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Bilingualism & Cognition - PSY00057H

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  • Department: Psychology
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Angela De Bruin
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2020-21

Module aims

We are living in an increasingly international society in which bilingualism and communicating in a non-native language are becoming the norm rather than an exception. This course considers the cognitive mechanisms underlying bilingual language use. It will review how bilinguals understand and speak two languages as well as how and why bilinguals switch between their languages. It will also evaluate how these processes relate to individual differences between bilinguals and the language environment they are in. Lastly, it will discuss the evidence for and against the argument that bilinguals show enhanced cognitive functioning compared to monolinguals.

Module learning outcomes

  • Understand the methods researchers use to study bilingual language processing and production
  • Describe issues related to measuring and defining bilingualism
  • Discuss theories on how bilinguals use and understand multiple languages
  • Identify why and how bilinguals switch between their languages
  • Evaluate evidence relating to the potential link between bilingualism and cognitive functioning

Module content

  • Definitions of bilingualism and individual differences between bilinguals
  • Understanding written and spoken input in multiple languages
  • Bilingual language production
  • Language switching
  • The potential link between bilingualism and cognitive functioning


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Bilingualism & Cognition
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam
Bilingualism & Cognition
N/A 100

Module feedback

The marks on all assessed work will be provided on e-vision.

Indicative reading

De Bruin, A. (2019). Not all bilinguals are the same: A call for more detailed assessments and descriptions of bilingual experiences. Behavioral Sciences9(3), 33.

Declerck, M., & Philipp, A. M. (2015). A review of control processes and their locus in language switching. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 22(6), 1630-1645.

Lehtonen, M., Soveri, A., Laine, A., Järvenpää, J., de Bruin, A., & Antfolk, J. (2018). Is bilingualism associated with enhanced executive functioning in adults? A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 144(4), 394-425.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.