Is 4 the prime number? Relationship between degree of multilingualism, attentional control, competence level and acquisition age
Ishaq Masrita dissertation 2009.doc (1.391Mb)
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Many studies have found a bilinguals advantage in executive processes utilising visual representations tasks (Bialystok, 199, Bialystok, 1998). Moreover, there exist a gap in the literature in multilinguals auditory processing which this study sought to examine by utilising participants from Malaysia as an example of a multilingual nation. This study hypothesised that as the number of languages acquired increases, so would accuracy on three substests derived from the Test of Everyday Attention (Robertson, Ward, Ridgeway & Nimmo-Smith, 1994) which measures sustained attention (subtest 1), selective attention (subtest 2) and attentional switching (subtest 3). Secondly, it was predicted that languages, which are acquired earlier on in life, are higher in proficiency level (across four domains; speaking, listening, reading and writing) than those acquired later on. In an effort to account for confounding factors, analysis was done on those who are either currently residing in Malaysia or abroad. As the number of languages spoken increases, so does accuracy level in TEA. Moreover, there is an interesting peak in the four languages group, which is attributed to sample size, degree of proficiency and switching cost. Also, languages acquired earlier on in life (0- 5 years old) was shown to be of higher proficiency level than those acquired later (5-9 years old, 10-12 years old and >12 years old).