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Does language dominance affect cognitive performance in bilinguals? Lifespan evidence from preschoolers through older adults on card sorting, Simon, and metalinguistic tasks

Gathercole, V.C.M. and Thomas, E.M. and Kennedy, I. and Prys, C. and Young, N. and Viñas Guasch N., and Roberts, E.J. and Hughes, E.K. and Jones, L. (2014) Does language dominance affect cognitive performance in bilinguals? Lifespan evidence from preschoolers through older adults on card sorting, Simon, and metalinguistic tasks. Frontiers in Psychology: Developmental Psychology, 5. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00011

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Abstract

This study explores the extent to which a bilingual advantage can be observed for three tasks in an established population of fully fluent bilinguals from childhood through adulthood. Welsh-English simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals, as well as English monolinguals, aged 3 years through older adults, were tested on three sets of cognitive and executive function tasks. Bilinguals were Welsh-dominant, balanced, or English-dominant, with only Welsh, Welsh and English, or only English at home. Card sorting, Simon, and a metalinguistic judgment task (650, 557, and 354 participants, respectively) reveal little support for a bilingual advantage, either in relation to control or globally. Primarily there is no difference in performance across groups, but there is occasionally better performance by monolinguals or persons dominant in the language being tested, and in one case-in one condition and in one age group-lower performance by the monolinguals. The lack of evidence for a bilingual advantage in these simultaneous and early sequential bilinguals suggests the need for much closer scrutiny of what type of bilingual might demonstrate the reported effects, under what conditions, and why.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Research Publications
Departments: College of Business, Law, Education and Social Sciences > School of Education
College of Health and Behavioural Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Business, Law, Education and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2014 16:34
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2015 03:00
Publisher's Statement: This Document is Protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. it is reproduced with permission.
URI: http://e.bangor.ac.uk/id/eprint/462
Identification Number: DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00011
Publisher: Frontiers
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