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Second language learners recall native language when reading
Date:6/1/2010

ave of brain activity called the N400 changed. This suggests that the Chinese language words were being accessed. For example, the unrelated English word pair "experience" and "surprise" translates to "jing yan" and "jing ya."

Michael Chee, MBBS, of Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, who was unaffiliated with the study, said the findings show that even though people who learn a second language later in life are discouraged from directly translating words from their native language, they may be doing so anyway.

"One limitation of the study is that many older generation English learners from China learned English by memorizing lists of words in what seems like a brute force method of learning," Chee said. "It would be interesting to see if the same results would be obtained if persons learning English earlier were studied."


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Contact: Kat Snodgrass
ksnodgrass@sfn.org
202-962-4090
Society for Neuroscience
Source:Eurekalert  

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