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Title of Approved Individual Major
Primary Wellesley Thesis Advisor
The current study investigated the relationship between age of acquisition (AOA) of a second language and lexical retrieval ability in bilinguals. This study compared the lexical retrieval ability of 30 English monolinguals, 25 early Spanish-English bilinguals (AOA birth to three years), and 17 late Spanish-English bilinguals (AOA four to nine years). Participants completed a picture-naming task in English, a measure of non-verbal intelligence (Cattell Culture Fair Test), and a standardized measure of vocabulary size (PPVT-III). We predicted that both bilingual groups would experience more lexical retrieval difficulty on the picture naming tasks relative to monolinguals but that early bilinguals would experience less difficulty than late bilinguals.