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Scientists find how bilingual speakers switch between two languages [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2018-9-14 19:41:57 |Display all floors
Scientists find how bilingual speakers switch between two languages
WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Researchers revealed some new knowledge about what happened when we switched between different languages that may offer new insights into the nature of bilingualism.

The study published on Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showed that the neural activity in that process was exclusively associated with disengaging from one language and then engaging with a new one.

"This research unveils for the first time that while disengaging from one language requires some cognitive effort, activating a new language comes relatively cost-free from a neurobiological standpoint," said the paper's senior author Liina Pylkkanen, a professor in New York University (NYU)'s Department of Linguistics and Department of Psychology.

Previous research has linked language switching with increased activity in areas associated with cognitive control in the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. However, it was unknown whether it is disengaging from the previous language or engaging in a new language that drives this activity.

This is largely because these two processes happen simultaneously when participants switch, say, from speaking Spanish to speaking English, turning Spanish "off" and turning English "on" happen at the same time.

The researchers studied bilingual individuals fluent in English and American Sign Language (ASL), who often produce both languages simultaneously.

"The fact that they can do both at the same time offers a unique opportunity to disentangle engagement and disengagement processes, that is, how they turn languages 'on' and 'off'," said the paper's lead author Esti Blanco-Elorrieta, a postdoctoral candidate at NYU.

Therefore, the researchers could ask the participants to go from producing both languages to producing only one, thus isolating the process of turning a language "off", or to switch from producing a single language to producing both, thus isolating the process of turning a language "on."

They used magnetoencephalography and observed bilingual signers/speakers who viewed the same pictures and named them with semantically identical expressions.

The results showed that when bilinguals fluent in ASL and English switched languages, turning a language "off" led to increased activity in cognitive control areas while turning a language "on" was no different than not switching.

In other words, the brain's work was devoted to turning "off" a language, with little to no cognitive effort required in turning "on" a second language--regardless of whether it was spoken or signed language, according to the study.

They also found that for such speakers, producing two words simultaneously (one sign and one spoken word) was not necessarily more cognitively costly than producing only one.

Rather, producing both at the same time was easier than having to suppress the dominant language (in this case English) in order to name the picture on the screen only in ASL.


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Post time 2018-9-15 05:50:08 |Display all floors
what about 3 languages ??
Round Up is good for developing the mind

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Post time 2018-9-15 09:48:44 |Display all floors
Why did they have to "research" this? They could have asked me and gotten the same answer without spending that much effort on so-called "research".

But my experience shows that knowlede will never inform the decisions taken by those in charge of language instruction in a place such as China Here, any relevant insight will be ignored.

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Post time 2018-9-15 10:39:54 |Display all floors
When you use foreign language, you should forget all of your mother-one! This is a shortcut to force you to grasp the new language in effective way!
All of our writings should go with zero error!

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Post time 2018-9-15 10:53:59 |Display all floors
SEARU Post time: 2018-9-15 10:39
When you use foreign language, you should forget all of your mother-one! This is a shortcut to force ...

You should tell that to your compatriots; they often mix Chnese with English whenever they try to speak English, resulting in a funny type of English, called Chinglish, which confuses foreigners trying to communicate with them!

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Post time 2018-9-15 12:16:16 |Display all floors
pnp Post time: 2018-9-15 10:53
You should tell that to your compatriots; they often mix Chnese with English whenever they try to  ...

The exam-oriented teaching process drives students to ‘recite’ English texts like recorder who don't have real interest! Ten years of hard work means nothing for most Chinese students! This sad phenomenon warns us something is really wrong with our training method! Schooling needs revolutionary reform if Chinese want to catch up with foreign counterparts on educating kids!
All of our writings should go with zero error!

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Post time 2018-9-15 14:59:26 |Display all floors
SEARU Post time: 2018-9-15 10:39
When you use foreign language, you should forget all of your mother-one! This is a shortcut to force ...

You are right but then again your mind has been harmed by your education. Learning a language other than your mother tongue should come without thinking "my first language versus my second language". There is no "foreign" language when you learn to speak. It doesn't matter what your first  tongue is.

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