Journal of Undergraduate Research


cerebral lateralization, second language, left-hemisphere dominance, right-handed monolinguals


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




It has been generally accepted that language shows left-hemisphere dominance in right-handed monolinguals. In contrast, current models of L2 lateralization reveal no such consensus. Some studies (Galloway and Scarcella 1982; Gordon and Zatorre 1981; Paradis 1992) have either found no evidence supporting increased right hemisphere involvement in L2 processing or indicated that bilinguals’ L2 is not any more bilaterally organized than their L1. Other studies (Ke 1992; Hoosain and Shiu 1989; Jia et. al. 2013) have shown the opposite, finding that the L2 is significantly less left-lateralized. Still other studies have suggested that there is simply too much inter-individual variation in L2 organization to make generalizations useful (Perani et al 1996). It may be the case that factors like proficiency level or age of acquisition, have the greatest effect on lateralization. Overall, the research on this topic has mainly focused on adults with high attained proficiencies in their L2. Most studies have investigated L2s that are closely related to the L1. The literature could benefit from studies including subjects of different age groups, different proficiency levels, and more diverse L1/L2 diads. This study seeks to contribute evidence to a model of cortical representation of second language by administering a Dichotic Listening (DL) task to a group of Korean fifth-grade elementary school students learning English in school as a foreign language.

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