#CASTalks: Semantic Implicit Learning, Bilingual Language Activation, and Their Meeting Point

Post date: 27-Oct-2020 10:19:16

Please join us this Saturday, October 31, 2020 for our #CASTalks Research Seminar Series in cooperation with our MA in Applied Linguistics Program. Please register HERE

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Semantic Implicit Learning, Bilingual Language Activation, and their Meeting Point

Dave Kenneth Tayao Cayado

Speech, Language, and Cognition Laboratory, The University of Hong Kong

The Morphemes and Meaning Laboratory, Queen Mary, University of London

October 31, 2020

1:30-3:00 PM

Via Zoom


Ample evidence has shown that bilinguals are unable to ‘switch off’ their non-current language(s) in real-time processing, but whether the activation of non-current language affects learning at the implicit level remains an empirical question. In the first half of this talk, I will provide a background on the current literature in semantic implicit learning, and the role that implicit learning mechanism plays in Second Language Acquisition (SLA). The second half of the talk will show existing evidence that demonstrates bilinguals’ inability to ‘turn off’ their non-current language(s). Then I will report two experiments that bridge the gap between implicit learning and bilingual lexical processing literatures, with particular focus on the potential influence of the covert activation of bilinguals’ non-current language on implicit learning of novel form-meaning connections. This shall explain whether the simultaneous activation of bilinguals’ languages would also influence the development of new linguistic knowledge at the implicit level. In addition, this line of research may also show how attainable implicit learning mechanism is for bilingual speakers who are prone to cross-linguistic influences and L1 transfer. Finally, I will discuss the implications of the said experiments with regard to second language learning and pedagogy.


Dave Kenneth Tayao Cayado is currently finishing his Master of Philosophy (M.Phil) in Experimental Psycholinguistics at the University of Hong Kong as a recipient of HKU’s research postgraduate studentship award. Starting next year, he will be pursuing a PhD in Neurobiology of Language at the Queen Mary, University of London funded by QMUL’s principal postgraduate research studentship. His research interests include implicit language learning, bilingual language activation, and neural bases of language processing.