Paper in Journal of Neurolinguistics

Authors: Sara Ramos, Yuriem Fernández García, Eneko Antón, Aina Casaponsa and Jon Andoni Duñabeitia.

Title: Does learning a language in the elderly enhance switching ability?

Highlights: In the current study we aimed at exploring the relationship between language learning and switching ability in elderly monolingual participants who learned a second language during a whole academic year. A colour-shape switching task was used as a measure of switching ability in a pre-test/post-test design. Results showed that switching costs in the post-test were not significantly different from those in the pre-test in either the experimental or the control groups, demonstrating that the acquisition of a second language in the elderly does not necessarily lead to an enhancement of switching ability as measured by switching costs.

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Paper in Experimental Brain Research

Authors: Stéphanie Massol, Manuel Carreiras and Jon Andoni Duñabeitia.

Title: Consonantal overlap effects in a perceptual matching task

Highlights: This study investigates the processing of letter position coding by exploring whether or not two explicitly presented words that share the same consonants, but that differ in their vowels, exert mutual interference more than two words that do not share their consonants. Altogether, these data suggest that targets containing the same consonants included in the references in the same positions are processed as being highly similar to them, thus distorting target processing.

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Paper in Journal of Memory and Language

Authors: Eneko Antón, Yuriem Fernández García, Manuel Carreiras and Jon Andoni Duñabeitia.

Title: Does bilingualism shape inhibitory control in the elderly?

Highlights: In this study we test the effects of bilingualism on elderly lifelong bilinguals whose cognitive abilities are in decline, thus making any benefits more salient. Firstly we compare 24 bilinguals and 24 carefully matched monolinguals on verbal and the numerical Stroop tasks, obtaining no differences in monitoring or inhibitory measures. Secondly we explore the modulations that the proficiency in the L2 might cause to executive control functions, as measured by the same tasks, by testing 70 elderly bilinguals who vary in their L2 mastery from very low to perfectly fluent. Results show no modulation in any of the indices due to L2 proficiency.

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Paper in Language Learning

Authors: Eneko Antón, Guillaume Thierry, Alexander Goborov, Jon Anasagasti and Jon Andoni Duñabeitia.

Title: Testing bilingual educational methods: A plea to end the language-mixing taboo.


Highlights: Language mixing in a given class is often avoided in bilingual education because of the generally held belief that one subject should be taught in only one language and one person should stick to one language in order to minimize confusion. Here, we compared the effects of mixing two languages and monolingual functioning on memory performance in immediate recall as a proxy for comprehension and attention during learning. In two experiments we found no advantage for the single-language over the mixed-language context of exposure.

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Paper in Developmental Science

Authors: Laura Birke Hansen, Julia Morales, Pedro Macizo, Jon Andoni Duñabeitia, David Saldaña, Manuel Carreiras, Luis J. Fuentes, and M. Teresa Bajo.

Title: Reading comprehension and Immersion schooling: Evidence from component skills.


Highlights: We investigated the acquisition of reading comprehension in school-aged children attending monolingual versus L2 immersion programs. Linguistic processing and Memory & Reasoning were identified as principal components underlying reading comprehension at the sub-skill level. L2 immersion children showed a delay in linguistic processing, but increased memory and reasoning abilities relative to monolinguals. Reading comprehension was equivalent in both groups, suggesting compensation effects for differentially affected sub-skills.

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