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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Bilingual Brain by University of Houston

576 ratings

About the Course

This course explores the brain bases of bilingualism by discussing literature relevant to differences in age of initial learning, proficiency, and control in the nonverbal, single language and dual-language literature. Participants will learn about the latest research related to how humans learn one or two languages and other cognitive skills....

Top reviews


Jan 19, 2021

Amazing and I have learned a lot. I am a Bilingual myself and it really sheds light on how the brain works in terms of learning and being proficient in two languages or more for others.


Jan 17, 2018

This course helped me in understanding various aspects of how brain and mind works and how we can use these knowledge for studying different languages and also when we multitasks

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1 - 25 of 139 Reviews for The Bilingual Brain

By olivier h

Feb 24, 2018

The subject taught in this course impassionates me. Maybe it's the reason I'm so disappointed by the course. Please consider this highly negative review as an sting, an encouragement for the authors to make it better !

In my opinion, the course lacks some material, I would expect more links to external articles or sources.

Then I would expect more interesting videos : most of the time, Prof Arturo Hernandez speaks to the camera, and there is almost no illustration to support the discourse, and when there is some, it is sometime difficult to understand or even to read. The course could have as well been offered as an audio podcast!

Asking a question after each video is a good thing, but unfortunately, I had many times the feeling that it could have been better chosen or formulated. I would rather have first a quiz testing if the student understood and memorized the main facts presented, to then have maybe questions requiring more thinking. More disturbing: there seems to be some errors in the final quiz (which is easy to spot because the questions are the same as those in the intermediate quizzes each week), those errors have been reported in the forum one year ago, and are still there! No staff seem to actually read the forum/

But the most disturbing in the course is the lack of a good solid structure. Some videos last 1 minute , others 19 minutes, it give a feeling of inconsistency. When Prof Hernandez lectures, he seems sometimes not fully prepared, as if improvising, hesitating ... He too often cites research papers or refers to studies results for adding then that the results were inconclusive, subject to caution, questionable, or even rebutted by some later study. What's the conclusion then?

One thing I liked are the office hours videos! Interesting questions addressed in a more natural and agreeable way.

By Jade S

Jan 19, 2021

Amazing and I have learned a lot. I am a Bilingual myself and it really sheds light on how the brain works in terms of learning and being proficient in two languages or more for others.

By Shaoyun H

Dec 7, 2017

In general this is a great course. For those who have no pre-existing knowledge in the cognitive linguistics field it offers a comprehensive review of established researches. All the videos are in the form of lecture except the office hour ones, which makes the lessons a bit boring at first sight, but when one have dived into them and got used to this way of teaching the intriguing contents start to weigh heavier. There are only two suggestions for improvement. First, it would be nice to have an introduction of brain parts. Second, if students could take exercises and get assignments in more than one way rather than simply re-do the video questions in the quiz section, it would definitely make the lessons even more attractive and help learners memorize better. Anyway, thank you Prof. Hernandez for this great course.

By Zeel R

Jan 18, 2018

This course helped me in understanding various aspects of how brain and mind works and how we can use these knowledge for studying different languages and also when we multitasks

By Ema N

Mar 2, 2018

I think the subject matter is fascinating and am imagining that Dr. Hernandez's research in the field is cutting edge. However, he isn't a very good lecturer (rambling and not very clear). Sometimes his message is not clear (even listening a few times and reading the transcript), and it was difficult trying to locate the original research that he's talking about, because no written references are provided and one can't even really be sure of how the authors' names are spelled.

Having taken several Coursera courses, I was also severely disappointed in the lack of interaction with other learners. The forums are mostly abandoned, and there appear not to be any humans behind the running of the course. It's like on autopilot since after its first run in 2014.

All in all, I think the content would be most interesting if presented better, but it was a disappointing, if not downright frustrating, Coursera experience. I do hope the University of Houston System considers updating and improving it.

By Irina M

Jun 13, 2018

Very interesting insight of the bilingual brain processing that helps me understand my bilingual children better, working with the other bilingual children (teaching them Russian Mother tongue), how to keep L1 going, when L2 is dominant (due to the environment) and exposing them to other languages. The importance of Age of Acquisition, the difference between early learners and late learners of the languages, the language proficiency, its expertise, control, flexibility, the language loss and recovery and so on - all these aspects play a huge role in Billinguism. This course is based on psychological scientific studies, tests, referrals to the actual brain areas, its function. Thank you, Dr. Hernandez, really enjoyed your course!

By Shu J

Oct 31, 2016

A great course for those who are interested in the fascinating bilingual research going on in area. Clearly stated, up-to-date literature shared.

By Anne-Laure F

Jan 31, 2017

Great lecturer giving an up-to-date and accessible state of the research on the bilingual brain, based on a wide range of studies including his own. Great way to get a sense of what neuropsychology is for beginners. I was expecting more on how bilingualism influence the way we think / process information / create, but the response has been that things are much more complex than that... I recommand this course to anyone curious about bilingualism.

By Stanley W

Jan 18, 2021

An exceptional course that really opened my eyes to the neuro-science behind bilingualism. For those without a psychology background, some brain-related terminology can be a little daunting, but the lecturer made a huge amount of effort to give anecdotes and research findings that are so authentic and real that it was simply a pleasure to be engaging with the materials each week!

By Andréa M H

Apr 30, 2017

Excellent! I would recommend to all those working on bilingual education and consulting for parents about it.

By OlgaRudina

Jul 2, 2017

Great! Arturo Hernandez is a very talented person and great professor

By Carla S

Mar 30, 2017

I loved the course because I surely learned a lot!!! Thank you!

By Irena B

Oct 1, 2020

A very interesting topic, but highly unstructured course. No papers to read or write doesn't help either. This is a subject I have a burning interest for, so I kept learning as much as I could from the videos. Unfortunately, quiz would not always correspond to what was being said, or demanded knowledge which was impossible to retain from just the spoken word. Please, include some articles or chapters from a book in the course, and a bibliography list for those who want to continue learning.

By Margarita E M

Aug 7, 2021

I found this course particularly insightful and very useful in order to better understand how the bilingual brain works, how exactly the two or more languages are organised and interact on both cognitive (mind) and neural (brain) level, the neural mechanisms that come into play when there's more than one language involved and ultimately which factors influence the degree and extent at which someone will be defined as a proficient user in their second language. Through this course, I was introduced to novel notions which I hadn't the opportunity to explore during my University course, and thus it helped me expanding my existing knowledge on the subject, providing me with strong fundamentals that will eventually aid me to further explore, academically, aspects linked to the marvellous and yet complex nature of the bilingual brain.

By Alex C

Jan 10, 2022

I enjoyed this course much more than I thought i would. I positively ate it in a couple of days as it was fascinating material! It was not fantastically challenging but hey thats up to you as a student as to where you take it. Lots of ah ha moments and I am bilingual as is my wife - she has no accent and i have a terrible one...guess who was at a young age in the other country and who was the late learner. I also know a lot of lecturers in foreign languages etc with terrible accents. Always wondered about the proficiency and speech etc. Many thanks for this entertaining subject matter and enlightening course

By Sonja W

Jun 26, 2020

Growing up a bilingual (German/ English) and becoming a multilingual as an adult, I have truly enjoyed this course. I have been able to respond to and resonate with many of the concepts within each week, with many Ah- ha! moments throughout. It is wonderful to learn about the ongoing and current research in this area of study. This course has offered me with a wonderful insight into where my postgrad journey can take me next - and I am truly excited! (Loved the final exam quiz. I surprised myself in how much I remembered from the content.) Thank you for all your time and effort!

By Renee K

Feb 2, 2021

The eight weeks of this course were quite good and I've learned much more about the linguistical forms of language and comparing the non-nativeness of individuals and the differences between language learners that are either monolingual, bilingual, trilingual, and the rest...If you're interested in learning more about linguistics I'd highly recommend this course and Thank you to Professor Arturo for his lectures that were good as well and also for answering the questions from the discussion forums.

By Krista M

Mar 16, 2021

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this course! I am an ESL teacher and it was very interesting and fun learning a bit about how our brains work while learning languages. The case studies shown were fascinating and a real eye opener. Although I have no background in neuroscience, the course was quite easy to follow. I would absolutely recommend this course without a doubt!

By Noemi B

Feb 4, 2021

It was an amazing journey! It really exceeded my expactations! The instructor made a great job by providing many examples of recent studies and research in the neurocognitive and neurolinguistic domain for a good understanding of the mechanisms involved in speech and bilingualism, with many references to look up for learning more and more.

By Margarete P

Feb 7, 2020

I loved this course, so much that now I´m watching all the lessons again! It brought me all that I could learn from neuroscience discoveries in the last years, things that are already helping me to format a more efficient course for my EFL students! I´m very happy! Congratulations to the professor and all of you.

By Yanilet C

May 13, 2020

The Bilingual Brain class is fantastic. The Class is very informative, and clear.

Now I understand why my accent is so strong in English.

I am 57 year old and this class helped with other area of knowledge and keep me very busy during this difficult time the world is going through.

Thank you very much

By Sofia J

Apr 4, 2021

Big thanks for this course! The instructor did an amazing job, and I want to thank him for all the effort and time, and also his honesty in some questions ;-) The course is pretty academic, not just for fun, but I guess people without any education in neurobiology can go through it without problems.

By Su 舒

Sep 7, 2021

Having grown up as a bilingual surrounded by other bilinguals, I have always been curious as to what made us so different. This course answered all my questions and more. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in SLA.


Apr 15, 2021

I enjoyed this course. I am a bilingual(Tamil and English) and planning to learn new languages like French, Japanese, Spanish. This course gave me a different perceptive on learning languages.

Thank you

By Ángel A

Nov 19, 2017

The course was very useful and Dr Hernandez is good at explaining things clearly.

As a foreign language learner, it gave me some insights into what to expect during the process, backed by research