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May 21, 2013

Science & Research

Study shows how bilinguals switch between languages

Teaching-English"The Association for Psychological Science reports on research into how bilinguals switch between languages.

Individuals who learn two languages at an early age seem to switch back and forth between separate “sound systems” for each language, according to new research conducted at the University of Arizona.

The research, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, addresses enduring questions in bilingual studies about how bilingual speakers hear and process sound in two different languages.

“A lot of research has shown that bilinguals are pretty good at accommodating speech variation across languages, but there’s been a debate as to how,” said lead author Kalim Gonzales, a psychology doctoral student at the University of Arizona. “There are two views: One is that bilinguals have different processing modes for their two languages — they have a mode for processing speech in one language and then a mode for processing speech in the other language. Another view is that bilinguals just adjust to speech variation by recalibrating to the unique acoustic properties of each language.”

Gonzales’s research supports the first view — that bilinguals who learn two languages early in life learn two separate processing modes, or “sound systems.”

The study looked at 32 Spanish-English early bilinguals, who had learned their second language before age 8. Participants were presented with a series of pseudo-words beginning with a ‘pa’ or a ‘ba’ sound and asked to identify which of the two sounds they heard.

Read the full press release.

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Comments

I don't know I am bilingual or not, but I am sure I have a second language.
I felt as if I have two ways of brain circuit one for Japanese and another for English. These 2 brains work like 2 changer of the CD player!
When I speak English, I's is difficult to speak out Japanese and vise versa, especially for pronounciation. I experience this after I had leart English conversation in "Parmer method" at YMCA.

Do you have this kind of experiece?

That is why I should learn bilingualism here.

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