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Developmental Brown Bag
October 2, 2019 @ 12:00 pm
Speaker: Christina Schonberg, Title and abstract below!
“Language as an agent of cognitive change”
Early language experiences have far-reaching outcomes, from academic achievement to income and health later in life. In this talk, I examine the effects of different types of variability in early language on higher-order cognitive processes, as these processes are implicated in long-term outcomes. In Study 1, I discuss the effects of individual-level language variability—variability in word knowledge—on cognitive flexibility. In Study 2, I discuss the effects of environment-level language variability—through bilingual language exposure—on categorization. Finally, I discuss future directions for my work, including planned investigations of how children actively use language to support their thinking. Investigating children’s language use will expand current knowledge of how language affects cognitive development, which is currently based on measures of language exposure and knowledge, by showing that these components play complementary roles in shaping thinking and learning.