Zhilong Xie (Jiangxi Normal University; Guangdong University of Foreign Studies) &Yanping Dong (Guangdong University of Foreign Studies)
Bilingual advantage; bilingual experience; public speaking training; conflict monitoring, mental set shifting
The Flanker task, the Number Stroop task, and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) were adopted to examine how bilingualism and public speaking training contribute to cognitive control differences among young adults. Four groups of participants were tested: monolinguals, general bilinguals, Chinese (L1) public speaking bilinguals, and English (L2) public speaking bilinguals. ANOVA and regression analyses showed that: 1) the speaking groups performed faster than the other two groups in the Flanker task (i.e., better in conflict monitoring), whereas the L2 public speaking group performed the fastest in the Number Stroop; 2) The three bilingual groups performed better than the monolinguals in the WCST (i.e., better in mental set shifting), and this advantage was more robust when L2 proficiency was higher. The results show that specific aspects of language experience may incur enhancement in specific aspects of cognitive control. These findings actually lend support to the recently proposed view by Valian (2015) that benefits from bilingualism are inconsistent because individuals vary in the number and kinds of experiences they have that promote superior cognitive control.
 Abutalebi, J., Della Rosa, P. A., Green, D. W., Hernandez, M., Scifo, P., Keim, R., . . . Costa, A. Bilingualism tunes the anterior cingulate cortex for conflict monitoring. Cerebral Cortex, 22(9):2076-2086, 2012.
 Bialystok, E., Craik, F. I. M., Green, D. W., & Gollan, T. H. Bilingual Minds. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 10(3):89-129, 2009.
 Costa, A., Hernandez, M., Costa-Faidella, J., & Sebastian-Galles, N. On the bilingual advantage in conflict processing: now you see it, now you don’t. Cognition, 113(2):135-149, 2009.
 Dong, Y., & Xie, Z. Contributions of L2 proficiency and interpreting experience to cognitive control differences among young adult bilinguals. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 26(5):506-519, 2014.
 Green, D. W., & Abutalebi, J. Language control in bilinguals: The adaptive control hypothesis. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25(5):515-530, 2013.
 Jones, C. R., Fazio, R. H., & Vasey, M. W. Attentional Control Buffers the Effect of Public Speaking Anxiety on Performance. Social psychological and personality science, 3(5):556-561, 2012.
 Kroll, J. F., & Bialystok, E. Understanding the Consequences of Bilingualism for Language Processing and Cognition. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 25(5):497-514, 2013.
 Miyake, A., & Friedman, N. P. The Nature and Organization of Individual Differences in Executive Functions: Four General Conclusions. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 21(1):8-14, 2012.
 Mueller, S. C. The influence of emotion on cognitive control: relevance for development and adolescent psychopathology. Frontiers in Psychology, 2:327, 2013.
 Paap, K. R., & Greenberg, Z. I. There is no coherent evidence for a bilingual advantage in executive processing. Cognitive Psychology, 66(2):232-258, 2013
 Valian, V. Bilingualism and cognition. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 18(1):3-24, 2015.
 Yudes, C., Macizo, P., & Bajo, T.The influence of expertise in simultaneous interpreting on non-verbal executive processes. Frontiers in Psychology, 1:309, 2011.