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Contributions of bilingualism and public speaking training to cognitive control differences among young adults*

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 August 2015

Foreign Languages College, Jiangxi Normal University, China
Center of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China
Address for correspondence: Yanping Dong, Center of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, Guangdong 510420, China.


The Flanker and Number Stroop tasks, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were adopted to examine how bilingualism and public speaking training would contribute to cognitive control differences among young adults. Four groups of participants (of similar cultural and language backgrounds) were tested: monolinguals, general bilinguals, L1 public speaking bilinguals, and L2 public speaking bilinguals. Both ANOVA and multiple regression analyses showed that public speaking experience (esp. in L2) significantly contributed to conflict monitoring as tested in the global reaction times in the Flanker and Number Stroop tasks, whereas bilingualism (L2 verbal fluency, to be more specific) significantly contributed to mental set shifting as tested in the WCST. These results suggest that specific aspects of language experience, either in L1 or in L2, may incur enhancement in specific aspects of cognitive control, which has implications for bilingual advantage research.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2015 

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This research received grants from the National Social Science Foundation of China (15AYY002) to the correspondence author. We appreciate the constructive comments and insightful suggestions from the reviewers and the editor. We are grateful to Ms. Emily Seppala from Jiangxi Normal University for her language editing and grateful to Ms. Yi Ke from Jiangxi Normal University for her assistance in data collection.


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