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The Cognitive Benefits of Growing Up Bilingual: A Longitudinal Study


The Cognitive Benefits of Growing Up Bilingual: A Longitudinal Study

Crivello, Cristina (2015) The Cognitive Benefits of Growing Up Bilingual: A Longitudinal Study. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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The mastery of two languages provides bilingual speakers cognitive benefits over monolinguals, particularly on cognitive flexibility and selective attention. However, extant research is limited to comparisons between monolinguals and bilinguals at a single point in time. This study investigated whether growth in bilingual proficiency, as shown by increased proportions of translation equivalents (TEs) known over a 7-month period, improves executive function. We hypothesized that bilingual toddlers with a larger increase of TEs would have more practice switching across lexical systems, boosting executive function abilities. Expressive vocabulary and TEs were assessed at 24 and 31 months. A battery of tasks, including conflict, delay, and working memory tasks, was administered at 31 months. As expected, we observed a task-specific advantage in inhibitory control in bilinguals. More importantly, within the bilingual group, increases in proportion of TEs predicted performance on conflict tasks, but not on delay or working memory tasks. This unique longitudinal design offers a new approach to examine the relation between executive function and early bilingualism.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Psychology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Crivello, Cristina
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Date:April 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Poulin-Dubois, Diane
ID Code:979924
Deposited On:29 Oct 2015 15:05
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:50
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