Cognitive and Linguistic Aspects of the Multilingual Advantage

A special issue of Behavioral Sciences (ISSN 2076-328X). This special issue belongs to the section "Cognition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 4567

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Faculty 1, Romance Linguistics, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Gaußstr. 20, 42119 Wuppertal, Germany
Interests: (first) language acquisition; multilingualism; Romance languages; syntax

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Department of Applied Linguistics, University of Hradec Králové, Rokitanského 62, 500 03 Hradec Králové, Czech Republic
Interests: ESL; EFL; BELF; cognitive linguistics; psycholinguistics; eLearning; blended learning; english as a lingua franca; business communication; managerial communication; ICT in education; intercultural communication
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1. Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
2. Department of Linguistics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON K1N 6N5, Canada
3. Departamento de Lenguas Aplicadas, Universidad Nebrija, 28015 Madrid, Spain
Interests: linguistic theory and language acquisition; romance linguistics; bilingualism; migrant and refugee language; contact linguistics; code-switching; pidging and creole grammars; pedagogical grammar; bilingualism and non-typical language development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In most of the literature in this field of research, beneficial effects on cognitive control tasks in bilingual/multilingual participants as compared to monolinguals have been reported. This so-called bilingual advantage is attributed to enhanced executive functioning due to experience with control over language activation/inhibition—the daily linguistic experience of bilinguals in which two competing language systems have to be handled for the selection of the adequate linguistic form. However, it is also generally assumed that this bilingual (cognitive) advantage does not extend to tasks which test knowledge of grammar. The negative effects of bilingualism are related to interference from the other language, leading to the paradox that the bilingual advantage affects cognition, but not language (grammar).

Recently, the idea that this bilingual (cognitive) advantage exists in every multilingual individual has been challenged. Many factors are assumed to play a role here, but factors related to the linguistic systems involved are not mentioned. On the other hand, language acquisition studies focusing on linguistic aspects of the grammatical systems involved have proved that multilinguals have a linguistic advantage. Cognitive and linguistic aspects of language acquisition have given rise to different language acquisition theories. While in usage-based approaches, language is a cognitive instrument, generative approaches assume a Universal Grammar specific to the domain of language to solve the logical problem of language acquisition. The recent evidence from cognitive and linguistic approaches to language acquisition points to combined cognitive and linguistic approaches, one of which is the epigenetic approach to language acquisition.

To investigate the field of cognitive science, psycholinguistics, cognitive linguistics, and applied linguistics, we would like to invite the submission of experimental studies that deal with the topic of bilingual/multilingual advantage in various manifestations as they are represented by human behavior and cognition. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the given topic are also welcome.

Prof. Dr. Natascha Müller
Dr. Marcel Pikhart
Prof. Dr. Juana M. Liceras
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • cognitive science
  • cognitive linguistics
  • psycholinguistics
  • cognition and behavior
  • first language acquisition
  • L2/L3/Ln acquisition
  • foreign language learning
  • non-typical language development
  • child and adult simultaneous bilingualism and multilingualism
  • child and adult successive bilingualism and multilingualism

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 3642 KiB  
Article
A Classification Bias and an Exclusion Bias Jointly Overinflated the Estimation of Publication Biases in Bilingualism Research
by Evelina Leivada
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(10), 812; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13100812 - 01 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1818
Abstract
A publication bias has been argued to affect the fate of results in bilingualism research. It was repeatedly suggested that studies presenting evidence for bilingual advantages are more likely to be published compared to studies that do not report results in favor of [...] Read more.
A publication bias has been argued to affect the fate of results in bilingualism research. It was repeatedly suggested that studies presenting evidence for bilingual advantages are more likely to be published compared to studies that do not report results in favor of the bilingual advantage hypothesis. This work goes back to the original claim and re-examines both the dataset and the classification of the studies that were employed. We find that the exclusion of published works such as doctoral dissertations, book chapters, and conference proceedings from the original dataset significantly inflated the presumed publication bias. Moreover, the estimation of the publication bias was affected by a classification bias that uses a mega-category that consists of both null and negative outcomes. Yet finding evidence for a bilingual disadvantage is not synonymous with obtaining a result indistinguishable from zero. Consequently, grouping together null and negative findings in a mega-category has various ramifications, not only for the estimation of the presumed publication bias but also for the field’s ability to appreciate the insofar hidden correlations between bilingual advantages and disadvantages. Tracking biases that inflate scientific results is important, but it is not enough. The next step is recognizing the nested Matryoshka doll effect of bias-within-bias, and this entails raising awareness for one’s own bias blind spots in science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive and Linguistic Aspects of the Multilingual Advantage)
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27 pages, 10766 KiB  
Article
A Mixed-Methods Investigation of the Effectiveness and Perceptions of Learning English Collocations Using the Keyword Method and the Rote Learning Method
by Xiaofang Zhang and Barry Lee Reynolds
Behav. Sci. 2023, 13(7), 591; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs13070591 - 14 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1612
Abstract
This study investigated the effectiveness, as well as EFL learners’ perceptions, of the keyword method (KWM) in comparison to the rote learning method (RLM) for the learning of English collocations. A controlled laboratory-like setting was adopted for randomly assigning participants to the KWM [...] Read more.
This study investigated the effectiveness, as well as EFL learners’ perceptions, of the keyword method (KWM) in comparison to the rote learning method (RLM) for the learning of English collocations. A controlled laboratory-like setting was adopted for randomly assigning participants to the KWM group (n = 15) or the RLM group (n = 15). After receiving training on the use of the respective strategy, the two participant groups applied the respective strategy to the learning of collocations. Collocations were assessed at three different time periods, and additional data regarding perceptions of the two strategies were elicited through one-on-one post hoc interviews. The quantitative data revealed that the KWM was superior to the RLM in terms of the long-term retention of productive collocation knowledge; knowledge of adjective–noun collocations was retained better than verb–noun collocations. The qualitative data revealed that participants deemed that the KWM was unfamiliar but effective. Additionally, participants claimed that the RLM was facile but may result in a high rate of forgetting. The pedagogical implications are that foreign language teachers should encourage language learners to use the KWM for learning English collocations. Although the KWM has been recommend by many researchers, it is still rarely advocated for by foreign language instructors. Therefore, it is important that both EFL learners and teachers should be aware of the KWM’s long-term retention effects on the learning of English collocations and apply this vocabulary learning strategy (VLS) in their actual learning and teaching context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cognitive and Linguistic Aspects of the Multilingual Advantage)
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