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Relating bilingualism and language proficiency in executive attention: Comparison of children and adults Sujin Yang, Soon Park & Barbara Lust Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. USA ( Email: [email protected] )

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Relating bilingualism and language proficiency in

Relating bilingualism and language proficiency in

executive attention: Comparison of children and adults

Sujin Yang, Soon Park & Barbara Lust

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. USA( Email: [email protected])

presented at the Language Acquisition and Bilingualism Conference, May, 2006, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Cues and Flankers Conditions

4 Warning Cue Types

3 Flanker Types

Procedure of the ANT

*

+

+

*

Neutral

Fixation

T1=400~

1600

*

Cue

150 ms

+

+

No Cue

Double Cue

Congruent

*

*

+

Fixation

450 ms

Target

RT < 1700

+

+

Central Cue

Spatial Cue

Incongruent

Feedback

2000 ms

Fixation

3400 –RT -T1

+

+

Background

Results

  • The present study examined whether the relationship of English language proficiency is stronger than that of bilingualism in its effects on executive attention as measured in the Attention Network Test (ANT) (Rueda, Fan, McCandliss, Halparin, Gruber, Lercari, & Posner, 2004; Fan, McCandliss, Sommer, Raz, & Posner, 2002).

    • Bilingual cognitive advantages would appear in the Attention Networks Test (ANT).

    • Higher proficiency would be more positively relevant to monolinguals than to bilinguals in terms of beneficial effects of executive attention

    • The beneficial effects would be persistent till adulthood and children and adults would behave similarly.

** Network Efficiency Scores on the ANT

** Overall English Language Proficiency

Hypotheses

  • Network Efficiency Subtractions:

    • Alerting Efficiently: Central cue RTs - no cue RTs

    • Orienting Efficiency: Spatial cue RTs - center cue RTs

    • Conflict Resolution Efficiency: Incongruent RTs -Congruent RTs

  • Monolinguals < Bilinguals (in orient & conflict) ps < .000

  • High > Low (in conflict resolution)-Monolinguals only p < .008

  • Monolinguals > Bilinguals (Children & Adults) ps < .000

  • High > Low (Children & Adults) ps < .005

  • ** Overall Accuracy on the ANT

Accuracy (%)

Accuracy (%)

Conclusions

*P < .02

  • Bilingual cognitive advantages in executive attention as measured on the ANT were reconfirmed for both children and adults (Bialystok, 1988)

  • High English proficiency was beneficial to monolingual children (Accuracy) and monolingual adults only (Conflict Resolution)

  • Positive effects of bilingualism were persistent from children to adults

  • Bilingual cognitive advantages in executive attention may be more related to language experience in general than language proficiency.

Methods

Children

Adults

Participants: 30 4 years olds (15 Korean-English bilinguals, 15 monolinguals) and 76 college students (38 Korean- or Chinese-English bilinguals & 38 monolinguals)

Tasks: PPVT (proficiency) + ANT (child +adult versions)

  • Monolinguals < Bilinguals (Children only) p < .001

  • High > Low (Monolingual children only) p < .02

  • ** Overall Reaction Times on the ANT

RT (ms)

RT (ms)

*

*

References

Bialystok, E. (1988). Levels of bilingualism and levels of linguistic awareness. Developmental Psychology, 24, 560-567.

Fan, J., McCandliss, B.D., Sommer, T., Raz, A., & Posner, M.I. (2002). Testing the Efficiency and Independence of Attentional Networks, Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 14, 340-347.

Rueda, M.R., Fan, J., McCandliss, B.D., Halparin, J.D., Gruber, D.B., Lercari, L.P., & Posner, M.I. (2004). Development of Attentional Networks in Childhood. Neuropsychologia, 42, 1029-1050.

Adults

Children

  • Monolinguals < Bilinguals (Adults only) p < .007

  • High > Low (B-High > M-High & Low) p < .02

  • High > Low (B-Low > M-High & Low) p < .07, p < .05

  • High ≈ Low (M-High & Low, B-High & Low) ps = n.s.


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