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Language Use Across International Contexts: Shaping the Minds of L2 Speakers

  • Judith F. Kroll (a1), Paola E. Dussias (a2) and María Teresa Bajo (a3)

Bilingualism is a complex life experience. Second language (L2) learning and bilingualism take place in many different contexts. To develop a comprehensive account of dual-language experience requires research that examines individuals who are learning and using two languages in both the first language (L1) and second language (L2) environments. In this article, we review studies that exploit the presence of an international research network on bilingualism to investigate the role of the environment and some the unique characteristics of L2 learning and bilingual language usage in different locations. We ask how the context of learning affects the acquisition of the L2 and the ability to control the use of each language, how language processing is changed by the patterns of language usage in different places (e.g., whether bilinguals have been immersed in the L2 environment for an extended period of time or whether they code-switch), and how the bilingualism of the community itself influences learning and language use.

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