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Abstract

Most assessments of cognitive abilities are language bound (e.g., directions presented orally or written), even when not assessing linguistic ability. Understanding the relationship between bilingual language acquisition and outcomes on tests of cognitive abilities is critical, given the reliance on intelligence assessment for learning disability accommodations and intellectual disability diagnoses. Research has been mixed regarding the presence of a bilingual advantage or disadvantage on cognitive performance. Thus, the purpose of this review is to examine differences between several types of language users (i.e., early/late, simultaneous/sequential, English dominant / Spanish dominant/balanced), focusing on the relation between level of language acquisition and use and implications for outcomes on tests of cognitive abilities. To conduct the systematic review, guidelines from the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) were used (Liberati et al., 2009). Fifty-two articles met eligibility criteria and are included in this review. Results from the systematic review suggest that bilinguals perform differently than monolinguals in several domains and may be considered neurologically unlike monolinguals. The paper concludes by advocating for the need for appropriate assessment instruments and norms specific for bilingual speakers, as currently available measures cannot reliably and accurately differentiate monolinguals with a language impairment from typically developing bilinguals.

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... These measures assess both verbal and nonverbal intelligence and have been administered to adults as well. Some studies have compared large samples of monolingual and bilingual children and adults (Bailey et al., 2020;Bialystok & Luk, 2012) on vocabulary measures in English and confirmed lower scores for bilinguals. However, no such evaluation has been conducted for nonverbal intelligence tests. ...
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Early research that relied on standardized assessments of intelligence reported negative effects of bilingualism for children, but a study by Peal and Lambert (1962) reported better performance by bilingual than monolingual children on verbal and nonverbal intelligence tests. This outcome led to the view that bilingualism was a positive experience. However, subsequent research abandoned intelligence tests as the assessment tool and evaluated performance on cognitive tasks, making the research after Peal and Lambert qualitatively different from that before their landmark study. These newer studies showed both positive effects of bilingualism and no differences between language groups on cognitive tasks. But why were Peal and Lambert’s results so different from previous studies that were also based on intelligence tests? To address this question, the present study analyzed data from intelligence tests that were collected from 6,077 participants across 79 studies in which intelligence tests were administered as background measures to a variety of cognitive tasks. By including adults, the study extends the results across the lifespan. On standardized verbal tests, monolinguals outperformed bilinguals, but on nonverbal measures of intelligence, there were no differences between language groups. These results, which are different from those reported by Peal and Lambert, are used to reinterpret their findings in terms of the sociolinguistic, political, and cultural context in which the Peal and Lambert study was conducted and the relevance of those factors for all developmental research.
... Although a significant number of neuropsychologists report that their professional work involves providing services to ethnic minorities, few neuropsychologists ever receive adequate training for working with the Latino/a population, approximately half of which require assistance with the English language (Echemendia et al., 1997;Rabin et al., 2020;U.S. Bureau of Census, 2010). Furthermore, even when neuropsychologists have the linguistic ability to provide services in Spanish, there is a lack of instruments and/ or normative data available to make proper clinical conclusions (Bailey et al., 2020;Fazio et al., 2017;Puente & Ardila, 2000). ...
Article
Performance validity tests (PVTs) are an integral part of neuropsychological assessments. Yet no studies have examined how Spanish-speaking forensic inpatients perform on PVTs, making it difficult to interpret these tests in this population. The present study examined archival data collected from monolingual Spanish-speaking forensic inpatients (n = 55; Mage = 49.6 years, SD = 12.0; 84.9% male; 93.5% diagnosed with a Psychotic Spectrum Disorder) to determine how this population performs on several PVTs. Most participants’ scores on the Dot Counting Test (DCT; 82.2%; n = 45), Repeatable Battery for Assessment of Neuropsychological Status-Effort Index (RBANS EI; 84.4%; n = 33), and Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM; 79.1%; n = 43) were indicative of valid performance. Few participants, however, had Rey-15 Item Test (FIT) scores in the valid range (24.5% to 48.0%; Recall n = 50 and Combined n = 49, respectively); although FIT Recall specificity was improved when cutoff scores were lowered. Total years of education, but not other educational factors, were significantly associated with performance on PVTs (r = .33–.40, p = .01–.03). Study results suggest the DCT, TOMM, and RBANS EI may be more appropriate PVTs for Spanish-speaking forensic inpatients compared to the FIT.
... Further, neither conceptual (i.e., answers are accepted in either English or the youth's native language; that is they get points per concept) nor total (i.e., answers are accepted in both English or the youth's native language; that is they get points for both words) scoring seem to eliminate the differences between monolinguals and bilinguals (Gross et al., 2014). Thus, Bailey et al. (2020) suggest the field move toward creating standardized bilingual norms to address these pitfalls and ensure that immigrant youth receive accurate assessment results to obtain proper and adequate access to special education services. ...
Chapter
The changing demographics of the US and widespread prevalence of immigrant youth suggests mental health trainees, clinicians, and researchers are increasingly more likely to interact with, treat, and study individuals from this population. Against this background, this article synthesizes current research for working with immigrant youth, with a particular focus on mental health and treatment considerations. First, we cover mental health considerations related to trauma history, acculturation and enculturation, and family separation. Next, we examine practical considerations specific to immigrant youth. Then we cover therapy and assessment considerations, including language dominance, cultural loading of tests and evaluative procedures, and gaps in educational history. Finally, we conclude with directions for future research.
... Further, while Spanish-language questionnaires and research assistants were available, participants who preferred another non-English language had the option of either completing the study in English or opting out of the study. Given the potential for important information lost when conducting psychological assessments in a respondent's non-native language [42,43], the lack of study instruments and procedures in other languages is a significant limitation. Regarding generalizability, participants were drawn only from one school in one region. ...
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Rising rates of youth migration are occurring globally and, thus, the adaptation of immigrant youth to their host country’s cultural norms is a pressing public health concern. Indeed, both acculturation and acculturative stress are associated with mental health for immigrant youth. The broad aim of this study was to examine how sleep duration would prospectively relate to acculturation (Short Acculturation Scale) and acculturative stress (Social, Attitudinal, Familial, and Environmental Acculturative Stress Scale) following migration for N = 110 immigrant high school students across 1 year. We hypothesized that acculturation would increase, and acculturative stress would decrease over the course of 1 year of data collection. We found evidence of both anticipated longitudinal changes, with significant slope parameters that were of opposite direction (i.e., acculturation positive, acculturative stress negative). Longer sleep duration at baseline was predictive of both greater increase in acculturation and greater decrease in acculturative stress over 1 year.
... There has been a significant increase in the number of studies on how bilingualism affects human language and cognition faculties. The results have shown differences between bilinguals and monolinguals in different areas [2][3][4]. In bilingualism, two cognitive outcomes are possible; one is that high knowledge and use of two languages affects cognition, regardless of the complexity of the languages (macro level) [5]. ...
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Background and Aim: The majority of the world’s population is bilingual. Bilingualism is a form of sensory enrichment that translates to gains in cognitive abilities; these cognitive gains in attention and memory are known to modulate subcortical processing of auditory stimuli. Second language acquisition has a broad impact on various psychological, cognitive, memory, and linguistic processes. Central auditory processing (CAP) is the perceptual processing of auditory information. Due to its importance in bilingu­alism, this study aimed to review the CAP of bilinguals. Recent Findings: The CAP was studied in three areas: dichotic listening, temporal processing, and speech in noise perception. Regarding dichotic listening, studies have shown that bilinguals have better performance in staggered spondaic word (SSW) test, consonant-vowel dichotic test, dichotic digits test (DDT), and disyllable dichotic test than monolinguals, although similar results have also been reported in SSW and DDT. Regarding temporal processing, the results of bilinguals do not differ from those of monolinguals, although in some cases, it is better in bilinguals. Regarding speech in noise perception, the results between bilinguals and monolinguals are varied depending on the amount of linguistic information available in the stimuli. Conclusion: Bilingualism has a positive effect on dichotic processing, no effect on temporal processing, and varied effect on speech in noise perception. Bilinguals have poor performance using meaningful speech and better performance using meaningless speech.
... The condition of bilingualism can influence the performance in various domains (positively or negatively). In that case, it follows that some of the standardized tests currently in use are not always suitable for the assessment of bilinguals and that the normative data currently available do not reflect the real abilities of bilinguals (e.g., assessment of linguistic abilities in bilingually developing children, see for example Core et al., 2013;Bailey et al., 2020). One of the characteristics of the experimental tasks that seem to influence the performance of people who know several languages is the use of verbal stimuli . ...
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Approximately half of the world's population is bilingual or multilingual. The bilingual advantage theory claims that the constant need to control both known languages, that are always active in the brain, to use the one suitable for each specific context improves cognitive functions and specifically executive functions. However, some authors do not agree on the bilingual effect, given the controversial results of studies on this topic. This systematic review aims to summarize the results of studies on the relationship between bilingualism and executive functions. The review was conducted according to PRISMA-statement through searches in the scientific database PsychINFO, PsycARTICLES, MEDLINE, and PUBMED. Studies included in this review had at least one bilingual and monolingual group, participants aged between 5 and 17 years, and at least one executive function measure. Studies on second language learners, multilingual people, and the clinical population were excluded. Fifty-three studies were included in the systematic review. Evidence supporting the bilingual effect seems to appear when assessing inhibition and cognitive flexibility, but to disappear when working memory is considered. The inconsistent results of the studies do not allow drawing definite conclusions on the bilingual effect. Further studies are needed; they should consider the role of some modulators (e.g., language history and context, methodological differences) on the observed results.
... However, recent studies prefer to view bilingualism or multilingualism as an advantage since it has been found that bilingual or multilingual people may come out with cognitive advantages [7] such as increased attentional control [8], metalinguistic awareness [9,10], working memory [11,12], and problem solving capabilities [13]. Of course, researchers may not always agree with the point of bilingual advantages and studies have found no significant difference between bilinguals and monolinguals such as [14], [15], and [16] in terms of the previous mentioned points such as cognitive advantages and working memory (see [17] for a recent review on this topic). ...
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This study explored the state of the arts of bilingualism or multilingualism research in the past two decades. In particular, it employed a bibliometric method to examine the publication trend, the main publication venues, the most influential articles, and the important themes in the area of bilingualism or multilingualism. The main findings are summarised as follows. First, a significant increase of publications in the area was found in the past two decades. Second, the main publication venues and the most influential articles were reported. The results seemingly indicated that the research in the area focused largely on two broad categories, that is, (1) bilingualism or multilingualism from the perspective of psycholinguistics and cognition research and (2) how second/additional languages are learned and taught. Last, the important themes, including the hot and cold themes, were identified. Results showed that researchers prefer to study bilingualism or multilingualism more from deeper cognition levels such as metalinguistic awareness, phonological awareness, and executive control. Also, they may become more interested in the issue from multilingual perspectives rather than from the traditional bilingual view. In addition, the theme emergent bilinguals, a term closely related to translanguaging, has recently gained its popularity, which seemingly indicates a recent advocate for heteroglossic language ideologies.
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No two bilinguals are the same. Differences in bilingual experiences can affect language-related processes but have also been proposed to modulate executive functioning. Recently, there has been an increased interest in studying individual differences between bilinguals, for example in terms of their age of acquisition, language proficiency, use, and switching. However, and despite the importance of this individual variation, studies often do not provide detailed assessments of their bilingual participants. This review first discusses several aspects of bilingualism that have been studied in relation to executive functioning. Next, I review different questionnaires and objective measurements that have been proposed to better define bilingual experiences. In order to better understand (effects of) bilingualism within and across studies, it is crucial to carefully examine and describe not only a bilingual's proficiency and age of acquisition, but also their language use and switching as well as the different interactional contexts in which they use their languages.
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Purpose: Bilingual children whose phonological skills are evaluated using measures designed for monolingual English speakers are at risk for misdiagnosis of speech sound disorders (De Lamo White & Jin, 2011). Method: Forty-four children participated in this study: 15 typically developing monolingual English speakers, 7 monolingual English speakers with phonological disorders, 14 typically developing bilingual Spanish-English speakers, and 8 bilingual children with phonological disorders. Children's single-word speech productions were examined on Percentage Consonants Correct-Revised (Shriberg, Austin, Lewis, McSweeny, & Wilson, 1997a) and accuracy of early-, middle-, and late-developing sounds (Shriberg, 1993) in English. Consonant accuracy in English was compared between monolinguals and bilinguals with and without speech sound disorders. Logistic regression and receiver operating characteristic curves were used to observe diagnostic accuracy of the measures examined. Results: Percentage Consonants Correct-Revised was found to be a good indicator of phonological ability in both monolingual and bilingual English-speaking children at the age of 5;0. No significant differences were found between language groups on any of the measures examined. Conclusions: Our results suggest that traditional measures of phonological ability for monolinguals could provide good diagnostic accuracy for bilingual children at the age of 5;0 years. These findings are preliminary, and children younger than 5;0 years should be examined for risk of misdiagnosis.
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Current literature and research demonstrates that learning multiple languages allows for young learners to develop higher levels of executive functioning skills. Research also suggests that Dual Language Learners (DLLs) can surpass monolinguals in these executive functioning skills. Yet, there is a dearth of literature that explicitly discusses DLLs in the early childhood setting and the development of self-regulatory skills. Self-regulation skills have been linked to better indicators of academic achievement than numeracy and literacy. This research describes the differences between DLLs’ behavioral and emotional regulation, which are categorized as impulse control and cognitive regulation. This analysis examines the development of cognitive regulation and impulse control in both DLLs and non-DLLs. Results from an ANOVA of a convenience sample of 63 participants, 32 DLL (English and Spanish) and 31 non-DLL (English) preschool students, were assessed using the Preschool Self-Regulation Assessment (PSRA) and several measures of oral language proficiency. Participants were drawn from a Head Start and Universal Pre-Kindergarten program located in a low SES and culturally diverse district. The result yielded a statistically significant effect, (F(1, 61) = 8.56, p =.005; partial Eta squared =.123) for non-DLLs. ANOVA results suggest differences in cognitive regulation between the two groups. Implications relating to self-regulation, DLLs, culture and classroom practice, as well as policy are further discussed. © 2017 The Author(s). This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) 4.0 license.
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It has been shown that monolingual caregivers exaggerate acoustic speech cues in infant-directed speech (IDS), but less is known about the characteristics of IDS in late second-language (L2) bilingual caregivers. Furthermore, there is inconsistency in the literature regarding voice onset time (VOT) of stop consonants in IDS. The present study explores VOT of English and Spanish stops in English monolingual and Spanish-dominant bilingual caregivers, in infant- versus adult-directed speech registers. Both monolinguals and bilinguals exaggerate VOT in IDS; however, different patterns are noted across consonant type and language context. Also, bilinguals produced English stops with Spanish-like and English-like properties, depending upon their L2-proficiency. The characteristics of late-L2 Spanish–English bilingual IDS may create a complex phonetic environment for infants, which may in turn affect the perception and later production of stop consonants in dual language-learning infants.
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Background: Bilingualism may contribute to cognitive reserve, protect against cognitive decline, and delay the onset of dementia. Objective: We systematically reviewed evidence about the effect of bilingualism on subsequent cognitive decline or dementia. Methods: We searched electronic databases and references for longitudinal studies comparing cognitive decline in people who were bilingual with those who were monolingual and evaluated study quality. We conducted meta-analyses using random effects models to calculate pooled odds ratio of incident dementia. Results: We included 13/1,156 eligible articles. Meta-analysis of prospective studies of the effects of bilingualism on future dementia gave a combined Odds Ratio of dementia of 0.96 (95% CI 0.74-1.23) in bilingual participants (n = 5,527) compared to monolinguals. Most retrospective studies found that bilingual people were reported to develop symptoms of cognitive decline at a later age than monolingual participants. Conclusion: We did not find that bilingualism protects from cognitive decline or dementia from prospective studies. Retrospective studies are more prone to confounding by education, or cultural differences in presentation to dementia services and are therefore not suited to establishing causative links between risk factors and outcomes.
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Background Bilingualism may protect against cognitive aging and delay the onset of dementia. However, studies comparing monolinguals and bilinguals on such metrics have produced inconsistent results complicated by confounding variables and methodological concerns. Methods We addressed this issue by comparing cognitive performance in a more culturally homogeneous cohort of older Spanish-speaking monolingual (n = 289) and Spanish-English bilingual (n = 339) Mexican-American immigrants from the Sacramento Longitudinal Study on Aging. Results After adjusting for demographic differences and depressive symptoms, both groups performed similarly at baseline on verbal memory but the bilingual group performed significantly better than the monolingual group on a cognitive screening test, the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (3MS; p < 0.001). Group differences on the 3MS were driven by language/executive and language/praxis factors. Within the bilingual group, neither language of testing nor degree of bilingualism was significantly associated with 3MS or verbal memory scores. Amongst individuals who performed in the normal or better range on both tests at baseline and were followed for an average of 6 years, both monolinguals and bilinguals exhibited similar rates of cognitive decline on both measures. Conclusions These findings suggest that bilingualism is associated with modest benefits in cognitive screening performance in older individuals in cross-sectional analyses that persist across longitudinal analyses. The effects of bilingualism should be considered when cognitively screening is performed in aging immigrant populations. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12877-016-0368-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
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This study examined executive control in sixty-two 5-year-old children who were monolingual or bilingual using behavioral and event-related potentials (ERPs) measures. All children performed equivalently on simple response inhibition (gift delay), but bilingual children outperformed monolinguals on interference suppression and complex response inhibition (go/no-go task). On the go/no-go task, ERPs showed larger P3 amplitudes and shorter N2 and P3 latencies for bilingual children than for monolinguals. These latency and amplitude data were associated with better behavioral performance and better discrimination between stimuli for bilingual children but not for monolingual children. These results clarify the conditions that lead to advantages for bilingual children in executive control and provide the first evidence linking those performance differences to electrophysiological brain differences in children.
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In the present study we examined performance of bilingual Spanish-English-speaking and monolingual English-speaking school-age children on a range of processing-based measures within the framework of Baddeley’s working memory model. The processing-based measures included measures of short-term memory, measures of working memory, and a novel word-learning task. Results revealed that monolinguals outperformed bilinguals on the short-term memory tasks but not the working memory and novel word-learning tasks. Further, children’s vocabulary skills and socioeconomic status (SES) were more predictive of processing-based task performance in the bilingual group than the monolingual group. Together, these findings indicate that processing-based tasks that engage verbal working memory rather than short-term memory may be better-suited for diagnostic purposes with bilingual children. However, even verbal working memory measures are sensitive to bilingual children’s language-specific knowledge and demographic characteristics, and therefore may have limited clinical utility.
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Increasing our understanding about neuroprotective lifestyle variables has become a practical imperative in our aging society. Cognitive reserve (CR) refers to the use brain resources in a way that allows for coping with neuropathology and maintaining cognitive functioning. A growing body of evidence suggests that bilingualism may represent a form of CR against Alzheimer’s disease (AD). The purpose of the present review is to summarize both behavioral and neuroimaging evidence for bilingualism as a reserve variable against AD. The potential influences of literacy, intelligence, immigration status are discussed. Evidence is reviewed suggesting that bilingualism may delay clinical AD symptoms by protecting against age-related declines in the brain’s executive control circuitry. It is suggested that such potential beneficial effects within executive control systems may enable bilinguals to circumvent the typical effects of AD pathology on symptom expression for several years.
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The cognate facilitation effect refers to the phenomenon that in bilinguals performance on various vocabulary tasks is enhanced for cross-linguistic cognates as opposed to noncognates. However, research investigating the presence of the cognate advantage in bilingual children remains limited. Most studies with children conducted to date has not included a control group or rigorously designed stimuli, which may jeopardize the validity and robustness of the emerging evidence. The current study addressed these methodological problems by examining performance in picture naming tasks in 34 4- to 7-year-old Spanish-English bilinguals and 52 Mandarin-English bilinguals as well as 37 English-speaking monolinguals who served as controls. Stimuli were controlled for phonology, word frequency, and length. The Spanish-English bilinguals performed better for cognates than for noncognates and exhibited a greater number of doublet responses (i.e., providing correct responses in both languages) in naming cognate targets than in naming noncognates. The control groups did not show differences in performance between the two sets of words. These findings provide compelling evidence that cross-linguistic similarities at the phonological level allow bootstrapping of vocabulary learning.
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We used mouse tracking to compare the performance of bilinguals and monolinguals in a Stroop task. Participants were instructed to respond to the color of the words (e.g., blue in yellow font) by clicking on response options on the screen. We recorded participants’ movements of a computer mouse: when participants started moving (initiation times), and how fast they moved towards the correct response (x-coordinates over time). Interestingly, initiation times were longer for bilinguals than monolinguals. Nevertheless, when comparing mouse trajectories, bilinguals moved faster towards the correct response. Taken together, these results indicate that bilinguals behave qualitatively differently from monolinguals; bilinguals are “experts” at managing conflicting information. Experts across many different domains take longer to initiate a response, but then they outperform novices. These qualitative differences in performance could be at the root of apparently contradictory findings in the bilingual literature.
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Aims: The goal of this study was to investigate if phonetic experience with two languages facilitated the learning of novel speech sounds or if general perceptual abilities independent of bilingualism played a role in this learning. Method: The underlying neural mechanisms involved in novel speech sound learning were observed in groups of English monolinguals (n = 20), early Spanish–English bilinguals (n = 24), and experimentally derived subgroups of individuals with advanced ability to learn novel speech sound contrasts (ALs, n = 28) and individuals with non-advanced ability to learn novel speech sound contrasts (non-ALs, n = 16). Subjects participated in four consecutive sessions of phonetic training in which they listened to novel speech sounds embedded in Hungarian pseudowords. Participants completed two fMRI sessions, one before training and another one after training. While in the scanner, participants passively listened to the speech stimuli presented during training. A repeated measures behavioral analysis and ANOVA for fMRI data were conducted to investigate learning after training. Results and conclusions: The results showed that bilinguals did not significantly differ from monolinguals in the learning of novel sounds behaviorally. Instead, the behavioral results revealed that regardless of language group (monolingual or bilingual), ALs were better at discriminating pseudowords throughout the training than non-ALs. Neurally, region of interest (ROI) analysis showed increased activity in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) bilaterally in ALs relative to non-ALs after training. Bilinguals also showed greater STG activity than monolinguals. Extracted values from ROIs entered into a 2×2 MANOVA showed a main effect of performance, demonstrating that individual ability exerts a significant effect on learning novel speech sounds. In fact, advanced ability to learn novel speech sound contrasts appears to play a more significant role in speech sound learning than experience with two phonological systems.
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The goal of this research was to examine word retention in bilinguals and monolinguals. Long-term word retention is an essential part of vocabulary learning. Previous studies have documented that bilinguals outperform monolinguals in terms of retrieving newly-exposed words. Yet, little is known about whether or to what extent bilinguals are different from monolinguals in word retention. Participants were 30 English-speaking monolingual adults and 30 bilingual adults who speak Spanish as a home language and learned English as a second language during childhood. In a previous study (Kan et al., 2014), the participants were exposed to the target novel words in English, Spanish, and Cantonese. In this current study, word retention was measured a week after the fast mapping task. No exposures were given during the one-week interval. Results showed that bilinguals and monolinguals retain a similar number of words. However, participants produced more words in English than in either Spanish or Cantonese. Correlation analyses revealed that language knowledge plays a role in the relationships between fast mapping and word retention. Specifically, within- and across-language relationships between bilinguals' fast mapping and word retention were found in Spanish and English, by contrast, within-language relationships between monolinguals' fast mapping and word retention were found in English and across-language relationships between their fast mapping and word retention performance in English and Cantonese. Similarly, bilinguals differed from monolinguals in the relationships among the word retention scores in three languages. Significant correlations were found among bilinguals' retention scores. However, no such correlations were found among monolinguals' retention scores. The overall findings suggest that bilinguals' language experience and language knowledge most likely contribute to how they learn and retain new words.
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Purpose: The authors examined the effects of conceptual scoring on the performance of simultaneous and sequential bilinguals on standardized receptive and expressive vocabulary measures in English and Spanish. Method: Participants included 40 English-speaking monolingual children, 39 simultaneous Spanish-English bilingual children, and 19 sequential bilingual children, ages 5-7. The children completed standardized receptive and expressive vocabulary measures in English and also in Spanish for those who were bilingual. After the standardized administration, bilingual children were given the opportunity to respond to missed items in their other language to obtain a conceptual score. Results: Controlling for group differences in socioeconomic status (SES), both simultaneous and sequential bilingual children scored significantly below monolingual children on single-language measures of English receptive and expressive vocabulary. Conceptual scoring removed the significant difference between monolingual and simultaneous bilingual children in the receptive modality but not in the expressive modality; differences remained between monolingual and sequential bilingual children in both modalities. However, in both bilingual groups, conceptual scoring increased the proportion of children with vocabulary scores within the average range. Conclusion: Conceptual scoring does not fully ameliorate the bias inherent in single-language standardized vocabulary measures for bilingual children, but the procedures employed here may assist in ruling out vocabulary deficits, particularly in typically developing simultaneous bilingual children.
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We examined the effects of classroom bilingual experience in children on an array of cognitive skills. Monolingual English-speaking children were compared with children who spoke English as the native language and who had been exposed to Spanish in the context of dual-immersion schooling for an average of 2 years. The groups were compared on a measure of non-linguistic task-shifting; measures of verbal short-term and working memory; and measures of word learning. The two groups of children did not differ on measures of non-linguistic task-shifting and verbal short-term memory. However, the classroom-exposure bilingual group outperformed the monolingual group on the measure of verbal working memory and a measure of word learning. Together, these findings indicate that while exposure to a second language in a classroom setting may not be sufficient to engender changes in cognitive control, it can facilitate verbal memory and verbal learning.
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Spanish-English bilinguals (N = 144) performed free recall, serial recall and order reconstruction tasks in both English and Spanish. Long-term memory for both item and order information was worse in the less fluent language (L2) than in the more fluent language (L1). Item scores exhibited a stronger disadvantage for the L2 in serial recall than in free recall. Relative order scores were lower in the L2 for all three tasks, but adjusted scores for free and serial recall were equivalent across languages. Performance of English-speaking monolinguals (N = 72) was comparable to bilingual performance in the L1, except that monolinguals had higher adjusted order scores in free recall. Bilingual performance patterns in the L2 were consistent with the established effects of concurrent task performance on these memory tests, suggesting that the cognitive resources required for processing words in the L2 encroach on resources needed to commit item and order information to memory. These findings are also consistent with a model in which item memory is connected to the language system, order information is processed by separate mechanisms and attention can be allocated differentially to these two systems.
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Objective: Clinic-based studies suggest that dementia is diagnosed at older ages in bilinguals compared with monolinguals. The current study sought to test this hypothesis in a large, prospective, community-based study of initially nondemented Hispanic immigrants living in a Spanish-speaking enclave of northern Manhattan. Method: Participants included 1,067 participants in the Washington/Hamilton Heights Inwood Columbia Aging Project (WHICAP) who were tested in Spanish and followed at 18-24 month intervals for up to 23 years. Spanish-English bilingualism was estimated via both self-report and an objective measure of English reading level. Multilevel models for change estimated the independent effects of bilingualism on cognitive decline in 4 domains: episodic memory, language, executive function, and speed. Over the course of the study, 282 participants developed dementia. Cox regression was used to estimate the independent effect of bilingualism on dementia conversion. Covariates included country of origin, gender, education, time spent in the United States, recruitment cohort, and age at enrollment. Results: Independent of the covariates, bilingualism was associated with better memory and executive function at baseline. However, bilingualism was not independently associated with rates of cognitive decline or dementia conversion. Results were similar whether bilingualism was measured via self-report or an objective test of reading level. Conclusions: This study does not support a protective effect of bilingualism on age-related cognitive decline or the development of dementia. In this sample of Hispanic immigrants, bilingualism is related to higher initial scores on cognitive tests and higher educational attainment and may not represent a unique source of cognitive reserve.
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Recent evidence suggests that lifelong bilingualism may contribute to cognitive reserve (CR) in normal aging. However, there is currently no neuroimaging evidence to suggest that lifelong bilinguals can retain normal cognitive functioning in the face of age-related neurodegeneration. Here we explored this issue by comparing white matter (WM) integrity and gray matter (GM) volumetric patterns of older adult lifelong bilinguals (N=20) and monolinguals (N =20). The groups were matched on a range of relevant cognitive test scores and on the established CR variables of education, socioeconomic status and intelligence. Participants underwent high-resolution structural imaging for assessment of GM volume and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) for assessment of WM integrity. Results indicated significantly lower microstructural integrity in the bilingual group in several WM tracts. In particular, compared to their monolingual peers, the bilingual group showed lower fractional anisotropy and/or higher radial diffusivity in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus/inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus bilaterally, the fornix, and multiple portions of the corpus callosum. There were no group differences in GM volume. Our results suggest that lifelong bilingualism contributes to CR against WM integrity declines in aging.
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We tested the hypothesis that early bilinguals use language-control brain areas more than monolinguals when performing non-linguistic executive control tasks. We do so by exploring the brain activity of early bilinguals and monolinguals in a task-switching paradigm using an embedded critical trial design. Crucially, the task was designed such that the behavioural performance of the two groups was comparable, allowing then to have a safer comparison between the corresponding brain activity in the two groups. Despite the lack of behavioural differences between both groups, early bilinguals used language-control areas - such as left caudate, and left inferior and middle frontal gyri - more than monolinguals, when performing the switching task. Results offer direct support for the notion that, early bilingualism exerts an effect in the neural circuitry responsible for executive control. This effect partially involves the recruitment of brain areas involved in language control when performing domain-general executive control tasks, highlighting the cross-talk between these two domains.
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Vocabulary assessment holds promise as a way to identify young bilingual children at risk for language delay. This study compares two measures of vocabulary in a group of young Spanish-English bilingual children to a single-language measure used with monolingual children. Total Vocabulary and Conceptual Vocabulary were used to measure mean vocabulary size and growth in 47 Spanish-English bilingually developing children from 22- to 30-months based on results from the MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory and the Inventario del Desarrollo de Habilidades Comunicativas. Bilingual children's scores of Total Vocabulary and Conceptual Vocabulary were compared to CDI scores for a control group of 56 monolingual children. The Total Vocabulary measure resulted in mean vocabulary scores and average rate of growth similar to monolingual growth, while Conceptual Vocabulary scores were significantly smaller and grew at a slower rate than Total Vocabulary scores. Total Vocabulary identified the same proportion of bilingual children below the 25th percentile on monolingual norms as the CDI did for monolingual children. Implications These results support the use of Total Vocabulary as a means of assessing early language development in young bilingual Spanish-English speaking children.
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Background: The Boston Naming Test is widely used in several versions and languages. However, there are few studies of its use with bilingual adults. A recent study by Kohnert, Hernandez, and Bates (1998) found that Spanish/English bilingual adults scored well below unilingual adults. Aims: This study tested two hypotheses. (1) Fluently bilingual adults will obtain significantly lower scores than unilingual, English-speaking adults on the BNT, in English. (2) The order of difficulty of the 60 items will differ for the bilingual and unilingual groups. Methods & Procedures: This study compared the English performance of unilingual speakers (n = 42) to that of two groups of bilingual adults: Spanish/English (n = 32) and French/English (n = 49). All bilingual participants learned English as a second language as children and claimed high levels of ability in English. All participants completed high school (range 11–27 years of schooling). The three groups did not differ significantly in age or education. An ANOVA compared the mean Total Correct obtained by the three groups. Outcomes & Results: Both hypotheses were confirmed. The mean scores (Total Corrrect) for the bilingual groups (42.6 and 39.5/60) were both significantly below the mean score of the unilingual group (50.9/60) but not different from each other. Item difficulty showed some similarities but also important differences across groups. Conclusions: The English language norms cannot be used, even with proficient bilingual speakers. Cultural factors appear less important than bilingualism. Some items on the Boston Naming Test have more than one correct name and suggestions for “lenient” scoring are given.
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The purpose of this study was to determine if children exposed to two languages would benefit from the phonotactic probability cues of a single language in the same way as monolingual peers and to determine if cross-linguistic influence would be present in a fast mapping task. Two groups of typically-developing children (monolingual English and bilingual Spanish-English) took part in a computer-based fast mapping task which manipulated phonotactic probability. Children were preschool-aged (N = 50) or school-aged (N = 34). Fast mapping was assessed through name identification and naming tasks. Data were analyzed using mixed ANOVAs with post-hoc testing and simple regression. Bilingual and monolingual preschoolers showed sensitivity to English phonotactic cues in both tasks, but bilingual preschoolers were less accurate than monolingual peers in the naming task. School-aged bilingual children had nearly identical performance to monolingual peers. Knowing that children exposed to two languages can benefit from the statistical cues of a single language can help inform ideas about instruction and assessment for bilingual learners.
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Is it best to learn reading in two languages simultaneously or sequentially? We observed 2(nd) and 3(rd) grade children in two-way dual-language learning contexts: (i) 50:50 or Simultaneous dual-language (two languages within same developmental period) and (ii) 90:10 or Sequential dual-language (one language, followed gradually by the other). They were compared to matched monolingual English-only children in single-language English schools. Bilinguals (home language was Spanish only, English-only, or Spanish and English in dual-language schools), were tested in both languages, and monolingual children were tested in English using standardized reading and language tasks. Bilinguals in 50:50 programs performed better than bilinguals in 90:10 programs on English Irregular Words and Passage Comprehension tasks, suggesting language and reading facilitation for underlying grammatical class and linguistic structure analyses. By contrast, bilinguals in 90:10 programs performed better than bilinguals in the 50:50 programs on English Phonological Awareness and Reading Decoding tasks, suggesting language and reading facilitation for surface phonological regularity analysis. Notably, children from English-only homes in dual-language learning contexts performed equally well, or better than, children from monolingual English-only homes in single-language learning contexts. Overall, the findings provide tantalizing evidence that dual-language learning during the same developmental period may provide bilingual reading advantages.
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Younger and older adults who were either monolingual or bilingual were tested with verbal and spatial working memory (WM) span tasks. Aging was associated with a greater decline in spatial WM than in verbal WM, but the age-related declines were equivalent in both language groups. The bilingual participants outperformed the monolinguals in spatial WM, but achieved lower levels of performance than monolinguals in verbal WM. This interaction between bilingualism and WM domain was also consistent across the adult life span. These results are discussed in terms of the interactions between a domain-general executive processing advantage for bilinguals and the domain-specific content of particular WM tasks. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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A contentious issue in contemporary psycholinguistics is whether bilingualism enhances executive functions. Here, we report a meta-analysis of 80 studies (253 effect sizes) comparing performance of monolinguals and bilinguals on non-verbal interference-control tasks, while examining potential moderators of effects on two dependent variables (DVs): global reaction time (RT) and interference cost. We used a multiverse approach to determine how robust conclusions were to several dataset construction and analysis decisions. In our “preferred” analysis, using a broad definition of bilinguals and standard versions of interference-control tasks, there was a very small but significant bilingual advantage for global RT (g =.13), which became non-significant once corrected for publication bias. For interference cost, there was a very small but significant bilingual advantage (g =.11). Effects were not significantly moderated by task or participant age, but were moderated by an interaction between age of second language acquisition (AoA) and the DV. Unexpectedly, larger effect sizes for interference cost were observed for studies involving bilinguals with late as opposed to early AoA. The multiverse analysis produced results largely consistent with the preferred analysis, confirming our conclusion that evidence for a bilingual advantage on interference-control tasks is weak.
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We examined the development of 3 executive function (EF) components—inhibition, updating, and task shifting—over time in monolingual and bilingual school-age children. We tested 41 monolingual and 41 simultaneous bilingual typically developing children (ages 8–12) on nonverbal tasks measuring inhibition (the Flanker task), updating (the Corsi blocks task), and task shifting (the Dimensional Change Card Sort task; DCCS) at 2 time points, 1 year apart. Three indexes of task shifting (shifting, switching, and mixing costs) were derived from the DCCS task. The 2 groups did not differ in their development of updating, but did demonstrate distinct patterns of development for inhibition. Specifically, while the bilingual group demonstrated a steep improvement in inhibition from Year 1 to Year 2, the monolingual group was characterized by stable inhibition performance over this time period. The 2 groups did not differ in their developmental patterns for shifting and switching costs, but for mixing costs, the bilingual children outperformed the monolingual children in both years. Together, the findings indicate that bilingual experience may modulate the developmental rates of some components of EF but not others, resulting in specific EF performance differences between bilinguals and monolinguals only at certain developmental time points.
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Because of enduring experience of managing two languages, bilinguals have been argued to develop superior executive functioning compared with monolinguals. Despite extensive investigation, there is, however, no consensus regarding the existence of such a bilingual advantage. Here we synthesized comparisons of bilinguals’ and monolinguals’ performance in six executive domains using 891 effect sizes from 152 studies on adults. We also included unpublished data, and considered the potential influence of a number of study-, task-, and participant-related variables. Before correcting estimates for observed publication bias, our analyses revealed a very small bilingual advantage for inhibition, shifting, and working memory, but not for monitoring or attention. No evidence for a bilingual advantage remained after correcting for bias. For verbal fluency, our analyses indicated a small bilingual disadvantage, possibly reflecting less exposure for each individual language when using two languages in a balanced manner. Moreover, moderator analyses did not support theoretical presuppositions concerning the bilingual advantage. We conclude that the available evidence does not provide systematic support for the widely held notion that bilingualism is associated with benefits in cognitive control functions in adults.
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Bilingual children often show advanced executive functioning (EF) and false belief (FB) understanding compared to monolinguals. The latter has been attributed to their enhanced inhibitory control EF, although this has only been examined in a single study which did not confirm this hypothesis. The current study examined the relation of EF and language proficiency on FB reasoning in bilingual and monolingual preschoolers to answer two questions: (1) Are there differences in bilinguals’ and monolinguals’ FB, language proficiency, and EF? If so, (2) is there a differential role for language proficiency and EF in predicting FB reasoning in these two groups? Thirty-two Spanish–English bilinguals and 33 English monolinguals (three to five years old) were compared. While monolinguals outperformed bilinguals on language proficiency, after controlling for this, bilinguals outperformed monolinguals on FB reasoning, and marginally on EF. General language ability was related to FB performance in both groups, while short-term memory and inhibitory control predicted FB only for monolinguals.
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The current study examined differences in working memory (WM) between monolingual and bilingual Hispanic/Latino preschoolers with disruptive behavior disorders (DBDs). A total of 149 children (Mage = 5.10 years, SD = 0.53; 76% male) with elevated levels of DBDs, as indicated by their parents or teachers, were recruited to participate in an 8-week summer program prior to the start of kindergarten (Summer Treatment Program for Pre-Kindergarteners). Prior to the start of treatment, parents completed several measures about their children's behavior and executive function, and children were administered two subtests of the Automated Working Memory Assessment to examine their current WM capabilities. After controlling for demographic variables (i.e., age, sex, socioeconomic status, IQ, and diagnostic status), no significant differences were observed between bilingual and monolingual children in verbal WM performance (β = .03, p > .05). However, children who were bilingual did perform better than monolinguals on spatial WM tasks (β = .23, p < .01). Finally, parent reports of WM corroborated these findings such that bilingual children were reported as having fewer WM problems by parents (β = -.19, p < .05) and teachers (β = -.22, p < .05). Whereas WM deficits are often found among children with DBDs, the current findings suggest that bilingualism may serve as a protective factor for preschoolers with DBDs.
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Objective: To describe the trajectories of English and Spanish language growth in typically developing children from bilingual homes and compare those with the trajectories of English growth in children from monolingual homes, to assess effects of dual language exposure on language growth in typically developing children. Study design: Expressive vocabularies were assessed at 6-month intervals from age 30 to 60 months, in English for monolinguals and English and Spanish for bilinguals. Use of English and Spanish in the home was assessed via parental report. Results: Multilevel modeling, including parent education as a covariate, revealed that children from bilingual homes lagged 6 months to 1 year behind monolingual children in English vocabulary growth. The size of the lag was related to the relative amount of English use in the home, but the relation was not linear. Increments in English use conferred the greatest benefit most among homes with already high levels of English use. These homes also were likely to have 1 parent who was a native English speaker. Bilingual children showed stronger growth in English than in Spanish. Conclusions: Bilingual children can lag 6 months to 1 year behind monolingual children in normal English language development. Such lags may not necessarily signify clinically relevant delay if parents report that children also have skills in the home language. Shorter lags are associated with 2 correlated factors: more English exposure and more exposure from native English speakers. Early exposure to Spanish in the home does not guarantee acquisition of Spanish.
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According to some estimates, more than half of the world’s population is multilingual to some extent. Because of the centrality of language use to human experience and the deep connections between linguistic and nonlinguistic processing, it would not be surprising to find that there are interactions between bilingualism and cognitive and brain processes. The present review uses the framework of experience-dependent plasticity to evaluate the evidence for systematic modifications of brain and cognitive systems that can be attributed to bilingualism. The review describes studies investigating the relation between bilingualism and cognition in infants and children, younger and older adults, and patients, using both behavioral and neuroimaging methods. Excluded are studies whose outcomes focus primarily on linguistic abilities because of their more peripheral contribution to the central question regarding experience-dependent changes to cognition. Although most of the research discussed in the review reports some relation between bilingualism and cognitive or brain outcomes, several areas of research, notably behavioral studies with young adults, largely fail to show these effects. These discrepancies are discussed and considered in terms of methodological and conceptual issues. The final section proposes an account based on “executive attention” to explain the range of research findings and to set out an agenda for the next steps in this field.
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Statistical learning is a fundamental component of language acquisition, yet to date, relatively few studies have examined whether these abilities differ in bilinguals. In the present study, we examine this issue by comparing English monolinguals with Chinese-English and English-Spanish bilinguals in a cross-situational statistical learning (CSSL) task. In Experiment 1, we assessed the ability of both monolinguals and bilinguals on a basic CSSL task that contained only one-to-one mappings. In Experiment 2, learners were asked to form both one-to-one and two-to-one mappings, and were tested at three points during familiarization. Overall, monolinguals and bilinguals did not differ in their learning of one-to-one mappings. However, bilinguals more quickly acquired two-to-one mappings, while also exhibiting greater proficiency than monolinguals. We conclude that the fundamental SL mechanism may not be affected by language experience, in accord with previous studies. However, when the input contains greater variability, bilinguals may be more prone to detecting the presence of multiple structures.
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While findings on the bilingual advantage in adults are mixed, the data from children are more consistent but still show variations. A number of factors influence the outcomes, such as individual bilingual characteristics, variations in target functions, and differences in task type. Our goal is to demonstrate that there is a complex relationship among these variables and that the outcomes of executive function (EF) studies depend on the interactions among these factors. Performance on EF is influenced by children's language proficiency, language use, age, socioeconomic status, and culture. These individual features show different interactions with different executive components. Bilingual and monolingual children differ in some EFs but not in others. Variations in tasks and other measurement issues further increase the differences in the results. We may better understand the nature of the bilingual advantage in children if we combine aspects of developmental science and language processing with hypotheses about bilingualism.
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English receptive vocabulary scores from 797 monolingual and 808 bilingual participants between the ages of 17 and 89 years old were aggregated from 20 studies to compare standard scores across language groups. The distribution of scores was unimodal for both groups but the mean score was significantly different, with monolinguals obtaining higher standard scores than bilinguals. Consistent with previous research, older adults had higher vocabulary scores than younger adults. The results are discussed in terms of the implications for theoretical conceptions of linguistic processing and clinical diagnosis in bilingual populations.
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This study compared monosyllabic word recognition in quiet, noise, and noise with reverberation for 15 monolingual American English speakers and 12 Spanish-English bilinguals who had learned English prior to 6 years of age and spoke English without a noticeable foreign accent. Significantly poorer word recognition scores were obtained for the bilingual listeners than for the monolingual listeners under conditions of noise and noise with reverberation, but not in quiet. Although bilinguals with little or no foreign accent in their second language are often assumed by their peers, or their clinicians in the case of hearing loss, to be identical in perceptual abilities to monolinguals, the present data suggest that they may have greater difficulty in recognizing words in noisy or reverberant listening environments.
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Past research suggests that bilingualism positively affects children's performance in false belief tasks. However, researchers have yet to fully explore factors that are related to better performance in these tasks within bilingual groups. The current study includes an assessment of proficiency in both languages (which was lacking in past work) and investigates the relationship between proficiency and performance in a variety of mental state tasks (not just false belief). Furthermore, it explores whether the relationship between language proficiency and performance in mental state tasks differs between bilingual and monolingual groups. Twenty-six Spanish–English bilingual and twenty-six English monolingual preschool-age children completed seven mental state tasks. Findings provide evidence that high proficiency in English is related to better performance in mental state tasks for monolinguals. In contrast, high proficiency in both English and Spanish is related to better performance in mental state tasks for bilinguals.
Article
Bilingualism has been reported to delay the age of retrospective report of first symptom in dementia. This study determined if the age of clinically diagnosed Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia occurred later for bilingual than monolingual, immigrant and U.S. born, Hispanic Americans. It involved a secondary analysis of the subset of 81 bi/monolingual dementia cases identified at yearly follow-up (1998 through 2008) using neuropsychological test results and objective diagnostic criteria from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging that involved a random sampling of community dwelling Hispanic Americans (N = 1789). Age of dementia diagnosis was analyzed in a 2 × 2 (bi/monolingualism × immigrant/U.S. born) ANOVA that space revealed both main effects and the interaction were non-significant. Mean age of dementia diagnosis was descriptively (but not significantly) higher in the monolingual (M = 81.10 years) than the bilingual (M = 79.31) group. Overall, bilingual dementia cases were significantly better educated than monolinguals, but U.S. born bilinguals and monolinguals did not differ significantly in education. Delays in dementia symptomatology pertaining to bilingualism are less likely to be found in studies: (a) that use age of clinical diagnosis vs. retrospective report of first dementia symptom as the dependent variable; and (b) involve clinical cases derived from community samples rather than referrals to specialist memory clinics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Article
This study investigates bilingual performance on the English and Spanish Boston Naming Tests (BNTs) while controlling for object familiarity and U.S. acculturation. Previous studies suggest that bilingualism negatively affects naming skill; however, object familiarity, which may be culturally influenced, and U.S. acculturation level have not been formally investigated. The current sample comprised 74 well-acculturated bilinguals and 52 English monolinguals. Participants judged their familiarity with BNT objects and later named the objects in either English or Spanish. Both groups rated BNT objects to be comparably familiar. However, bilinguals underperformed relative to monolinguals. In fact, those bilinguals born and raised in the USA and educated solely under English instruction were unable to match monolinguals' superior naming performance. These results underscore a language disadvantage in naming even for native-born, highly acculturated, English proficient bilinguals and suggest that the BNT is language specific and perhaps unsuitable for testing bilingual populations. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.
Article
This study compares lexical access and expressive and receptive vocabulary development in monolingual and bilingual toddlers. More specifically, the link between vocabulary size, production of translation equivalents, and lexical access in bilingual infants was examined as well as the relationship between the Communicative Development Inventories and the Computerized Comprehension Task. Twenty-five bilingual and 18 monolingual infants aged 24 months participated in this study. The results revealed significant differences between monolingual and bilinguals' expressive vocabulary size in L1 but similar total vocabularies. Performance on the Computerized Comprehension Task revealed no differences between the two groups on measures of both reaction time and accuracy, and a strong convergent validity of the Computerized Comprehension Task with the Communicative Development Inventories was observed for both groups. Bilinguals with a higher proportion of translation equivalents in their expressive vocabulary showed faster access to words in the Computerized Comprehension Task.
Article
The ability to speak two languages often marvels monolinguals, although bilinguals report no difficulties in achieving this feat. Here, we examine how learning and using two languages affect language acquisition and processing as well as various aspects of cognition. We do so by addressing three main questions. First, how do infants who are exposed to two languages acquire them without apparent difficulty? Second, how does language processing differ between monolingual and bilingual adults? Last, what are the collateral effects of bilingualism on the executive control system across the lifespan? Research in all three areas has not only provided some fascinating insights into bilingualism but also revealed new issues related to brain plasticity and language learning.
Article
This study examines the effects of the levels of speech practice on fast mapping in monolinguals and bilinguals. Participants were 30 English-speaking monolingual and 30 Spanish-English bilingual young adults. Each participant was randomly assigned to one of three practice conditions prior to the fast mapping task: (1) intensive speech practice, (2) moderate speech practice, or (3) no practice. In a fast mapping experiment, each participants was briefly exposed to novel objects and their corresponding novel words. Participants' knowledge of the target novel words was assessed immediately after the exposures. There were significant effects of speech practice on fast mapping for both monolinguals and bilinguals. Importantly, participants' language experience also played a role in their fast mapping performance. The findings suggest that speech practice, interacting with language experience, facilitates the processes for fast mapping.
Article
Bilingual experience is dynamic and poses a challenge for researchers to develop instruments that capture its relevant dimensions. The present study examined responses from a questionnaire administered to 110 heterogeneous bilingual young adults. These questions concern participants' language use, acquisition history and self-reported proficiency. The questionnaire responses and performances on standardized English proficiency measures were analyzed using factor analysis. In order to retain a realistic representation of bilingual experience, the factors were allowed to correlate with each other in the analysis. Two correlating factors were extracted, representing daily bilingual usage and English proficiency. These two factors were also related to self-rated proficiency in English and non-English language. Results were interpreted as supporting the notion that bilingual experience is composed of multiple related dimensions that will need to be considered in assessments of the consequences of bilingualism.
Article
The present study investigated the role of vocabulary depth in reading comprehension among a diverse sample of monolingual and bilingual children in grades 2–4. Vocabulary depth was defined as including morphological awareness, awareness of semantic relations, and syntactic awareness. Two hundred ninety-four children from 3 schools in a Mid-Atlantic district and 3 schools in a Northeastern school district participated in the study and were assessed at the beginning and end of one school year on a wide variety of language and literacy measures. Bilingual children were assessed in English and Spanish. A latent difference score model that assessed change in a latent indicator of English reading comprehension from Time 1 (Fall) to Time 2 (Spring) was tested with results showing that vocabulary depth measures made significant contributions to initial status, but not change, in reading comprehension over and above between-subjects factors (grade, ethnicity, language status) and baseline control within-subject factors (word identification and vocabulary breadth). There was no added contribution of Spanish language measures to English reading comprehension among the bilingual students.