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The effect of bilingualism on letter and category fluency tasks in primary school children: Advantage or disadvantage?
Center for Health & Medical Psychology, Örebro University, Sweden & Department of Psychology, University of Tehran, Iran.
Department of Psychology, Tehran Teacher Training University, Iran.
Center for Health & Medical Psychology, Örebro University.
Allameh Tabatabaei University, Tehran, Iran.
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2012 (English)In: Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, ISSN 1366-7289, E-ISSN 1469-1841, Vol. 15, no 2, 351-364 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of the current study was to examine the effects of bilingualism on letter and category fluency tasks. Participants were1,600 monolingual and bilingual children from three cities in Iran: Tehran (Persian monolinguals), Tabriz (Turkish–Persianbilinguals), and Sanandaj (Kurdish–Persian bilinguals). We separately presented nine Persian letters and thirty-onecategories to the participants, and asked them to generate as many words as possible using each of these initial letters andcategories within a maximum of three minutes. Bilingual children generated more words than monolingual children in theletter fluency task; this effect was more pronounced in Grade 1 and for Turkish–Persian bilinguals. However, Persianmonolinguals generated significantly more words than both bilingual groups in the category fluency task. Thus, bilingualismcan be of both advantage and disadvantage, and produce a dissociative effect. We discuss the results on the basis of thespecific nature and different cognitive demands of letter and category fluency tasks. We suggest that the degree of languageproficiency of bilinguals should be considered as an important variable in future research on bilingualism.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2012. Vol. 15, no 2, 351-364 p.
Keyword [en]
bilingualism, letter fluency task, category fluency task, primary school children
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-75952DOI: 10.1017/S1366728910000192ISI: 000302083100016OAI: diva2:510881
Available from: 2012-05-03 Created: 2012-03-19 Last updated: 2012-05-10Bibliographically approved

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Moradi, Shahram
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