Psychology

Learning while listening to a foreign language

+ See all authors and affiliations

Science  24 Jul 2015:
Vol. 349, Issue 6246, pp. 393
DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6246.393-b

Speech not only conveys information in the form of the words uttered, but it also provides auditory cues that identify the speaker. Orena et al. now show that knowledge of the language spoken helped listeners to identify a speaker. The authors compared English-monolingual Montréal residents who could not understand spoken French or speak French themselves, to a similar set of residents of Connecticut, who were not regularly exposed to French. Montréal residents were better than the Connecticut residents at identifying the French-speaker voices, demonstrating that mere exposure improves language skills.

Cognition 143, 36 (2015).

Navigate This Article