The comparative skills of more and less balanced bilinguals in discriminating L3 consonant sounds

Book Title
Cristina Mourón Figueroa y Teresa Iciar Moralejo Gárate
327 - 334
Universidad de Santiago de Compostela

Bilingualism, either seen as opposed to monolingualism or regarded as better bilingual proficiency, has been found to usually exert a favourable influence on the acquisition of other languages. However, the number of phonetic studies on this issue is very limited. Our study aims at analysing the comparative skills of more and less balanced bilinguals (Basque/Spanish) in perceiving English consonant phonemes. Both groups performed similarly, which was accounted for in terms of factors such as (1) the similarity between Basque and Spanish consonant systems, (2) the fact that both groups of bilinguals attended English lessons together and (3) the fact that bilingualism is usually associated with better L3 results when dealing with general aspects of language proficiency than when coping with very specific aspects of linguistic competence.