Post written by Jennifer Austin, María Blume & Liliana Sánchez authors of Bilingualism in the Spanish-Speaking World.
Bilingualism, and how it affects language and cognitive development, is a topic of increasing relevance in an interconnected world. In Bilingualism in the Spanish-Speaking World, we examine how the outcomes of bilingualism are shaped by factors at the individual level, such as age of acquisition and the amount and type of input, as well as societal support for the minority language in the form of dual-language education and similar initiatives. By analyzing previous research on the effects of these variables on bilingual speakers’ linguistic representations, as well as their minds and brains, we have attempted to provide a better understanding of some emerging conceptual . . . → Read More: Bilingualism in the Spanish-Speaking World
Youngsters who speak two languages maintain their focus better than monolinguals
A new study, published in the journal Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, has found that bilingual primary school children learn more effectively than monolinguals within noisy environments such as classrooms.
Anglia Ruskin University’s Dr Roberto Filippi carried out research in Cambridge primary schools, focusing on children aged between seven and 10.
The study discovered that bilingual children were more able to maintain focus on a main task, which in this case was the identification of the subject within a short sentence in the presence of noise.
Pupils who only speak one language did not reach the same level of efficiency, showing that noise negatively affects their ability to sustain attention, especially when comprehending more difficult . . . → Read More: Bilingual children cope well in noisy classrooms
Dr. Aneta Pavlenko Professor of Applied Linguistics
Written by Aneta Pavlenko, Temple University
We are often asked about the relevance of linguistics for the ‘real world’. On June 2, 2014, I got an opportunity to explain this relevance to the judge, the media, and the general public when I testified as an expert witness in the pre-trial hearing of a Kazakh national, Dias Kadyrbayev, friend of the accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnayev. The hearing was not about guilt or innocence. Its purpose was to determine whether Dias understood his Miranda rights – to remain silent, to request a lawyer, and to have a lawyer provided to him for free – and the consequences of waiving them. There were two complications: the . . . → Read More: A linguist’s foray into the ‘real world’: Why Dias Kadyrbayev was highly unlikely to understand his Miranda rights
Post written by Dr. Lei Xuan and Dr. Christine Dollaghan based on an article in Journal of Child Language
Our research addressed questions about the kinds of words that appear in the early vocabularies of bilingual children. Evidence from some languages, including English, has shown that young children acquire words for people and things before words that label actions and attributes or words that have grammatical functions. However, the hypothesis of a universal preference for nouns (i.e., a “noun bias”) in early lexical development has been challenged by studies suggesting that children acquiring languages such as Korean and Mandarin Chinese may show a weaker preference for nouns.
We used a unique research design to examine the extent of noun bias in 50 bilingual . . . → Read More: Language-specific noun bias: evidence from bilingual children
Bilingualism: Language and Cognition (BLC) is the international peer-reviewed journal focusing on bilingualism from a cognitive science perspective. Cambridge Journals are delighted to offer you free online access to the editors’ pick of recent influential articles from BLC. To access these articles, click on the titles below…
Innovative constructions in Dutch Turkish: An assessment of ongoing contact-induced change – A. Seza Doğruöz and Ad Backus
Dominant-language replacement: The case of international adoptees – Kenneth Hyltenstam et al.
Bilingual first-language development: Dominant language takeover, threatened minority language take-up – Virginia C. Mueller Gathercole and Enlli Môn Thomas
Past tense grammaticality judgment and production in non-native and stressed native English speakers – Janet L. McDonald and Cristine C. Roussel
Ambiguous words are harder to learn . . . → Read More: The best of Bilingualism: Read the journal editors’ pick of key articles for FREE
Ping Li, editor of Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, has been researching comparisons between the brains of native English speakers and Chinese speakers who are bilingual in English in the hopes of shedding more light on what differentiates and distinguishes someone who can easily pick up a new language from someone who struggles.
The research being carried out at Pennsylvania State University’s Brain, Language, and Computation Lab has been designed specifically to understand the relationships among language, brain, and culture. In particular, focusing on the dynamic changes that occur in the language learner and the dynamic interactions that occur in the competing language systems over the course of learning.
This research was recently picked up by CNN and makes for very informative and worthwhile reading.
Read the original article here . . . → Read More: From Brain To Language To Accent