Psychonomic Bulletin & Review

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 705–710 | Cite as

The bilingual advantage in novel word learning

  • Margarita KaushanskayaEmail author
  • Viorica Marian
Brief Reports


The present study examined whether bilingualism facilitates acquisition of novel words in adults with different language histories. Word-learning performance was tested in monolingual English speakers, early English—Spanish bilinguals, and early English—Mandarin bilinguals. Novel words were phonologically unfamiliar to all participants, and they were acquired in association with their English translations. At testing, both bilingual groups outperformed the monolingual group. These findings indicate that bilingualism facilitates word-learning performance in adults, and they suggest a general bilingual advantage for novel word learning.


Phonological Awareness Word Learning Bilingual Child Bilingual Group Phonological Memory 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northwestern UniversityEvanston
  2. 2.Department ofCommunicative DisordersUniversity of WisconsinMadison

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