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Bilingual Advantages

Contributions of Different Bilingual Experiences to Cognitive Control Differences Among Young-adult Bilinguals


Zhilong Xie

The question whether bilingualism is linked to benefits in cognitive control (executive functions) is intensely debated among linguists. While some studies come to the conclusion that bilingual individuals consistently outperform their monolingual counterparts on tasks involving cognitive control, other studies argue that there is no coherent evidence showing that bilingual advantages actually exist. This opposing view results from two inadequately investigated perspectives, namely the complexities of bilingualism and the multifaceted nature of cognitive control.
This publication combines these two perspectives and presents a new approach towards the analysis of bilingual advantage. It discusses the results of a combined analysis of both specific bilingual experiences and specific aspects of cognitive control.
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Chapter 7: Experiment Four – Public Speaking Experience and Cognitive Control


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Chapter 7:    Experiment Four – Public Speaking Experience and Cognitive Control15

7.1   Introduction

Experiment Three has provided evidence showing that bilinguals with interpreting experience have better mental set shifting ability even than control bilinguals who do not have such experience. Therefore, to compare bilinguals differing in language use experiences is very important and may provide a new outlook for examining the nature of bilingual advantage. In the current experiment (Experiment Four), we explore another example of bilingual language use experience, i.e., public speaking. If bilingual groups have intensive public speaking experience, rather than language interpreting experience, what will the result be like? This experiment answers Research Question 4 raised in the current doctoral volume: Does public speaking experience contribute to cognitive control differences among young adult bilinguals?

7.2   Specific Background

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