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Reed psychology professor receives National Science Foundation grant to study

Enriqueta Canseco-Gonzalez plans to research how bilinguals recognize

PORTLAND, OR (November 12, 2004) - Enriqueta Canseco-Gonzalez, an associate professor of psychology at Reed College, was recently awarded a Minority Career Advancement Award (MCAA) grant from the National Science Foundation to study how bilingual individuals recognize words. The award comes in the form of a $55,645 stipend.

In the study, Canseco-Gonzalez intends to explore the nature or word recognition of bilinguals, and whether or not the recognition of words is limited to the language context of the sentence. For example, Canseco-Gonzalez notes, "when a Spanish-English bilingual hears the sentence, ‘Click on the beaker,’ does he/she only activate English words compatible with the initial phonemes of the word beaker (e.g. beetle), or does he/she also activate compatible Spanish words as well (e.g. bigote, or ‘mustache,’ and pronounced ‘bee-goat-ay’)?

Canseco-Gonzalez believes the study to be of immense importance to society. She states that "the results of this [research] will directly benefit society by increasing our understanding of bilingualism." For example, she suggests it will aid policy makers in places like California in making decisions regarding such diverse areas as education, language, policies in the work place, immigration, and human services.

She also believes that the work will also "aid educators designing foreign language curriculum to formulate the most effective teaching environment."


Reed College
Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes Scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information, visit .