One of the advantages of being bi-/multi-lingual is said to connect to the inhibitory control system that one uses to switch from one language to the other. To speak L2, one has to suppress L1. To understand this system better, the study reported in this article pays attention to the mode that a participant is in (the native L1 mode, the non-native L2 mode, or a mode where both L1 and L2 are used equally). This study shows that the particular mode that a participant is in crucially determines how the inhibitory control works. When a participant is in the L2 mode, L2 functions more like an L1, leading to the same inhibitory control behaviour that we find if the participant is in the L1 mode. In other words, suppressing L2 can yield the same inhibitory control as suppressing L1 if one is in an L2 mode.

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