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The Effects of multi-language experience on cognitive development from early infancy to old age: a developmental approach

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Mengying Xia.

There is a general consensus that learning two (or more) languages cannot be considered a threat to typical and atypical cognitive development. However, there are still doubts on the possible beneficial advantages of bilingualism. Current research investigating the so called “bilingual advantage” in executive processing has provided controversial results. Main critics argue that studies showing advantages are confounded by poor matching, poor statistical practice and researchers’ and publishers’ bias towards statistically significant findings. Some investigators have abandoned this research, advocating that there is not a bilingual advantage at all.

In this talk I will argue that this line of research does not deserve a radical dismissal, rather, it is in great demand of a more solid model of the effects of multi-linguistic experience on cognitive development across the lifespan.

Within the framework of a Neuroconstructive approach (Karmiloff-Smith, 2007), I will illustrate my current research projects that aim to build a developmental trajectory of the interactions between linguistic and non-linguistic development and decline.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Language Sciences series.

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