Universiteit Leiden

nl en


Language comprehension and its social consequences

  • Alice Foucart (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)
Wednesday 22 May 2019
P.N. van Eyckhof 2
P.N. van Eyckhof 2
2311 BV Leiden


There is no doubt that speaking a second language (L2) is an asset as it allows communicating with people from other cultures and expressing the world with other words. However, using a language that is not one’s native language can affect cognitive processes related to various aspects of our everyday life. This is true for non-native speakers who process language in their L2, but also for native speakers who listened to non-native speech. In this talk I will present (electro-)physiological and behavioural data that show how language processing impacts different cognitive processes and the consequences on social interaction. I will first present a set of studies that reveal that processing foreign-accented speech affects sentence processing and the speaker’s overall perception, which can lead to discriminations. In a second part of the talk, I will present recent studies reporting the ‘foreign language effect’, which refers to the observation that people tend to be more rational when making decisions in a foreign language than in a native language. Overall, I will intend to demonstrate with empirical data that, although there may be some negative consequences, speaking a foreign language has positive consequences on many aspects.

This website uses cookies.  More information.