Bilingualism: Language and Cognition

Research Article

The effect of dual task demands and proficiency on second language speech production*


a1 Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen University, Institute of Psychology

a2 Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University


In this study we examined how the introduction of a parallel finger-tapping task influences second language (L2) speech encoding mechanisms and monitoring processes, and how the level of proficiency impacts the efficiency and accuracy of L2 performance under single and dual task conditions. The results indicate that imposing dual task demands had a negative effect on the accuracy of lexical selection and the efficiency of error-correction processes. We argue that this can be explained with reference to attentional bottleneck effects on lexical selection processes and on monitoring. The findings also reveal that the level of L2 competence influenced both the speed and the accuracy of speech encoding processes and the efficiency of monitoring.

(Received February 20 2011)

(Revised September 21 2011)

(Accepted September 27 2011)

(Online publication January 04 2012)


c1 Address for correspondence: Judit Kormos, Lancaster University, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Bailrigg, County South LA1 5FB, UK


* The first author was supported by a grant funded by the Hungarian Scholarship Board (MOB-193-1/2009. We thank the three anonymous reviewers of this paper for their detailed comments and useful suggestions.