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Who is bilingual? Snapshots across the lifespan

  • JOHN A. E. ANDERSON (a1), KORNELIA HAWRYLEWICZ (a1) and ELLEN BIALYSTOK (a1)

Abstract

Building on our earlier analysis of the factorial structure of bilingualism for young adults obtained from the Language and Social Background Questionnaire (LSBQ; Anderson, Mak, Keyvani Chahi & Bialystok, 2018), we analyzed responses from 675 children and 125 older adults to a similar questionnaire. Three factors accounting for 74% of the variance emerged in the analysis of children's responses: Adult Language in the Home, Non-English use for Media, Non-English use with Siblings. There were also three factors that explained the responses of older adults that accounted for 79% of the variance: Non-English Use, Non-English Proficiency, and English Proficiency. Therefore, bilingual experience is captured by different factors at different points in the lifespan. These results are discussed in conjunction with the earlier results from young adults and the implications for understanding bilingualism across the lifespan.

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Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Ellen Bialystok, Department of Psychology, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3, Canadaellenb@yorku.ca

Footnotes

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*Preparation of this paper was supported by grants R01HD052523 and R21AG048431 from the US National Institutes of Health and grant A2559 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to EB.

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References

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Bilingualism: Language and Cognition
  • ISSN: 1366-7289
  • EISSN: 1469-1841
  • URL: /core/journals/bilingualism-language-and-cognition
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