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    Bilingual children show an advantage in controlling verbal interference during spoken language comprehension

    Filippi, R. and Morris, J. and Richardson, F.M. and Bright, P. and Thomas, Michael S.C. and Karmiloff-Smith, Annette and Marian, V. (2015) Bilingual children show an advantage in controlling verbal interference during spoken language comprehension. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 18 (03), pp. 490-501. ISSN 1366-7289.

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    Studies measuring inhibitory control in the visual modality have shown a bilingual advantage in both children and adults. However, there is a lack of developmental research on inhibitory control in the auditory modality. This study compared the comprehension of active and passive English sentences in 7–10 years old bilingual and monolingual children. The task was to identify the agent of a sentence in the presence of verbal interference. The target sentence was cued by the gender of the speaker. Children were instructed to focus on the sentence in the target voice and ignore the distractor sentence. Results indicate that bilinguals are more accurate than monolinguals in comprehending syntactically complex sentences in the presence of linguistic noise. This supports previous findings with adult participants (Filippi, Leech, Thomas, Green & Dick, 2012). We therefore conclude that the bilingual advantage in interference control begins early in life and is maintained throughout development.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): bilingualism, executive function, sentence comprehension, spoken language processing, inhibitory control, control of interference
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Educational Neuroscience, Centre for, Birkbeck Knowledge Lab, Brain and Cognitive Development, Centre for (CBCD)
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 07 Jul 2015 12:55
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:17


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