Madelyn Kloske

Student NameMadelyn Kloske
Faculty Mentor NameEleonora Rossi, PhD
CollegeCollege of Liberal Arts and Sciences
MajorLinguistics, Spanish
Research InterestsBilingualism, Second Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics, Neurolinguistics
Academic AwardsDean’s List Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018, Spring 2019, Summer 2019, Fall 2019; Sigma Deta Pi (Beta Rho); National Spanish Honor Society Member, Spring 2019-present; Rocket City Gator Club Scholarship 2017, 2020; University Scholars Program 2020
OrganizationsFlorida Club Rowing, Sigma Delta Pi (Beta Rho), Undergraduate Linguistics Society (LingSoc), NaviGators International
Hobbies and Interests Rowing, mountain biking, running, language learning

Research Project

Social Network Approaches to Bilingualism

“The ability to communicate is a ubiquitous experience for humans, from childhood to older age. Communication is central to health and wellbeing, and essential to form social networks, obtain social support, and reduce social isolation in both the general population and older adults [1]. Converging findings suggest that bilingualism, even when developed later in life, results in greater rapid language-independent neuro-cognitive changes [2]. These changes likely contribute to individuals’ “cognitive reserve”, an index of brain “fitness” that protects against the rate of decline associated with normal and pathological aging [3],[4]. Crucially, recent research has also pointed to the role of bilingualism as a factor that increases personal social networks [5], suggesting that bilingualism enhances the diversity and richness of people’s social interactions. To date however, the research on how bilingualism shapes our social networks is minimal. The goal of this project is to create a first version of a mini-social network questionnaire that will be fully deliverable online via Qualtrics. This social network tool will be deployed to a large number of speakers, both monolinguals and bilinguals. It is hypothesized that this new tool will help researchers understand how speaking more than one language can shape our social networks.

References: [1] Thoits, Peggy A. 2011. “Mechanisms Linking Social Ties and Support to Physical and Mental Health.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 52(2):145–61. [2] Rossi, E., Cheng, H., Kroll, J. F., Diaz, M. T., & Newman, S. D. (2017). Changes in white-matter connectivity in late second language learners: Evidence from diffusion tensor imaging. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 2040. [3] Craik, F. I., Bialystok, E., & Freedman, M. (2010). Delaying the onset of Alzheimer disease: Bilingualism as a form of cognitive reserve. Neurology, 75(19), 1726-1729. [4] Gold, B. T., Johnson, N. F., & Powell, D. K. (2013). Lifelong bilingualism contributes to cognitive reserve against white matter integrity declines in aging. Neuropsychologia, 51(13), 2841-2846. [5] Gullifer, J. W., & Titone, D. (2019). Characterizing the social diversity of bilingualism using language entropy. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition, 1-12.