Ageing with bilingualism: benefits and challenges

Lyndsey Nickels*, Solène Hameau, Vishnu K.K. Nair, Polly Barr, Britta Biedermann

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Much of the world’s population speaks more than one language, and there has been a great deal of media attention given to the potential benefits of bilingualism. In this paper we provide a critical overview of the literature on bilingualism as it relates to older adults. We address whether there is indeed a cognitive advantage from speaking more than one language, and whether it can help preserve cognitive and linguistic function as we age, and potentially reduce the impact of dementia. We also focus on the patterns of language impairment after stroke (aphasia) in bilingual speakers and the issues relating to clinical management of bilingual aphasia.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)32-50
    Number of pages19
    JournalSpeech, Language and Hearing
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2019


    • bilingualism
    • ageing
    • bilingual aphasia
    • bilingual dementia
    • cognitive reserve

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