The effect of bilingual representation in prose reading on explicit and implicit memory

Guangxue Yang, Florida International University


Chinese-English bilingual students were randomly assigned to three reading conditions: In the English-English (E-E) condition (n = 44), a text in English was read twice; in the English-Chinese (E-C) condition (n = 30), the English text was read first and its Chinese translation was read second; in the Chinese-English (C-E) condition (n = 30), the Chinese text was read first and English second. An expected explicit memory test on propositions in the format of sentence verification was given followed by an unexpected implicit memory test on unfamiliar word-forms. Analyses of covariance were conducted with explicit and implicit memory scores as the dependent variables, reading condition (bilingual versus monolingual) as the independent variable, and TOEFL reading score as the covariate. The results showed that the bilingual reading groups outperformed the monolingual reading group on explicit memory tested by sentence-verification but not on implicit memory tested by forced-choice word-identification, implying that bilingual representation facilitates explicit memory of propositional information but not implicit memory of lexical forms. The findings were interpreted as consistent with separate bilingual memory-storage models and the implications of such models in the study of cognitive structures were discussed in relationship to issues of dual coding theory, multiple memory systems, and the linguistic relativity philosophy.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Education

Recommended Citation

Yang, Guangxue, "The effect of bilingual representation in prose reading on explicit and implicit memory" (1992). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI9231102.