Volume 6, Issue 1-2
  • ISSN 1879-9264
  • E-ISSN: 1879-9272
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


This study addresses a gap in the literature on executive function advantages among bilingual speakers by investigating a group of elderly, long-term, immersed bilinguals. Our participants are native Dutch speakers who emigrated to Australia as adults and have spent many years in that country. They are compared on a range of cognitive and linguistic measures to native Dutch and native English control groups. We argue that, due to the massive differences in the bilingual experience, group analyses may fall short of capturing the full picture. We argue instead for a more qualitative approach, which takes into account as detailed a picture of bilingual development, daily language habits and, in particular, code-switching habits as possible.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Alho, J.M.
    (2008) Migration, fertility, and aging in stable populations. Demography, 45(3), 641–650. doi: 10.1353/dem.0.0021
    https://doi.org/10.1353/dem.0.0021 [Google Scholar]
  2. Bialystok, E.
    (2009) Bilingualism: The good, the bad, and the indifferent. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 12(1), 3–11. doi: 10.1017/S1366728908003477
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728908003477 [Google Scholar]
  3. (2011) Reshaping the mind: The benefits of bilingualism. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 65(4), 229–235. doi: 10.1037/a0025406
    https://doi.org/10.1037/a0025406 [Google Scholar]
  4. Bialystok, E. , Craik, F. I. , Klein, R. & Viswanathan, M.
    (2004) Bilingualism, aging, and cognitive control: evidence from the Simon task. Psychology and aging, 19(2), 290. doi: 10.1037/0882‑7974.19.2.290
    https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.19.2.290 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bialystok, E. , Craik, F. I. & Freedman, M.
    (2007) Bilingualism as a protection against the onset of symptoms of dementia. Neuropsychologia, 45(2), 459–464. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.10.009
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2006.10.009 [Google Scholar]
  6. Burke, D. M. & Shafto, M. A.
    (2008) Language and aging. In F. I. M. Craik & T. A. Salthouse (eds.), The handbook of aging and cognition (pp.373–443). New York: Psychology Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Craik, F. I. , Bialystok, E. & Freedman, M.
    (2010) Delaying the onset of Alzheimer disease Bilingualism as a form of cognitive reserve. Neurology, 75(19), 1726–1729. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181fc2a1c
    https://doi.org/10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181fc2a1c [Google Scholar]
  8. Daneman, M. & Carpenter, P.A.
    (1980) Individual differences in working memory and reading. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 19, 450–466. doi: 10.1016/S0022‑5371(80)90312‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5371(80)90312-6 [Google Scholar]
  9. de Bruin, A. & Della Sala, S.
    (2015) The importance of language use when studying the neuroanatomical basis of bilingualism. Language, Cognition and Neuroscience. doi: 10.1080/23273798.2015.1082608
    https://doi.org/10.1080/23273798.2015.1082608 [Google Scholar]
  10. Dunn, L.M & Dunn, D.M.
    (2007) The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test – Fourth Edition. Bloomington, MN: NCS Pearson, Inc.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Dunn, L. M. , Dunn, L. M. , Schlichting, L.
    (2005) Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III-NL. Amsterdam, The Netherlands: Pearson.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Festman, J. & Münte, T.F.
    (2012) Cognitive control in Russian-German bilinguals. Frontiers in Psychology, 3. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00115
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00115 [Google Scholar]
  13. Folstein, M.F. , Folstein, S.E. & McHugh, P.R.
    (1975) “Mini-Mental State”: A practical method for grading the cognitive state of patients for the clinician. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 12, 189–198. doi: 10.1016/0022‑3956(75)90026‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-3956(75)90026-6 [Google Scholar]
  14. Gass, S. & Lee, J.
    (2010) Working memory capacity, inhibitory control, and proficiency in a second language. In M.S. Schmid & Lowie, W. (Eds.), Modeling bilingualism: from structure to chaos (pp.59–84). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Grant, D.A. & Berg E.A.
    (1948) A behavioral analysis of degree of reinforcement and ease of shifting to new responses in a Weigl-type card sorting problem. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 34, 404–411. doi: 10.1037/h0059831
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0059831 [Google Scholar]
  16. Green, D.W.
    (2011) Language control in different contexts: the behavioral ecology of bilingual speakers. Frontiers in Psychology 2011(2). doi: doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00103
    https://doi.org/doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00103 [Google Scholar]
  17. Green, D. W. & Abutalebi, J.
    (2013) Language control in bilinguals: The adaptive control hypothesis. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25(5), 515–530. doi: 10.1080/20445911.2013.796377
    https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2013.796377 [Google Scholar]
  18. Grotjahn, R.
    (1987) How to construct and evaluate a C-test: A discussion of some problems and some statistical analyses. Quantitative Linguistics, 23, 219–253.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Hartsuiker, R.
    (2015) Why it is pointless to ask under which specific circumstances the bilingual advantage occurs. Cortex. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2015.07.018
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2015.07.018 [Google Scholar]
  20. Heaton, R.K. , Chelune, G.J. , Talley, J.L. , Kay, G.C. & Curtiss, G.
    (1993) Wisconsin card sorting test: manual. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources.
  21. Keijzer, M.
    (2007) Last in first out? An investigation of the regression hypothesis in Dutch emigrants in Anglophone Canada. Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, PhD dissertation.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Kirk, N. W. , Fiala, L. , Scott-Brown, K. C. & Kempe, V.
    (2014) No evidence for reduced Simon cost in elderly bilinguals and bidialectals. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26(6), 640–648. doi: 10.1080/20445911.2014.929580
    https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2014.929580 [Google Scholar]
  23. Kroll, J. F. & Bialystok, E.
    (2013) Understanding the consequences of bilingualism for language processing and cognition. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25, 497–514. doi: 10.1080/20445911.2013.799170
    https://doi.org/10.1080/20445911.2013.799170 [Google Scholar]
  24. Luk, G. , Bialystok, E. , Craik, F. I. & Grady, C. L.
    (2011) Lifelong bilingualism maintains white matter integrity in older adults. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31(46), 16808–16813. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4563‑11.2011
    https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4563-11.2011 [Google Scholar]
  25. Maguire, E. A. , Gadian, D. G. , Johnsrude, I. S. , Good, C. D. , Ashburner, J. , Frackowiak, R. S. & Frith, C. D.
    (2000) Navigation-related structural change in the hippocampi of taxi drivers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 97(8), 4398–4403. doi: 10.1073/pnas.070039597
    https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.070039597 [Google Scholar]
  26. Oller, J.W. & Streiff, V.
    (1975) Dictation: A test of grammar-based expectancies. In R.L. Jones & B. Spolsky (Eds.), Testing language proficiency (pp.71–82). Arlington, VA: Center for Applied Linguistics.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Polk, T. A. & Farah, M. J.
    (1995) Late experience alters vision. Nature, 376, 648–649 doi: 10.1038/376648a0
    https://doi.org/10.1038/376648a0 [Google Scholar]
  28. Schmid, M. S. & Jarvis, S.
    (2014) Lexical access and lexical diversity in first language attrition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17(4), 729–748. doi: 10.1017/S1366728913000771
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728913000771 [Google Scholar]
  29. Simon, J. R. & Wolf, J. D.
    (1963) Choice reaction time as a function of angular stimulus-response correspondence and age. Ergonomics, 6(1), 99–105. doi: 10.1080/00140136308930679
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00140136308930679 [Google Scholar]
  30. Sorace, A.
    (2010) Using magnitude estimation in developmental linguistic research. In E. Blom & S. Unsworth (Eds.), Experimental methods in language acquisition research (pp.57–72). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/lllt.27.05sor
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lllt.27.05sor [Google Scholar]
  31. Stroop, J.R.
    (1935) “Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions.”Journal of Experimental Psychology, 18, 643–662. doi: 10.1037/h0054651
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0054651 [Google Scholar]
  32. Tao, L. , Marzecová, A. , Taft, M. , Asanowicz, D. & Wodniecka, Z.
    (2011) The efficiency of attentional networks in early and late bilinguals: the role of age of acquisition. Frontiers in psychology, 2. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00123
    https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00123 [Google Scholar]
  33. Tzelgov, J. , Henik, A. & Leiser, D.
    (1990) Controlling Stroop interference: Evidence from a bilingual task. Journal of experimental psychology: Learning, memory, and cognition, 16.5, 760–771.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Valian, V.
    (2015) Bilingualism and cognition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18, 3–24. doi: 10.1017/S1366728914000522
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728914000522 [Google Scholar]
  35. Van den Noort, M.W.M.L. , Bosch, P. , Haverkort, M. & Hugdahl, K.
    (2008) “A standard computerized version of the Reading Span Test in different languages.” European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 24.1: 35–42. doi: 10.1027/1015‑5759.24.1.35
    https://doi.org/10.1027/1015-5759.24.1.35 [Google Scholar]
  36. Verreyt, N. , Woumans, E. , Vandelanotte, D. , Szmalec, A. & Duyck Verreyt, N. , Woumans, E. , Vandelanotte, D. , Szmalec, A. & Duyck, W.
    (2016) Influence of language switching on the bilingual cognitive control advantage. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 19(1), 181-190 . doi: 10.1017/S1366728914000352
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1366728914000352 [Google Scholar]
  37. Wingfield, A. & Grossman, M.
    (2006) Language and the aging brain: patterns of neural compensation revealed by functional brain imaging. Journal of Neurophysiology, 96(6), 2830–2839. doi: 10.1152/jn.00628.2006
    https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00628.2006 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error