Clinical Forum: Neurocognitive approaches to bilingualism and language learning

Minna Lehtonen, professor at MultiLing and Department of Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies, will give a talk on neurocognitive approaches to bilingualism and online processing of morphology by L2 learners.

Minna Lehtonen

Minna Lehtonen (Photo: Tuula Toivio)


Early acquisition and use of two or more languages have been associated with several neurocognitive effects. For example, bilingualism-related changes have been observed in structural measures of the brain. Bilinguals have also been reported to show an advantage to monolinguals in executive functions. This benefit has been hypothesized to stem from life-long experience of bilingual language use and control, such as frequent switching between the languages, but it has also been highly disputed. Furthermore, balanced bilinguals have been suggested to show a disadvantage in tasks involving lexical access, assumedly as a result of less exposure to and input in each individual language when compared to monolinguals. I will present studies that shed light on these questions by using various behavioral, neurocognitive, and meta-analytic methods. The second part of my talk will focus on morphological processing. Learning morphological aspects of the Finnish language can be challenging for L2 learners. Our research investigates online processing of morphologically complex words, and we also aim to develop a mobile application that aids in learning these features of the language.

The lecture is free and open for all!

Published Mar. 16, 2018 11:05 AM - Last modified Apr. 9, 2018 2:25 PM