Understanding Cross-Language Self-Derivation through Language Source Memory in Bilingual College Students Open Access

Sheth, Kaveri (Spring 2019)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/4q77fs521?locale=en


Knowledge can be learned and also built up through the productive process of self-derivation through integration. During this process, learners acquire information through direct tuition in separate but related episodes, integrate these episodes, and form new knowledge that was never directly provided. Adults who learn information in multiple languages encounter separate episodes across languages, where episodes share low surface similarity. This low surface similarity of cross-language episodes may make integration difficult, because it is harder to recognize the relatedness between episodes. The primary goal of the present study was to understand how the presentation of information in different languages impacts self-derivation through integration. The prediction that cross-language integration may be a challenge rests on the assumption that the participant attends to and encodes the surface feature of the language in which the fact was learned. If the participant attended to the source of the fact, then they encoded or “tagged” the fact in terms of the language in which it was presented. If this is the case, then participants should be able to identify the source (the language) in which the individual facts were presented. Spanish-English bilingual college students were presented with audio recordings of fact pairs within and across languages in English and Spanish, accompanied by a visual cue. Participants were assessed for self-derivation of new knowledge through integration and the source of the individual stem facts and the perceptions of the new knowledge self-derived through integration. Participants successfully self-derived new information within and across languages. They were most successful in the within-language condition, supporting the assumption that cross-language integration is challenging. Furthermore, participants were able to successfully nominate the source of the facts in the within-language conditions and one cross-language condition. Variability in performance could be attributed to Spanish proficiency levels. The results provide evidence that cross-language integration is difficult because participants successfully encode the source, indeed paying attention to the surface features of the fact, and thus must overcome low levels of surface similarity in order to integrate separate facts and self-derive new knowledge. 

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction. 1

Self-Derivation through Integration. 1

Cross-Language Self-Derivation. 3

Present Study. 6

Hypotheses. 6

Method. 7

Participants. 7

Materials. 7

Procedure. 10

Scoring. 12

Results. 12

Is Cross-Language Integration More Challenging than Within-Language Integration?. 13

Do Participants Encode the Source of the Stem Facts and New Facts?. 14

What are the Perceptions of the Newly Self-Derived Knowledge?. 16

Discussion. 16

Limitations. 19

Conclusion. 19

References. 21

Tables and Figures. 23

Appendix A.. 33

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