The cognitive science of bilingualism

Yanping Dong, Ping Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Recent research in cognitive effects of bilingualism has generated both excitement and controversy. The current paper provides an overview of this literature that has taken a componential approach toward cognitive effects of bilingualism, according to which bilingual advantages in executive functions are measured in terms of executive control (inhibiting, switching, updating) and monitoring. Findings to date indicate that the presence or absence of bilingual advantages may be influenced by a variety of learner and environmental factors, including the bilingual individual's age, age of acquisition, language proficiency, frequency of language use, and difficulty of the experimental task. The cognitive effects of bilingualism must be interpreted in light of the bilingual's lifelong linguistic experience, which results in adaptive changes in the mind and the brain. We suggest directions for future research in this domain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalLanguage and Linguistics Compass
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Linguistics and Language


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