The Bilingual Dilemma: Inhibiting Interference & its Effect on the Bilingual Advantage


Palabras clave:

Age of Acquisition, Bilingualism, Code-Switching, Executive Functions, Inhibition Control


A debated topic in the field of bilingualism is if there is an advantage for bilinguals in terms of executive functions (EF). EF are an assemblage of mental processes and self-regulation skills including both basic and higher-level cognitive processes such as inhibition, working memory, monitoring, task shifting, updating, working memory capacity, planning, flexibility, and reasoning. This study investigated whether there was an inhibition control advantage for highly proficient Spanish-English late-bilingual adults, compared to Spanish-speaking monolingual adults in Bogotá, Colombia. The study utilized the Victoria version of the Stroop Task (Stroop, 1935) to measure the abilities of inhibitory control between the two groups, in addition to other measures to determine second language proficiency levels. A total of 21 monolingual and 20 bilingual participants between the ages of 20 to 38 took part in the study. Results showed that there was no significant difference in response times between the bilingual and monolingual participants when performing the Stroop task. The implications of these results, the limitations of the study and recommended changes for future studies, which could potentially demonstrate a bilingual advantage, are discussed.

Biografía del autor/a

Andrew Kurt Langley, Universidad de los Andes

Andrew Langley is a Professor of English as a Foreign Language currently residing in Bogotá, Colombia.  He graduated with a Master’s in Education from Universidad de los Andes in Spring of 2019 with a concentration in Bilingual Education. His research focuses on the bilingual/multilingual advantages, specifically in terms of inhibition control and its overall effect on the concept of bilingualism/multilingualism.



Cómo citar

Langley, A. K., García Cardona, P. B., & Díaz, S. A. (2022). The Bilingual Dilemma: Inhibiting Interference & its Effect on the Bilingual Advantage. Revista Signos. Estudios De Lingüística, 55(109). Recuperado a partir de