Journal of Psycholinguistic Research

, Volume 47, Issue 4, pp 803–815 | Cite as

The Effect of Bilingualism and Trilingualism on Metacognitive Processing: Detrimental or Beneficial?

  • Hassan Soleimani
  • Mahboubeh RahmanianEmail author


Research in multilingualism has shown that bilinguals have enhanced executive function (e.g., Donnelly et al. in Proceedings of the 37th annual conference of the cognitive science society 2015; Green in Bilingualism Lang Cognit 1(02):67–81, 1998.; however, this with many other areas in multilingualism have been questioned like their non-verbal reasoning or their metacognitive ability. This study attempts to explore learning more than one languages in the field of metacognitive abilities. Three groups of monolinguals, bilinguals, and trilinguals were explored to examine the effect of language learning on enhancing or weakening accuracy and response time in metacognitive processing. Conducting dot discrimination task, we found that multilingualism might have some advantages in this field. As cognition and metacognitive abilities demonstrated no positive correlation in this study, we might conclude that executive functioning can not bring about higher order functioning for the individuals. Nevertheless, monolinguals did the task in the least period of time with the least accuracy. Trilinguals, on the contrary, could respond more accurately with an average speed. Accuracy, difficulty, and response time choice in metacognitive processing were discussed for each group. It is concluded that multilingualism might have different effects on higher-order decision making abilities.


Bilingualism Trilingualism Metacognitive processing Accuracy Difficulty Response time choice 



This study has been conducted based on a Grant from Payame Noor University.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied LinguisticsPayame Noor UniversityTehranIran

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