LAboratoire de Psychologie
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L'étude de la cognition depuis ses bases cérébrales jusqu'à sa régulation sous l'influence de l'environnement social

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Accueil > Séminaires

23/09/2021 – Hyeonjeong JEONG

par Ludovic FERRAND - publié le , mis à jour le

Brain mechanisms of language acquisition through social interaction.

Date : 23 septembre 2021
Heure : 10h00 - 11h30
Lieu : Teams


Among the central questions in the second language (L2) acquisition research is whether learning is enhanced through enriched environments, such as real-life conversation or person-to-person interaction, and how this is achieved. From a social cognitive neuroscience perspective, I present two lines of research that attempt to answer these questions. First, I will present a series of fMRI experiments investigating how brain mechanisms of L2 learning from social contexts differ from those of L2 learning from translation. In one study, participants encountered new L2 words either in real-life situations (i.e., social contexts) or through L1 translation (Jeong et al., 2020). While the former involves integrating both verbal and non-verbal information, the latter relies on rote memorization. The learners who recruited the brain network involved in processing non-verbal information during learning could acquire and retain the L2 knowledge efficiently. In another study, I examined how the mode of communication (e.g., online face-to-face versus recorded video) influences brain mechanisms during L2 communication (Jeong et al., 2010). Compared with offline recorded video communication, online, face-to-face communication improved diverse aspects of communicative ability. The findings indicate that L2 competence required in our global society may be effectively fostered through face-to-face interaction. Through this talk, I argue that cognitive neuroscience enables researchers to understand precise brain mechanisms underlying L2 learning (Li & Jeong ., 2020) and may provide pedagogical implications for L2 learning and teaching.


1. Jeong H, Li P, Suzuki W, Sugiura M, Kawashima R. (2020). Neural mechanisms of language learning from social contexts, Brain and Language,212, 104874.
2. Li, P., & Jeong, H. (2020). The social brain of language : Grounding second language learning in social interaction. npj Science of Learning 5(1).
3. Jeong H, Hashizume H, Sugiura M, Sassa Y, Yokoyama S, Shiozaki S, Kawashima R (2011) Testing second language oral proficiency in direct and semi-direct settings : a social-cognitive neuroscience perspective. Language Learning, 61, 675-699.


Hyeonjeong JEONG (Graduate School of International Cultural Studies & Department of Human Brain Science, IDAC, Tohoku University, Japan)

Short bio : Hyeonjeong is Associate Professor at Tohoku University. Her research interests include brain mechanisms of second language acquisition, particularly the effect of cross-linguistic influence and social cognition in language learning and communication. She has published articles in npj Science of Learning, Human Brain Mapping, Brain and Language, NeuroImage, Neuropsychologia, and Language Learning.