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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 8: General Discussion


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Chapter 8:   General Discussion

In order to examine the current findings with reference to the literature, this chapter firstly concludes and discusses the experiments results. Secondly the chapter elaborates how specific bilingual experience may be related to specific aspects of bilingual advantage in cognitive control. Finally the chapter highlights the issues related to the incoherence problem of bilingual advantage.

8.1   Summary of the Results

The purpose of the experiments designed in this volume is to further investigate the issue of bilingual advantage by using a new perspective – examining the relationship between specific aspects of bilingual experience in ecology (language use ecology) and specific aspects of cognitive control. This volume hypothesizes that bilingual advantage is closely related to the way in which bilingual languages are used in a specific language context.

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