Neuroplasticity, individual differences, and context of learning in second language acquisition

Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic research


Understanding the cognitive mechanisms of second language (L2) acquisition is central to the field of applied linguistics. The neural mechanisms of first language and L2 acquisition have also become increasingly important to mainstream cognitive neuroscience today. Extensively debated topics include the effects of the age of acquisition in the multilingual brain, bilingual language control in the brain, the neural plasticity of L2 learning, and individual learner differences in the brain. This invited colloquium highlights for applied linguists what and how cognitive neuroscientists have attempted to reveal neural mechanisms of L2 acquisition. This colloquium brings together three cognitive neuroscientists who focus on L2 acquisition and bilingualism in the brain. Arturo E. Hernandez presents a series of studies that systematically investigate the role of age of acquisition, language proficiency, and cognitive control in the neural representation of bilinguals. Dynamic and complex interplays among these factors will also be discussed. Ping Li presents on multimodal behavioral and imaging studies that examine the effect of learning contexts using virtual learning technologies and learner differences in the brain. Li discusses semantic representations of L1 and L2 and how functional and structural neuroplasticity occurs due to the L2 experience and the context of learning. Hyeonjeong Jeong then overviews a series of collaborative studies with applied linguists to examine major research topics in their field (e.g., corrective feedback, learner differences, explicit and implicit knowledge). A major goal of this symposium is to bring together cognitive neuroscientists and applied linguists for future collaboration on issues of mutual concern and interest.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021
EventSymposium on Neuroscience of Second Language Acquisition: Opportunities and Challenges - Virtual Conference
Duration: 19 Mar 202123 Mar 2021


Forum/SymposiumSymposium on Neuroscience of Second Language Acquisition: Opportunities and Challenges
Abbreviated titleAAAL 2021
Internet address

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