CANCELLED. Bilingual advantage for memory: Why now you see it, now you don't?

Room 224 Education Building, University of Birmingham
Wednesday 18 March 2020 (16:00-17:30)

Please note: This talk has been postponed, with a new date to be confirmed. 

A Language and Cognition Seminar

Speaker: Professor Luna Filipovic, from the University of East Anglia

One of the most controversial topics in bilingualism is whether it does or does not have any advantage over monolingualism. Academic research on both sides of the debate is gathering pace and presenting contradictory evidence (Papp et al. 2015).

In this talk I focus specifically on witness memory, rarely discussed in the field, and ask whether speaking more than one language is beneficial for remembering events in two cognitive domains, motion and causation. Drawing on experimental findings of my own (Filipović 2019) and those of others, I illustrate, using examples from different English- Spanish bilinguals, why a bilingual advantage for memory of events seems to be there sometimes but not always. We shall see that language typology plays a critical role in explaining the different outcomes of bilingualism, as does the specific type of bilingualism and the type of interlocutor, i.e. who the bilingual talking to - a monolingual or another bilingual.

Cited References: 

Papp, K., Johnson, H. A. & Sawi, O. 2015. Bilingual advantages in executive functioning either do not exist or are restricted to very specific and undetermined circumstances. Cortex 69, 265–78.

Filipović, L. 2019. Bilingualism in Action: Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

All welcome!