Navigation Links
Aphasia and bilingualism: Using one language to relearn another

This news release is available in French.

In the era of globalization, bilingualism is becoming more and more frequent, and it is considered a plus. However, can this skill turn into a disadvantage, when someone acquires aphasia? More precisely, if a bilingual person suffers brain damage (i.e. stroke, head trauma, dementia) and this results in a language impairment called aphasia, then the two languages can be disrupted, thus increasing the challenge of language rehabilitation. According to Dr. Ana Ins Ansaldo, researcher at the Research Centre of the Institut universitaire de griatrie de Montral (IUGM), and a professor at the School of Speech Therapy and Audiology at Universit de Montral, research evidence suggests that bilingualism can be a leverand not an obstacleto aphasia recovery.

A recent critical literature review conducted by Ana Ins Ansaldo and Ladan Ghazi Saidi -Ph.D student- points to three interventional avenues to promote cross-linguistic effects of language therapy (the natural transfer effects that relearning one language has on the other language).

It is important for speech-language pathologists to clearly identify a patient's mastery of either language before and after aphasia onset, in order to decide which language to stimulate to achieve better results. Overall, the studies reviewed show that training the less proficient language (before or after aphasia onset)and not the dominant languageresults in bigger transfer effects on the untreated language.

Moreover, similarities between the two languages, at the levels of syntax, phonology, vocabulary, and meaning, will also facilitate language transfer. Specifically, working on "cognates," or similar words in both languages, facilitates cross-linguistic transfer of therapy effects. For example, stimulating the word "table" in French will also help the retrieval of the word "table" in English, as these words have the same meaning and similar sounds in French and English. However, training "non-cognates" (words that sound alike, but do not share the same meanings) can be confusing for the bilingual person with aphasia.

In general, semantic therapy approaches, based on stimulating word meanings, facilitate transfer of therapy effects from the treated language to the untreated one. In other words, drilling based on the word's semantic properties can help recovering both the target word and its cross-linguistic equivalent. For example, when the speech-language pathologist cues the patient to associate the word "dog" to the ideas of "pet," "four legs" and "bark,", the French word "chien" is as well activated, and will be more easily retrieved than by simply repeating the word "dog".

"In the past, therapists would ask patients to repress or stifle one of their two languages, and focus on the target language. Today, we have a better understanding of how to use both languages, as one can support the other. This is a more complex approach, but it gives better results and respects the inherent abilities of bilingual people. Considering that bilinguals may soon represent the majority of our clients, this is definitely a therapeutic avenue we need to pursue," explained Ana Ins Ansaldo, who herself is quadrilingual.


Contact: William Raillant-Clark
University of Montreal

Related medicine news :

1. Shift of language function to right hemisphere impedes post-stroke aphasia recovery
2. Strengthening speech networks to treat aphasia
3. Cycle Technologies Announces New Article Addressing Reasons Why Many Women in the U.S. Are Not Using Contraception
4. Breast Enhancement Using Your Own Fat: No Longer Just A Fantasy
5. Imprivata is the Most Widely Selected Single Sign-On Solution by U.S. Hospitals Using McKesson Paragon or Horizon According to HIMSS Analytics
6. Parker Waichman LLP Represents Wisconsin Woman in Lawsuit Alleging Mirena IUD Perforated her Uterus, Causing Serious Pain and Injuries
7. Over 600 Water Mains Break Every Day in the US Causing Nationwide Water Concerns
8. Self-Sterilizing Surfaces Technology Using Photodisinfection Recognized at EuCheMS Conference
9. Hudson, NY Dental Implants Now Offer Support for Dentures Using Implant Supported Dentures with Dr. Robert Danz
10. FOTO Now Has Clients in All 50 States Using Their Outcomes Measurement Program
11. Study Says Using the da Vinci Surgical Robot for a Hysterectomy Fails to Cut Complications and May Raise Pneumonia Risk, Notes Parker Waichman LLP
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/28/2015)... ... November 28, 2015 , ... Pixel Film Studios is back again with ... the possibilities are endless. Users have full control over angle of view, speed method, ... users are sure to get heads to turn. , ProPanel: Pulse offers fully customizable ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to ... out by the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that ... for head injuries. The article explains that part of the reason for the controversial ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... A team of Swiss doctors has ... it. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted the findings on the website. Click here ... the cases of 136 mesothelioma patients who were treated with chemotherapy followed by EPP ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Lizzie’s Lice Pickers just announced a special promotion that will ... their purchase of lice treatment product. In addition, customers will receive a complimentary head ... “Finding lice is a sure way to ruin the holidays, so we encourage all ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... MPWH, the No.1 Herpes-only dating community in the world, revealed that ... ). More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 – or 67% ... WHO's first global estimates of HSV-1 infection . , "The data shocks us highly!" ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... Nov. 25, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... (BLA) with the United States ... a biosimilar candidate to Humira ® (adalimumab). Amgen ... submitted to the FDA and represents Amgen,s first BLA ... E. Harper , M.D., executive vice president of Research ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... N.Y. , Nov. 25, 2015  Linden Care, ... and optimizing treatment outcomes for patients suffering from chronic ... request for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Express ... the two companies. --> ... pursuing all of its legal options. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... On Tuesday, November 24, 2015, the ... Wright Medical Technology, Inc. for product liability and ... implant device, awarded $11 million in favor of ... and three days of deliberations, the jury found ... designed and unreasonably dangerous, and that Wright Medical ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: