Born native speaker of Polish, she started to learn English in elementary school. German followed in high school and she successfully passed her A-level exams in Polish, English and German. It seemed that her path was set for life, when she decided to continue her education at the faculty of Applied Linguistics, with specialization in foreign language teaching and translation studies of English and German. One could expect that after graduation she would end up either in rainy London or in the city hosting Oktober Fest, but alas! she marched south, getting herself a job in the capital of the ancient world – Rome. Continue reading Where did my German go? – Language forgetting
Bilingual benefits reach beyond communication
Ellen Bialystok (York University), Fergus I.M. Craik (Rotman Research Institute), David W. Green (University College London), and Tamar H. Gollan have discussed in Psychological Science in the Public Interest the influences of bilingualism that reach beyond communication tasks.
Having to control interference from one language when speaking another, a bilingual person is better prepared to deal with exercises requiring attention and multitasking. However, though bilinguals are shown to have better cognitive control, they may score lower in vocabulary tests used by psychologists to determine various impairments.
For more information read on: Association for Psychological Science: Bilingual Benefits Reach Beyond Communication
Second language changes the way bilinguals read in their native tongue.
Eva Van Aassche has studied 45 bilingual (Dutch-English) students as they read sentences in Dutch. The results showed that the subjects were faster at reading words that are similar in both languages. It suggests that when reading in their native tongue bilinguals still have access to words in their second language, which affects the way the native language is processed.
It could be evidence for an existence of an internal “switch” that turns on and off the interference of two languages in a bilingual brain.
For more information read on: BPS Research Digest: Second language changes the way bilinguals read in their native tongue