ArticlesVol. 3, No. 2 (2003)

The Bilingual Brain

Monika Ekiert

Teachers College, Columbia University

Abstract

The 2003 Applied Linguistics and Language Education (APPLE) Award Winning M.A. Essay in TESOL
Increased understanding of the ways in which multiple languages are represented in bilingual speakers’ brains would undoubtedly advance several theoretical issues in areas such as language acquisition and performance theory. The progress of science forces linguists to draw upon relevant data from neurolinguistics and opens a new avenue for SLA researchers. This literature review will examine neurolinguistic models that have been proposed as an explanation for the coexistence of multiple languages in a single brain and the mechanisms of linguistic segregation. An overview of the study of language localization will be presented, followed by a discussion of neurolinguistic studies investigating the cerebral representation of language in bilinguals. A particular area of focus will be factors affecting language representation in the bilingual brain.