Language and Literature, and an M.A. graduate in Occupational-Organizational Psychology, from the University of Haifa. While working with Dr. Tamar Degani we have conducted a study examining interactions of translation ambiguity and individual differences in cognitive resources and linguistic background during foreign vocabulary learning. Native Hebrew speakers and Russian-Hebrew multilinguals learned the phonological form of unambiguous and ambiguous Arabic words along with their Hebrew translation and meaning definition. Results from translation-production and meaning-recognition tests revealed greater difficulty in learning translation-ambiguous words than translation unambiguous ones. Further, learners’ phonological memory was associated with overall better learning, but also with increased translation-ambiguity cost. Finally, learners’ proficiency in the language from which learning took place (Hebrew), but not degree of multilingualism, modulated learning. This study is currently under revision for publication.

Lab Alumni

Lara B
Lara BAlumni - MA StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thesis completed 2019. I am a BA and MA graduate of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, at the University of Haifa. My thesis is supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani and Dr. Rama Novogrodsky. In our research we focus on the influences of bilingualism and SLI (Specific Language Impairment) on novel word learning in children. Findings from previous studies suggest that bilingualism enhances language-learning abilities in children and adults with typically developed language, however, it is unclear whether there is such an enhancement even among children with SLI. Further, it is difficult to diagnose SLI within bilingual children because bilinguals suffer from reduced frequency of words in each language, and from competition from the other languages they know. In our study, we neutralize the effect of lexical frequency by focusing on learning novel real words, for which all children have no previous frequency of use. We further manipulate competition from existing languages by teaching novel real words with familiar or unfamiliar referents.
Natalie Morein-Schmidt
Natalie Morein-SchmidtAlumni - MA StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thesis completed 2019;I am a BA graduate and also an MA student in the Department of Speech and Language Disorders. I'm also a speech-language pathologist (SLP) and I work with multilingual kids and migrants. My research, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani examines the influence of short exposure to English in different modalities on the ability to comprehend written sentences in Hebrew. Reading patterns will be measured using eye movement tracking, using the Eye Link 1000+. We predict that due to interference from the non-target English language, post-exposure reading patterns in Hebrew will be more difficult than pre-exposure reading. In addition, we test whether the modality of exposure modulates this effect. This study carries the potential to uncover the mechanisms underlying cross-language shifts in bilingual performance and reveal the role of modality differences in these processes.
Rola Tukan Khury
Rola Tukan KhuryAlumni - MA StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Thesis completed 2019;I am a B.A. graduate in Communication Sciences & Disorders, University of Haifa. Currently, I am an M.A. student in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders. My research, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani and Dr. Hamutal Kreiner, examines cross-language interference between Hebrew and Russian in grammatical gender. Several questions are examined: 1. whether and to what extent is the performance of bilinguals in one language ​​better on items with congruent genders across the two languages versus items with incongruent genders? 2. whether a brief general exposure to L1 affects subsequent performance in a morphological production task in L2? And 3. whether exposure mode to L1, comprehension versus production, has a different effect on morpho-syntactic performance in L2.
Ghadeer Salamy
Ghadeer SalamyAlumni - MA StudentThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Final MA report completed 2019;I am a BA graduate in Communication Science and Disorders from the University of Haifa, and currently, an MA student in the Department of Communication Science and Disorders. <p>My research, supervised by Dr. Rama Novogrodsky & Dr, Tamar Degani examines narrative production among diglossic individuals. Specifically, we test the narrative production performance of 8-10 year old Arabic children in both Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) and colloquial Arabic, manipulating the order in which stories in the two languages are being told. Our goal is to examine how shifting between the two forms of the Arabic language influences children's narrative production performance. </p>
Ori Grinshten
Ori GrinshtenAlumni - Research AssistantThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a B.A. graduate in Psychology, and a M.A. graduate in Bio-Psychology, from the University of Haifa.
Lior Lvy
Lior LvyAlumni - Research AssistantThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a BA graduate of the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Haifa. Currently I am working with my colleague Orr Yagev on a research supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani. The research examines the influence of a brief exposure to a written text in English (L2) on the spelling accuracy in English (L2), among Hebrew native speakers (L1). Furthermore, we examine the influence of the orthographic conventions in the English writing system, that were known as challenging for Hebrew speakers (L1), on the spelling abilities.
Inbar Artzi
Inbar ArtziAlumni - Research AssistantThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a professional interpreter to Israeli Sign Language [ISL], and a BA graduate in Linguistics. I started my MA studies in the department of Sign Language Linguistics. Currently, I am a research assistant in the Multilingual Lab. My research is supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani, and examines the effects of ISL on the Hebrew production of two groups: proficient bimodal bilinguals of Hebrew and ISL, and native Hebrew Speakers who don't know sign language at all. Data collection is ongoing. Stay tuned...
Orr Yagev
Orr YagevAlumni - Research AssistantThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a BA graduate from the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Haifa. Currently I am working with my colleague Lior Lvy on a research supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani. The research examines the influence of a brief exposure to a written text in English (L2) on the spelling accuracy in English (L2), among Hebrew native speakers (L1). Furthermore, we examine the influence of the orthographic conventions in the English writing system, that were known as challenging for Hebrew speakers (L1), on the spelling abilities.
Walaa' Hajajra
Walaa' HajajraAlumni - Research AssistantThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a B.A. graduate in Psychology and Arabic Language and Literature from the University of Haifa, and an M.A. graduate in Children's' Medical Psychology, from the Academic College of Tel-Aviv Yafo. I am invested in developing excellence among children in the Arabic society, in particular among young children in the Bedouin society.

During my work in the Multilinguallab, I investigated cross-language influences among Arabic-Hebrew bilinguals during visual word processing. Our research exemplifies that bilinguals' other language influences semantic relatedness judgments on written words in the target language. Thus, the work demonstrates non-selective language processing even among different-script bilinguals.

Haya Ataria
Haya AtariaAlumni - Research AssistantThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am a BA graduate and an MA student at the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Haifa. In my BA seminar, my research with my colleague Farha Kateeb, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani, examined language-mixing among Arabic-Hebrew bilinguals. A picture naming task was used in L1 (Arabic) was administered, before and after a production task in L2 (Hebrew), or a nonverbal task. The main research question addressed was whether short exposure to the L2 affects production in L1, and if it does, is the influence stronger for repeated items or whether new items are affected as well. We further explored how the type of word and its frequency of use in Arabic modulate these short term effects.​
Farha Kateeb
I am a BA graduate of the Department of Communication Sciences & Disorders at the University of Haifa. Currently, I work as a speech and language pathologist in a child development institute. In my BA seminar, my research with my colleague Haya ataria, supervised by Dr. Tamar Degani, examined language-mixing among Arabic-Hebrew bilinguals. A picture naming task was used in L1 (Arabic) was administered, before and after a production task in L2 (Hebrew), or a nonverbal task. The main research question addressed was whether short exposure to the L2 affects production in L1, and if it does, is the influence stronger for repeated items or whether new items are affected as well. We further explored how the type of word and its frequency of use in Arabic modulate these short term effects.