Dr Bene Bassetti

School of Education
Honorary Senior Research Fellow

Contact details

School of Education
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston, Birmingham
B15 2TT, United Kingdom

Dr Bassetti is an applied linguist, who is researching bilingualism and second language learning. In particular, Dr Bassetti is investigating the learning and use of second language writing systems (scripts/orthographies), and bilingual cognition (language and thought in bilinguals and language learners). 


  • PhD, University of Essex
  • MA, Birkbeck, University of London
  • Laurea (BA Hons), La Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice, Postgraduate Certificate in Interpreting, Diploma in Chinese Language and Culture


Bene is an Associate Professor at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) and a Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. Before that, Bene was a Lecturer (=Assistant Professor) at the Universities of London (Birkbeck) and York, and an Associate Professor at the University of Warwick and at the University of Birmingham.

Postgraduate supervision

Bene is not currently accepting PhD students.

Current PhD students:


Language and thought in L2 learners and bilinguals

This line of research investigates whether knowing more than one language may affect the way people think, as predicted by the linguistic relativity hypothesis.

Second language writing systems

This line of research investigates the effects of knowing more than one writing system (also called orthography or script), including effects on reading and writing processes, metalinguistic awareness and speech production. Within this area, Dr Bassetti is investigating the effects of English orthographic forms (word spellings) on second language phonology.

Funded research projects

  • Spencer Foundation, Principal Investigator (2020-22) Language learning for religious purposes
  • Leverhulme Trust, Principal Investigator (2014-2017)
    Effects of orthography on phonology in second language speakers of English
  • British Academy Small Grant (2009)
    Counterfactual reasoning in Chinese-English bilingual speakers
  • British Academy Small Grant (2005)
    Effects of pinyin on the pronunciation of Chinese as a second language

For more information please visit https://benebassetti.org/research

Other activities

  • British Psychological Society, Chartered Psychologist (CPsychol) and Associate Fellow (AFBPsS)
  • Chartered Institute of Linguists, Chartered Linguist (CL), and Fellow (FCIL)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


Selected publications

Bassetti, B., Cerni, T., & Masterson, J. (2022). The efficacy of grapheme-phoneme correspondence instruction in reducing the effect of orthographic forms on second language phonology. Applied Psycholinguistics, 43(3), 683-705. DOI: 10.1017/S014271642200008X 

Bassetti, B. (2022) Language and counterfactual reasoning in Chinese, English and ChineseL1-EnglishL2 reasoners. International Journal of Bilingualism, 26(1), 82-103. DOI: 10.1177/13670069211022850 

Bassetti, B., & Filipović, L. (2022) Researching bilingualism and cognition. International Journal of  Bilingualism, 26(1), 3-12. DOI: 10.1177/13670069211022860

Bassetti, B., Masterson, J., Cerni, T., & Mairano, P. (2021) Orthographic forms affect speech perception in a second language: Consonant and vowel length in L2 English. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 47, 1583-1603. DOI: 10.1037/xhp0000949

Bassetti, B., Mairano, P., Masterson, J., & Cerni, T. (2020) Effects of orthographic forms on phonological awareness and speech production in second language speakers, with consideration of speaker variables. Language Learning 70(4), 1218-1256. DOI: 10.1111/lang.12423

Sokolović-Perović, M., Bassetti, B., Dillon, S. (2020) English orthographic forms affect L2 English speech production in native users of a non-alphabetic writing system. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 23(3), 591-601. DOI: 10.1017/S136672891900035X

Cerni, T., Bassetti, B., & Masterson, J. (2019) Effects of orthographic forms on the acquisition of novel spoken words in a second language. Frontiers in Communication, 4, 31. DOI: 10.3389/fcomm.2019.00031 

Bassetti, B., Clarke, A., & Trenkic, D. (2018) The linguistic transparency of calendar terms affects calendar calculations: Evidence from Chinese-English bilinguals. Acta Psychologica, 186, 81-89.   DOI: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.04.006

Bassetti, B., Sokolović-Perović, M., Mairano, P., & Cerni, T. (2018) Orthography-induced length contrasts in the second language phonological systems of L2 speakers of English: Evidence from minimal pairs. Language and Speech, 61(4), 577-597. DOI: 10.1177/0023830918780141

Bassetti, B. (2017) Orthography affects second language speech: Double letters and geminate production in English. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(11), 1835-1842. DOI: 10.1037/xlm0000417

Bassetti, B. & Lu, M. (2016) Effects of interword spacing on native English readers of Chinese as a Second Language. International Review of Applied Linguistics in Language Teaching, 54(1), 1-22DOI: 10.1017/S0142716409990105.

Bassetti, B. & Nicoladis, E. (2016). Research on grammatical gender and thought in early and emergent bilinguals. In B., Bassetti & E., Nicoladis (Eds.) Grammatical gender and thought in early and emergent bilinguals. Special issue. International Journal of Bilingualism 20, 3-16. DOI: 10.1177/1367006915576824.

Bassetti, B. & Atkinson, N. (2015) Effects of orthographic forms on pronunciation in experienced instructed second language learners.  Applied Psycholinguistics, 36(1), 67-91. DOI: 10.1017/S0142716414000435 

Bassetti, B. (2014) Is grammatical gender considered arbitrary or semantically motivated? Evidence from monolinguals, second language learners and early bilinguals. British Journal of Psychology, 105(2), 273-294. DOI: 10.1111/bjop.12037  

Bassetti, B. & Masterson, J. (2012) Effects of removing morphemic information and adding interword spacing on reading in Chinese experienced and inexperienced readers. Reading and Writing, 25(9), 2291-2314. DOI: 10.1007/s11145-012-9358-7 

Bassetti, B. (2011) The grammatical and conceptual gender of animals in second language users. In V. J. Cook & B. Bassetti (Eds.) Language and bilingual cognition (pp. 357-384). Oxford, UK: Psychology Press.

Bassetti, B. & Cook, V. J. (2011) Language and cognition: The second language user. In V. J. Cook & B. Bassetti (Eds.) Language and bilingual cognition (pp. 143-190). Oxford, UK: Psychology Press.

Bassetti, B. (2009) Effects of adding interword spacing on Chinese reading: A comparison of Chinese native readers and English readers of Chinese as a Second Language. Applied Psycholinguistics, 30(4), 757-775.  DOI: 10.1017/S0142716409990105.

Full list of publications with downloadable pre-print: https://benebassetti.org/publications

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