BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

Multilinguals’ language choice for mental calculation

Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2007) Multilinguals’ language choice for mental calculation. Intercultural Pragmatics 4 (3), pp. 343-376. ISSN 1612-295X.

5137.pdf - Published Version

Download (536kB) | Preview
Official URL:


The present study investigates self-reported language choice for mental calculations among 1,454 adult multilinguals from a variety of linguistic, social and ethnic backgrounds. As mental calculation is a complex cognitive operation involving both language-dependent and language independent processes, we sought to establish a baseline of first language (L1) or foreign language(s) (LX) use for mental calculation and identify the factors that influence multilinguals’ choice of language for mental calculation. A series of multiple regression analyses on calculation in the L1, L2, L3 and L4 showed that the following variables (in decreasing order) are the best predictors of language choice: frequency of general use, self-perceived proficiency in writing, socialization in the LX, context of acquisition, communicative and/or foreign language anxiety, perceived usefulness, and age of onset of acquisition. These variables explained over 40 percent of the variance in the foreign languages.

Item Type: Article
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication
Depositing User: Jean Marc Dewaele
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2012 10:50
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2013 12:33

Archive Staff Only (login required)

Edit/View Item Edit/View Item