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The contribution of working memory capacity to foreignlanguage comprehension in children
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences. (CDD)
2010 (English)In: Memory, ISSN 0965-8211, E-ISSN 1464-0686, Vol. 18, no 4, 458-472 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present study examined the contribution of working memory processes in children’s foreignlanguage processing of sentences and short stories. A total of 95 children were given measures of workingmemory when 9 10 years old. One to two years later at ages 11 12, tasks tapping foreign language literalcomprehension (English) and native language inferential comprehension (Swedish) were administered.Regression and correlation analyses demonstrated that both central executive and phonological loopprocesses predicted foreign language comprehension, whereas central executive processes but notphonological loop processes predicted native language reading comprehension. These findings show thatchildren’s foreign language processing is supported by their working memory capacity tested in theirnative language. Some of these working memory resources appear to be unique for foreign language. Thestrong association between native language and foreign language processing suggests that an importantfactor in becoming proficient in foreign language is the child’s general language aptitude. Possiblemechanisms for the contribution of working memory to children’s foreign language comprehension arediscussed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London: Psychology Press , 2010. Vol. 18, no 4, 458-472 p.
Keyword [en]
Foreign language comprehension; Native language reading comprehension; Working Memory; Central executive; Phonological loop.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-56626DOI: 10.1080/09658211003762084ISI: 000277857800009OAI: diva2:320737
Available from: 2010-05-26 Created: 2010-05-26 Last updated: 2010-06-04

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Andersson, Ulf
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Department of Behavioural Sciences and LearningFaculty of Arts and Sciences
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