Linguistics and English Language

Bilingualism research group

Speaker: Lihua Xia

Title: Does L2 immersion influence performance in non-verbal cognitive tasks?

Abstract: Language immersion is an approach to foreign language (L2) instruction in which the usual curricular activities are conducted in L2. Previous studies mainly used a cross-sectional comparative design to examine the effects of language immersion on executive functions (EF) in children through L2 immersion/bilingual education within the L1-dominant environment. The current study used a longitudinal design to investigate these effects in Chinese-English adults within the L2-dominant environment through four non-linguistic cognitive tasks: Attention Network Task (ANT), Number Stroop, Test of Everyday Attention (TEA), and Corsi Tapping Task (CTT). In Study 1, we recruited 39 Chinese prospective masters who attended an intensive 10-week English course. The results suggested an enhancement on cognitive performance, such as visual inhibition (ANT and Stroop), working memory and mental rotation (CTT), as well as auditory inhibition and attentional switching (TEA). To replicate and exclude the potential effect of intensive learning, in Study 2, we recruited 38 Chinese masters who attend the regular courses taught in English. The results replicated the findings from Study 1, indicating that the L2 immersion was positively correlated with the improvement in Chinese-English bilinguals’ executive functions and their self-reported English proficiency.


Please contact Lihua Xia or Martha Robinson to find out specific dates for this semester and/or to be added to the mailing list.

Nov 04 2019 -

Bilingualism research group

2019-11-04: Does L2 immersion influence performance in non-verbal cognitive tasks?

Room S38, Psychology Building, 7 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ