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Lexical Development in Bilingual and Monolingual Infants

In many parts of the world, growing up bilingual is the norm rather than the exception. A substantial proportion of these bilingual children acquire their two languages simultaneously from birth. A major debate in bilingual research is whether bilingual children acquire their first language at the same rate and in the same way as monolingual children. Our research team is interested in the rate and composition of vocabulary development in monolingual and bilingual infants. Our recent publications on this topic have reported that bilinguals’ word comprehension is as accurate and fast as it is in monolinguals. We also found that word recognition in young bilinguals is facilitated (as it is in adults) by the number of translation equivalents in their vocabulary. Among our other recent findings on early bilingualism is the discovery that the cognitive benefits of bilingualism are already present by 24 months of age.

  • Beaudin, K. & Poulin-Dubois, D. (2022). A test of the cognitive bilingual advantage in Toddlers with the Early Executive Functions Questionnaire. Languages, 7(2), 122.
  • Beaudin, K., Poulin-Dubois, D. & Zesiger, P. (2022). Touching while listening: Does infants' haptic word processing speed predict vocabulary development? Journal of Child Language, 1-19. doi:10.1017/S0305000922000423
  • Poulin-Dubois, D., Neumann, C., Masoud, S. & Gazith, A. (2021). Effect of bilingualism on infants' cognitive flexibility. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 25(3), 484-497. doi: 10.1017/S1366728921000912
  • Kehoe, M., Poulin-Dubois, D. & Friend, M. (2021). Within- and cross-language relations between phonological memory, vocabulary, and grammar in bilingual children. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 64(12), 4918-4948.
  • Kehoe, M., Friend, M. & Poulin-Dubois, D. (2021). Relations between phonological production, grammar, and the lexicon in bilingual French-English children. International Journal of Bilingualism, 25(6), 1576-1596.
  • Smolak, E., Hendrickson, K., Zesiger, P., Poulin-Dubois, D. & Friend, M. (2021). Visual and haptic responses as measures of word comprehension and speed of processing in toddlers: Relative predictive utility. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 203, 105032. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2020.105032.
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