The Bilingual Mind and Emotional Brain: Evidence from the Emotional Stroop Task

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  • This study aimed to investigate the emotional interference between Portuguese (L1) and English (L2) in bilingual Brazilians correlated with their immersion time in the L2 environment. With this, it was possible to understand how emotions are connected to language learning (English in this study) in speakers of other languages when immersed in the L2 environment. The study was supported by the theories of the Second Language Acquisition and Mind, Brain, and Education of studies by Stephen Krashen, François Grosjean, Aneta Pavlenko, Jeanine Treffers-Daller, Michael Thomas Ullman, David Birdsong, Tracey Tokuhama-Espinosa, Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, Jaak Panksepp, and Monica Rosselli. The sample consisted of 47 participants, divided into two groups: less than five years and more than five years residing in the US. A mixed 2x2x2 and 3x2x2 factorial ANOVAs were conducted to compare the main effects of items (congruent, incongruent, positive, negative, and neutral words), language (Portuguese and English), and residence time (five years or less; five years or more) in a Traditional and Emotional Stroop Tests of colors and words. ANOVA did find a significant difference effect for words in the Traditional and Emotional STROOP Tasks. ANOVA did not find a significant difference for language and residence time. No significant interaction between item (words), language, and residence time was found in either of the Tasks. The findings in this research can provide a better understanding about emotional interference between L1 and L2 in sequential bilinguals, and that the affective processing of words in L2 is related to the age of acquisition, type of acquisition, language in use, and not to length of residence time in second language environment.
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  • 04/16/2024
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