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The effect of a bilingual learning mode on the establishment of lexical semantic representations in the L2

Elgort, Irina; Piasecki, Anna E


Irina Elgort

Anna Piasecki
Interim Head of School of Arts and Cultural Industries


Deliberate vocabulary learning is common in the L2, however, questions remain about most efficient and effective forms of this learning approach. Bilingual models of L2 word learning and processing can be used to make predictions about outcomes of learning new vocabulary from bilingual (L2-L1) flashcards, and these predictions can be tested experimentally. In the present study, 41 late adult German-English bilinguals learned 48 English pseudowords using bilingual flashcards. Quality of component lexical representations established for the studied items was probed using form priming and semantic priming. The results show that, although all participants were able to establish robust orthographic representations of the studied items, only bilinguals with large L2 vocabularies established high-quality lexical semantic representations. With neither the Revised Hierarchical Model (RHM) nor the Sense Model able to fully account for these findings, an alternative explanation based on a distributed semantic features view of word learning is proposed. Learning implications of the findings are discussed. © Cambridge University Press 2013.


Piasecki, A. E., Elgort, I., & Piasecki, A. E. (2014). The effect of a bilingual learning mode on the establishment of lexical semantic representations in the L2. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 17(3), 572-588.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2014
Journal Bilingualism
Print ISSN 1366-7289
Electronic ISSN 1469-1841
Publisher Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 17
Issue 3
Pages 572-588
Keywords L2 word learning, lexical semantic memory, semantic priming, orthographic priming, bilingual
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Additional Information : Published online: 13 November 2013