International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Lexical Knowledge and Working Memory in Second-Generation Spanish/English
Bilinguals, Alfredo Ardila, Cynthia Castellanos, Elena Cremisini, Chantelle Cruz-Vargas, Christine Guayara, Stephanie Hernández, Indira Mato, Steven Mueller, Bárbara Yero

The aim of this study was to analyze the lexical knowledge and working memory of second-generation Spanish- English bilinguals in South Florida. A sample of 59 Spanish-English bilinguals (age: 19-54 years), born from native-Spanish speaking parents, moving to the U.S. before the age of 10 (or born in Miami), and mostly/totally attending school in English were selected. The following instruments were administered: Cross-Linguistic Naming Test, Vocabulary subtest (from WAIS-III), Verbal Fluency, Digits, Sentence repetition (from the Multilingual Aphasia Examination), Letter-Number Sequencing (from the WAIS-IV), and n-back task, plus a bilingual questionnaire. Overall performance was about 25% higher in English than in Spanish. It was concluded that second-generation bilinguals have more lexical knowledge and better working memory ability in their L2 (English) than in their L1 (Spanish).

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