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Title: Coping with distractions : can bilinguals with higher l2 proficiency control better?
Authors: Tan, Pei Shi.
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Psychology
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: Recent research on language production has provided evidence that bilinguals, who are able to switch between languages constantly, are endowed with better cognitive control. The present study explored this phenomenon by examining cognitive control in Singaporean Chinese-English bilinguals with high proficiencies in both first (L1) and second (L2) language (n = 21) and bilinguals with high L1 but low L2 proficiency (n = 16), by using a novel methodology. It involved recalling final L2 target words present in regular spoken L2 sentences and sentences with L1 distracters. Especially for bilinguals with higher English (L2) proficiency, results showed that they had better cognitive control as compared to bilinguals with lower English (L2) proficiency, which parallels findings in past research. Furthermore, overall trends observed from the findings suggested that these two bilingual types adopt similar underlying control mechanisms. Results also showed that contextual cues in sentences did not facilitate bilinguals’ retrieval of L2 target words, which might be masked by the overwhelming distinctiveness of extreme atypical context. Hence, conclusive statements of whether these cues might have enhanced their cognitive control could not be formed. Nevertheless, these findings have critical implications on Singapore’s bilingual education system, such that improving one’s proficiency in a second language may yield benefits in overall cognitive development.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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