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The effects of multilingualism on executive processing.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism, Centre for Research on Bilingualism.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the first decades of the 20th century, research on bilingualism was just beginning. The first studies on bilingual children proposed a substantial disadvantage with respect to intelligence and learning abilities. This first proposition was later discarded when Peal and Lambert (1962) suggested that, on the contrary, speaking two languages was providing children with significant advantages in their cognition. At the present time, it is assessed that, while knowing more than one language is not negative, the supposition that bilingualism might have positive effects on executive processing is subject to controversy. The Bilingual Executive Advantage (BEA) hypothesis has been tested many times and in several ways. Nevertheless, it appears more like an overstated theory rather than a real and proven fact.

The purpose of this study is to contribute to this scholarly debate not only by conducting one more experiment but also by investigating a possible extension to the original hypothesis, more specifically, the possibility that additional languages might confer an even greater cognitive advantage than the one that has been claimed to exist for bilingual individuals. In the study, 23 young adults were tested on a version of the Attentional Network Task and a Colour-Shape switching task, both used in a previous study on professional interpreters (Babcock and Vallesi, 2017). The subjects were divided in two groups, bilinguals and multilinguals. The comparison of their performances in the two task revealed no significant difference in any of the examined measures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Bilingualism, multilingualism, bilingual advantage, executive processing, cognition, ANT, Switching task, attention, set-shifting
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-157571OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-157571DiVA, id: diva2:1222716
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Available from: 2018-06-25 Created: 2018-06-22 Last updated: 2018-06-25Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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