Does performance on executive function tasks correlate? Evidence from child trilinguals, bilinguals, and second language learners

Gregory J. Poarch, Janet G. Van Hell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent discussion has questioned how well standard executive function tasks tap executive function processes and the convergent validity across executive function tasks. The present study reanalyses data from a study on executive function in children (Poarch & van Hell, 2012a), building empirically on enhanced performance on executive function tasks (Simon & ANT) of bilingual children compared to monolingual children. Specifically, in the original study, the Simon effect and ANT executive control effect differed across groups with bilinguals and trilinguals showing enhanced conflict resolution over monolinguals and second language learners. This outcome is in line with the view that enhanced executive function in bilingual children stems from their permanent need to monitor, control, and shift between two languages. However, the results from the reanalyses indicate that children's performance on the two executive function tasks did not correlate significantly, which is discussed, amongst other factors, against the backdrop of exogenous and endogenous inhibitory processes that are differentially invoked by the specific nature of the two tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBilingualism, Executive Function, and Beyond
Subtitle of host publicationQuestions and Insights
EditorsIrina A. Sekerina, Virginia Valian, Lauren Spradlin
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Pages223-236
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9789027262745
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Publication series

NameStudies in Bilingualism
Volume57
ISSN (Print)0928-1533

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language

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