Chenxi Niu

Chenxi Niu

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I’m interested in language-specific impacts on children’s language development. By 'language', I mean not only conventional words and sentences but also speech-accompanying gestures and ideophones that children frequently produce. In other words, I adopt a multimodal approach to understanding children’s language development.

In my PhD project, I compare how children learning Mandarin and English develop to talk about causal events in speech and gesture. I ask (whether, and if so,) when language-specific features start to ‘show up’ during the process of children’s multimodal language development. My supervisors are Prof. Alan Cienki (, Prof. Martine Coene ( at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Dr. Gerardo Ortega at the University of Birmingham (

In addition to first language development, I'm also enthusiastic about second language learning. In my spare time, I teach Mandarin to Dutch-speaking children and adults at the Chinees Onderwijscentrum Nederland ( 

Academic qualification

Applied Linguistics, Master, Beihang University

1 Sep 20141 Mar 2017

Foreign Languages, Bachelor, Beijing Sport University

1 Sep 20101 Jun 2014


  • P Philology. Linguistics
  • Gesture Studies
  • Language development


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