Volume 11, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6732
  • E-ISSN: 1570-6001
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The present study employed a dual-language version of the Reicher-Wheeler task to examine the word superiority effect (WSE) in Irish-English bilinguals and L1 English speakers with some Irish language proficiency. Superior skills in written English would be expected in both groups. Forty-nine participants completed a word–letter WSE forced-choice task in both Irish and English. For both languages, and for both groups, an advantage was found for words over letters. The word–letter difference for English stimuli exceeded that for Irish stimuli, at 9% and 4% respectively; however this difference between the languages did not reach statistical significance. Performance did not differ significantly between the two groups, despite a trend suggesting a lower WSE in English for the bilingual group. The lack of difference based on proficiency may reflect the high frequency words employed or similar exposure to written Irish in the two groups, given the dominance of the English language.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): bilingualism; minority languages; word recognition; word superiority
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