Gigi Luk's research on the cognitive consequences of bilingualism extends across the lifespan. These cognitive consequences include literacy acquisition in children and executive functions in young and older adults. The main research finding is that bilingualism, as a language experience, results in some cognitive advantages and linguistic limitations at different developmental stages. She investigates bilingual consequences using both behavioral and neuroimaging techniques.
In addition to investigating the science of bilingualism, Dr. Luk has examined how to harness scientific findings on bilingualism to improve educational experience for children from diverse language backgrounds. In particular, she has established a research program investigating: (1) effective ways to measure bilingualism in schools; (2) relevance of knowledge on bilingualism and executive functions to language and literacy outcomes; and (3) relationship between academic outcomes, quality and quantity of bilingual experience.
Dr. Luk obtained her Ph. D. in Cognitive Psychology from York University in Toronto, Canada. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rotman Research Institute at the Baycrest Center in Toronto. She joined the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2011.
For more information about ongoing projects, please visit Brain.Experience.Education Lab.