Local Stories

University of Houston research finds potential key to learning a new language

University of Houston research finds potential key to learning a new language

The Venture

houston

A new study by University of Houston (UH) researchers may lead to dramatic changes in the way language is taught and learned – especially a second language. These findings are important because statistics show 60 percent of the children in the Houston Independent School District are non-native English speakers, a category on the rise across the United States.

Arturo Hernandez, director of the developmental graduate program in psychology at UH, used neuroimaging methods, as well as behavior techniques, to investigate language acquisition in the bilingual brain, mapping how the bilingual brain processes language acquisition and observing how it changes over time.

“There is a lot of interest in the brain and interest in bilingualism, but few people put those two together,” Hernandez said. “People used to think of the mind as separate from the brain. Now, they understand that what happens in the mind is the product of what the brain does.”

Hernandez, who also serves as director of the Laboratory for the Neural Bases of Bilingualism at UH and is the author of a new book, “The Bilingual Brain,” said recent research explores whether bilinguals have more plasticity and adaptability because they have learned two sounds systems and can learn vocabulary words better than monolinguals. He wondered whether could they learn a third sound system better.

To find out, a UH post-doctoral researcher Pilar Archila-Suerte teamed up with Hernandez and Ferenc Bunta, assistant professor in communication sciences & disorders who specializes in bilingual phonological acquisition. The research team selected Hungarian sounds the participants had never heard before, and that neither resembled Spanish nor sounded like English, to establish a level playing field for monolinguals and bilinguals.

The researchers found…

Finish reading UH research finds potential key to learning a new language

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Local Stories

More in Local Stories

bel7

Baile En La Calle Offers Art, Dance and Solidarity

Latina ListaMay 5, 2015
Meriden-collage

For Latinos, Meriden, CT Has Reached The “Tipping Point”

Latina ListaMay 4, 2015
Cinco-De-Mayo-Weekend-2014-Las-Vegas-700x325

Cinco de Mayo: A Battle for Recognition

Latina ListaMay 1, 2015
Border Update

Johnson: Border more secure, but it’s not ‘mission accomplished’ time yet

Latina ListaApril 30, 2015
IMG_6843-771x514

Audit Details Racial Discrepancy in OKC Schools Suspensions

Latina ListaApril 29, 2015
fot_gal2

Mexico’s organized crime targets higher education

Latina ListaApril 22, 2015
Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 1.44.10 PM

San Antonio site of first rollout of bilingual mobile app to boost voting

Latina ListaApril 21, 2015
UYA

Astros Urban Youth graduate Pablo Salazar lands college baseball scholarship

Latina ListaApril 20, 2015
Arizona Activists Hold Vigil To Protest New Immigration Law At White House

Court affirms ruling that Maricopa deputies used race in traffic stops

Latina ListaApril 16, 2015