Multilingualism, education and the brain

PI: Esli Struys


This research strand focuses on the neurocognitive study of multilingualism, with a special focus on multilingual development in children, language switching, the bilingual advantage in cognitive processing, the cognitive effects of multilingual education, and professional interpreting.


Functional and Structural Plasticity in the Bilingual Brain

Researchers: Esli Struys

In this fMRI and DTI driven research it is shown how the brains’ functionality and connectivity changes in multilingual children and adults. Specifically, the variability within multilingual populations was examined. Multilingual speakers who speak different languages on a daily basis show cognitive advantages compared to other multilinguals and monolinguals.


Cognition, CLIL and Mathematics

Researcher: Jill Surmont

Cognitive differences between CLIL learners and non-CLIL learners are examined at secondary school level.


Mathematical processing in bilinguals

Researcher: Liu Chang

Chinese and western learners approach mathematical processing differently. This study investigates to what extent immersion in the western culture has an effect on how Chinese students process mathematics.


The cognition of trilingual education

Researcher: Ruilin Wu

This study investigates the effects of trilingual education in the Uyghur Region, China, on language and cognitive development in young adults.


Interpreting and cognitive control

Researcher: Nour Soudabeh

Simultaneous interpreting can be considered as an extreme form of multilingual language control. The main question of this doctoral research is to what extent these control requirements transfer into domain-general advantages in cognitive control.


Less Dyslexia in CLIL Schools. An fMRI study

Researcher: Em. Prof. Piet Van de Craen

The number of dyslexic children in CLIL schools is far below average. It is hypothesized that this might be due to the implicit learning process and the role of the cerebellum in implicit learning.