The effect of second-language experience on native-language processing

Margarita Kaushanskaya*, Jeewon Yoo, Viorica Marian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Previous work on bilingual language processing indicates that native-language skills can influence second-language acquisition. The goal of the present work was to examine the influence of second-language experiences on native-language vocabulary and reading skills in two groups of bilingual speakers. English-Spanish and English-Mandarin bilingual adults were tested on vocabulary knowledge and reading fluency in English, their native language. Participants also provided detailed information regarding their history of second-language acquisition, including age of L2 acquisition, degree of L2 exposure, L2 proficiency, and preference of L2 use. Comparisons across the two bilingual groups revealed that both groups performed similarly on native-language vocabulary and reading measures. However, in English-Spanish bilinguals, higher self-reported reading skills in Spanish were associated with higher English reading-fluency scores, while in English-Mandarin bilinguals, higher self-reported reading skills in Mandarin were associated with lower English reading-fluency scores. These findings suggest that second-language experiences influence native-language performance, and can facilitate or reduce it depending on the properties of the second-language writing system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-77
Number of pages23
JournalVigo International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Volume8
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 22 2011

Keywords

  • Bilingualism
  • L2 experience
  • Reading fluency
  • Transfer
  • Vocabulary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of second-language experience on native-language processing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this