Statistical learning and bilingualism

Federica Bulgarelli, Amy L. Lebkuecher, Daniel J. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Purpose: Over the last 2 decades, research on statistical learning has demonstrated its importance in supporting language development. Notably, most of the research to date has focused on monolingual populations (or has not reported the language background of participants). Several recent studies, however, have begun to focus on the impact of bilingualism on statistical learning. To date, the results have been quite mixed, with a handful of studies finding differences between monolinguals and bilinguals and several other studies reporting no differences. Thus, the purpose of this manuscript is to review the literature to date on how bilingualism impacts statistical learning abilities. Method: We review the contemporary literature, organized by the age of participants and by task when relevant. Conclusions: We note that there are many discrepant findings within this nascent field, although some trends have emerged. For instance, differences in performance may be attributed to factors such as age of acquisition. However, we note that the state of the field does not yet permit firm clinical recommendations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-753
Number of pages14
JournalLanguage, speech, and hearing services in schools
Issue number3S
StatePublished - Aug 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Speech and Hearing


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