Kristof Baten

   Post-doctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)


  (+32)9/331 29 54

   Curriculum Vitae


  • 2001-2005: Master in Germanic Languages and Literature, Dutch-German, VU Brussels;
  • 2003-2004: Erasmus exchange student at Heinrich-Heine Universität, Düsseldorf;
  • 2007: Teacher certificate, VU Brussels;
  • 2005 - 2011:Teaching and research assistant, linguistics department, Ghent University;
  • 2011: PhD in Linguistics;
  • 2011- 2013: Post-doctoral assistant, linguistics department, Ghent University.
  • 2013 - present: Post-doctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)

Professional affiliations

  • Member of the Policy Group ‘Dutch as a Second Language in Adult Education’ at the Flemish Education Council (VLOR, Vlaamse Onderwijsraad) (2017 – present)
  • Member of the Language Policy Group (Werkgroep Taalbeleid, DOWA, UGent) (2018 – present)

Research expertise

  • Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and Foreign Language Acquisition (FLA)
  • Dutch as a Second Language (DSL); Nederlands als tweede Taal (NT2)
  • German as a Foreign Language (GFL); Deutsch als Fremdsprache (DaF)
  • Effectiveness of Instruction
  • Language development in a Study-Abroad context
  • Multilingualism and Bilingual Education (Content and Language Integrated Learning, CLIL)
  • Psycholinguistics: The Multilingual Mental Lexicon



The Effectiveness of Explicit/Implicit Instruction in L2 Acquisition: Interactions with Explicit/Implicit Knowledge, Language Complexity and Developmental Readiness (2013-2016)

The project aims to contribute to the ongoing debate on the effectiveness of both explicit and implicit instruction in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). In particular, it will focus on possible determinants concerning the effectiveness of instruction, i.e. (i) the type of knowledge and (ii) the complexity of the language feature involved. The aim is to establish the interactions between these determinants and the type of instruction.

  • RQ1 Do the effects of explicit and implicit instruction depend on the type of knowledge (i.e., explicit/implicit)? In other words: Is the effect of explicit/implicit instruction on explicit knowledge larger or smaller than their effect on implicit knowledge?
  • RQ2 Do the effects of explicit and implicit instruction depend on the complexity of the language feature? In other words: Is the effect of explicit/implicit instruction on a simple feature larger or smaller than their effect on a  complex feature?
  • RQ3 Is instruction that is targeted to the next stage in the L2 learner’s development more effective than instruction that targets a more advanced stage? In other words: Are learners developmentally ready to take in the instruction on a complex feature?


The Role of Individual Learner Differences in the Study Abroad Context. Their Effect on Foreign Language Development from an Integrative Perspective (2016-2019)

The project aims to examine the effects of a study abroad on foreign language acquisition. More specifically, the project will investigate possible gains in speaking proficiency, writing proficiency and lexical knowledge. Common belief is that a study abroad will result in dramatic higher levels of foreign language proficiency. Research has shown, however, that despite the magical image, a study abroad may not be the magic elixir for developing language proficiency. It is not the physical presence in the target culture in itself that may positively affect language acquisition. Rather individual differences are assumed to determine the degree of L2 development. The project will therefore relate the learners' L2 development to individual differences, such as:  (i) the learners’ actual amount of language use while abroad; (ii) the initial competence level; (iii) the cognitive capacity; and (iv) affective and personality factors. The project thus has two general research questions: (1) Does a study abroad lead to improved development in speaking, writing and lexical knowledge?; (2) Is the degree of the L2 development related to individual differences in a study abroad context




Baten, K., Buyl, A., Lochtman, K. & Van Herreweghe, M. (2015). Theoretical and Methodological Developments in Processability Theory. Amsterdam: Benjamins. (See,

Baten, K. (2013). The Acquisition of the German Case System by Foreign Language Learners. Amsterdam: Benjamins. (See,

[Reviewed by Christine Frederiksson in Studia Neophilologica, 86: 97–101, 2014; and by Marije Michel in International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 165: 77-83, 2014]


Key articles

Baten, K. & A. Ponnet (Forthcoming). "Extending PT ro split ergative marking and differential object marking: Some hypotheses for L2 Hindi". To appear in: S. Kawaguchi, B. Di Biase, Y. Yamaguchi, Y. Zhang (eds.), Netx volume of PALART: Processability Approaches to Language Acquisition Research & Teaching. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Baten, K. & G. Håkansson (2015). "The development of subordinate clauses in German and Swedish as L2s. A theoretical and methodological comparison." Studies in Second Language Acquisition 37/3, 517-547.

De Cuypere, L., Baten, K. & G. Rawoens (2014). "A corpus-based analysis of the Swedish passive alternation." Nordic Journal of Linguistics 37/3, 199-223.

Baten, K. (2011). “Processability Theory and the Acquisition of the German Case System.” Language Learning 61/2, 455-505.

Baten, K., Loeys, T. & F. Hofman (2011). "Cross-lingual activation in bilingual sentence processing: the role of word class meaning." Bilingualism: Language & Cognition 14/3, 351-359.

Bollen, K. & K. Baten (2010). "Bilingual education in Flanders: Policy and press debate." Modern Language Journal 94/3, 412-433.


For a complete list, see



For a list of presentations, click here.


Current Ph.D projects (as co-supervisor)

  • Hilde De Vaere: The alternation between the Indirect Object Construction and the Prepositional Object Construction in present-day German. A corpus-based analysis.
  • Aaricia Ponnet: The acquisition of the Hindi case system by Dutch-speaking and German-speaking foreign language learners.

  • Giang Hoang Thi Huong: Do children from socioeconomically disadvantaged areas experience language disadvantages? A lexical semantic study of socioeconomically disadvantaged children living in Central-Vietnam
  • María Anna Garðarsdóttir (joint PhD with the University of Iceland): A Processability Approach to the Acquisition of Subject Case in L2 Icelandic