References of "Befi-Lopes, D. M"
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See detailEffects of impoverished environmental conditions on working memory performance
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Puglisi, M.; Cruz-Santos, A. et al

in Memory (2013), Mar 26. [Epub ahead of print]

This cross-cultural study investigates the impact of background experience on four verbal and visuo-spatial working memory (WM) tasks. Eighty-four children from low income families were recruited from the ... [more ▼]

This cross-cultural study investigates the impact of background experience on four verbal and visuo-spatial working memory (WM) tasks. Eighty-four children from low income families were recruited from the following groups: (1) Portuguese immigrant children from Luxembourg impoverished in terms of language experience; (2) Brazilian children deprived in terms of scholastic background; (3) Portuguese children from Portugal with no disadvantage in either scholastic or language background. Children were matched on age, gender, fluid intelligence, and socioeconomic status and completed four simple and complex span tasks of WM and a vocabulary measure. Results indicate that despite large differences in their backgrounds and language abilities, the groups exhibited comparable performance on the visuo-spatial tasks dot matrix and odd-one-out and on the verbal simple span task digit recall. Group differences emerged on the verbal complex span task counting recall with children from Luxembourg and Portugal outperforming children from disadvantaged schools in Brazil. The study suggests that whereas contributions of prior knowledge to digit span, dot matrix, and odd-one-out are likely to be minimal, background experience can affect performance on counting recall. Implications for testing WM capacity in children growing up in poverty are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailCross-linguistic and cross-cultural effects on verbal working memory and vocabulary: Testing minority-language children with an immigrant background
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Baldassi, M.; Puglisi, L. M. et al

in Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing research (2013), 56(2), 630-642

PURPOSE: This study explored the impact of test language and cultural status on vocabulary and working memory performance in multilingual language minority children. METHOD: Twenty 7-year-old Portuguese ... [more ▼]

PURPOSE: This study explored the impact of test language and cultural status on vocabulary and working memory performance in multilingual language minority children. METHOD: Twenty 7-year-old Portuguese-speaking immigrant children living in Luxembourg completed several assessments of first- and second-language vocabulary (comprehension and production), executive-loaded working memory (counting recall and backward digit recall), and verbal short-term memory (digit recall and nonword repetition). Cross-linguistic task performance was compared within individuals. The language minority children were also compared with multilingual language majority children from Luxembourg and Portuguese-speaking monolinguals from Brazil without an immigrant background matched on age, sex, socioeconomic status, and nonverbal reasoning. RESULTS: Results showed that (a) verbal working memory measures involving numerical memoranda were relatively independent of test language and cultural status; (b) language status had an impact on the repetition of high- but not on low-wordlike L2 nonwords; (c) large cross-linguistic and cross-cultural effects emerged for productive vocabulary; (d) cross-cultural effects were less pronounced for vocabulary comprehension with no differences between groups if only L1-words relevant to the home context were considered. CONCLUSION: The study indicates that linguistic and cognitive assessments for language minority children require careful choice among measures to ensure valid results. Implications for testing culturally and linguistically diverse children are discussed. [less ▲]

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