References of "Gathercole, S"
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See detailWorking memory and fluid intelligence in young children
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Gathercole, S; Conway, A

Scientific Conference (2011, July)

The study investigates how working memory and fluid intelligence are related in young children and how these links develop over time. The major aim is to determine which aspect of the working memory ... [more ▼]

The study investigates how working memory and fluid intelligence are related in young children and how these links develop over time. The major aim is to determine which aspect of the working memory system - short-term storage or cognitive control - drives the relationship with fluid intelligence. 119 children were followed from kindergarten to second grade and completed multiple assessments of working memory, short-term memory, and fluid intelligence. The data showed that working memory, short-term memory, and fluid intelligence were highly related but separate constructs in young children. When the common variance between working memory and short-term memory was controlled, the residual working memory factor manifested significant links with fluid intelligence whereas the residual short-term memory factor did not. These findings suggest that in young children cognitive control mechanisms rather than the storage component of working memory span tasks are the source of their link with fluid intelligence. [less ▲]

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See detailThe development of working memory capacity and fluid intelligence in children
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Gathercole, S; Conway, A

Scientific Conference (2010, December)

A longitudinal study was conducted to investigate the relationship between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence and how this relationship develops in early childhood. The major aim was to ... [more ▼]

A longitudinal study was conducted to investigate the relationship between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence and how this relationship develops in early childhood. The major aim was to determine which aspect of the working memory system – short-term storage or executive attention – drives the relationship with fluid intelligence. A sample of 119 children was followed from kindergarten to second grade and completed multiple assessments of short-term memory, working memory, and fluid intelligence. Latent growth curve modeling was employed to investigate the factor structure in each grade and to assess the stability of the factor structure over time. The data suggest that working memory, short-term memory, and fluid intelligence are highly related but separate constructs in young children and the factor structure among these constructs is invariant across time. The results further showed that when the common variance between working memory and short-term memory was controlled, the residual working memory factor revealed significant links with fluid intelligence whereas the residual short-term memory factor did not. These findings, consistent with previous research on young adults, suggest that executive attention, rather than the storage component of working memory, is the primary source of the relationship between working memory capacity and fluid intelligence. [less ▲]

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See detailWorking memory and learning: Evidence from a population of trilingual children
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Gathercole, S

Poster (2009, April)

The aim of the present study was to investigate the contribution of two working memory systems (the phonological loop and the central executive) to children’s learning in the areas of vocabulary, language ... [more ▼]

The aim of the present study was to investigate the contribution of two working memory systems (the phonological loop and the central executive) to children’s learning in the areas of vocabulary, language comprehension, reading, writing, mathematical skills, and foreign language acquisition. The term working memory refers to the ability to store and manipulate information in mind for a brief period of time, in the course of ongoing cognitive activities (Baddeley, 2000). A sample of 119 Luxembourgish children, learning German and French as secondary languages were assessed longitudinally over a 3-year time period. In Luxembourg, children learn to speak, read, and write in 2 languages that are different from their native language Luxembourgish. A battery of working memory, native and foreign language tests was administered. Mathematical ability was assessed via a teacher assessment questionnaire. Children were tested in Kindergarten (5 years of age), in 1st, and in 2nd grade with a one year interval between each testing wave. Multiple assessments of each construct made it possible to construct latent variables, and apply structural equation modeling techniques to explore the underlying theoretical structure of working memory in young children, and possible links with learning. Results indicate that relations between the working memory measures were best characterized by a model consisting of two related but separable constructs – corresponding to the phonological loop and the central executive. Examination of the correlation estimates between each construct with itself across the three measurement occasions revealed that individual differences in phonological loop and central executive are remarkably stable from Kindergarten through second grade. The data further showed that assessments of the phonological loop in Kindergarten were strongly associated with vocabulary knowledge and comprehension in native and foreign languages in 1st and 2nd grade and manifested a weaker, but significant, relationship with reading, writing, and mathematics up to two years later. Central executive in Kindergarten significantly predicted reading in 1st grade. The findings lend strong support to the position that the phonological loop is one of the main contributors to new word learning in both native and non-native languages by supporting the formation of stable phonological representations of new words in longterm memory. Phonological loop processing also seems to play a significant role in the syntactic comprehension of sentences. The heard material might be kept active in the phonological loop while the child is listening to the sentence and processing it for comprehension. Finally, working memory appears to make significant contributions to reading, writing, and mathematic skills. Literacy and math classroom activities often impose heavy demands on working memory, the capacity of which therefore might have a direct effect on the frequency of task failure or success in these classroom activities. In conclusion, the presented evidence of (a) the stability of individual differences in young children’s working memory capacity and, (b) causal relations of working memory with learning reinforces the value of early screening of working memory abilities to identify children who are at risk of poor academic progress over the coming years. [less ▲]

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See detailWorking memory and language: A latent variable longitudinal study
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Gathercole, S

Poster (2008, November)

The relationship between working memory, phonological awareness, and developing language skills was explored longitudinally in children growing up in a multilingual society. A sample of 121 children from ... [more ▼]

The relationship between working memory, phonological awareness, and developing language skills was explored longitudinally in children growing up in a multilingual society. A sample of 121 children from Luxembourg were followed from kindergarten to first grade, and completed multiple assessments of working memory, phonological awareness, native and foreign vocabulary knowledge, language comprehension, and reading. Relations between the measures were best characterized by a model consisting of two related but separable constructs—corresponding to verbal short-term memory and the central executive—that were distinct from phonological awareness. Assessments of verbal short-term memory in kindergarten significantly predicted vocabulary knowledge and comprehension in native and foreign languages 1 year later: Central executive and verbal short-term memory measures in kindergarten were significantly associated with reading in first grade, and phonological awareness did not predict any of the language constructs. [less ▲]

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See detailWorking memory, phonological awareness, and developing language skills
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Gathercole, S

Poster (2008, July)

The relationship between working memory, verbal short-term memory, phonological awareness, and developing language skills was explored longitudinally in children growing up in a multilingual society. A ... [more ▼]

The relationship between working memory, verbal short-term memory, phonological awareness, and developing language skills was explored longitudinally in children growing up in a multilingual society. A sample of 121 children from Luxembourg were followed from the end of Kindergarten to 1st Grade, and completed multiple assessments of verbal short-term memory, complex working memory, phonological awareness, native and foreign vocabulary knowledge, language comprehension, and reading. Results indicate that relations between the measures were best characterized by a model consisting of two related but separable constructs – corresponding to verbal short-term memory and the central executive – that were distinct from phonological awareness. The data further showed that assessments of verbal short-term memory in Kindergarten significantly predicted vocabulary knowledge and comprehension in native and foreign languages one year later: Central executive and verbal short-term memory measures in Kindergarten were significantly associated with reading in 1st Grade and phonological awareness, indexed by rhyme detection, did not predict any of the language constructs one year later. The findings lend strong support to the position that verbal short-term memory is one of the main contributors to new word learning in both native and non-native languages by supporting the formation of stable phonological representations of new words in long-term memory. Verbal short-term memory also seems to play a significant role in the syntactic comprehension of sentences. The heard material might be kept active in verbal short-term memory while the child is listening to the sentence and processing it for comprehension. Finally working memory appears to make significant contributions to reading development. One explanation of these findings is that literacy classroom activities often impose heavy demands on working memory, the capacity of which therefore has a direct effect on the frequency of task failure or success in these classroom activities which consequently influences the rate of learning. [less ▲]

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See detailBrave new word: Multilingualism and language learning. A study of Portuguese immigrant children growing up in a plurilingual society
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Gathercole, S; Martin, Romain UL et al

Poster (2008, April)

Working memory, the capacity to store and manipulate information over brief periods of time (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) is suggested to play a crucial role in children’s language acquisition in native and ... [more ▼]

Working memory, the capacity to store and manipulate information over brief periods of time (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) is suggested to play a crucial role in children’s language acquisition in native and foreign languages (e.g. Gathercole, 2006; Service, 1992). The present study investigated children’s working memory skills and vocabulary knowledge in their native and secondary languages in the context of immigration. Twenty Portuguese immigrant children growing up in Luxembourg, who speak Portuguese at home, and acquire Luxembourgish in a natural setting and German through scholastic instruction, participated in the study. Children were assessed on measures of phonological short-term memory (digit recall and nonword repetition) and complex working memory (counting recall and backwards digit recall) in both Luxembourgish and Portuguese, on vocabulary knowledge (Portuguese, Luxembourgish, and German) and on comprehension (Luxembourgish and German). The children were compared to three groups of monolingual children: 20 Luxembourgish speakers living in Luxembourg and 40 Portuguese speakers from Brazil growing up in families of high (N=20) and low (N=20) socio economical status (SES). Groups were matched on age (7 years), nonverbal ability and gender. In the Portuguese immigrant children, language competences in Portuguese, Luxembourgish, and German were at an equivalent level that fell below the linguistic competence of native speakers from Brazil and from Luxembourg. The 4 groups did not differ on two of the four working memory measures. On one of the complex working memory tasks (counting recall) the low SES group from Brazil manifested scores that fell below the three other groups. Finally, the Portuguese immigrant children performed equally well to their Brazilian counterparts in the repetition of the Portuguese sounding nonwords, whereas their performance in the repetition of the Luxembourgish nonwords fell below that of the native Luxembourgish speakers. These results are consistent with findings that phonological short-term memory performance is better for familiar rather than unfamiliar lexical material (Gathercole, 1995). As the Portuguese immigrant children and their monolingual peers from Luxembourg and Brazil performed at comparable levels on the working memory measures, their poor language performances in all three languages is unlikely to be related to a fundamental cognitive deficit. Their even lower knowledge of Portuguese, vocabulary than children from impoverished backgrounds in Brazil also rules out the hypothesis that their poor language skills are simply a reflection of lower socio-economical status. Instead, the findings appear to be a direct consequence of growing up as an immigrant in a multilingual society. [less ▲]

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See detailARE WORKING MEMORY MEASURES FREE OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC AND CULTURAL INFLUENCES?
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Santos, F; Martin, Romain UL et al

Scientific Conference (2007, September)

This research investigated the hypothesis that working memory skills are independent of environmental factors such as socio-economic or cultural background. Study 1: Twenty Brazilian children aged 6 and 7 ... [more ▼]

This research investigated the hypothesis that working memory skills are independent of environmental factors such as socio-economic or cultural background. Study 1: Twenty Brazilian children aged 6 and 7 years from low socio-economic status families were evaluated on measures of working memory (verbal short-term memory and verbal complex span, taken form the AWMA: Automated Working Memory Assessment) and of vocabulary (expressive and receptive). They were compared with typically developing Brazilian children from the same region, matched on age, sex, and nonverbal ability from families of higher socio-economic status. Children from the low socioeconomic status group obtained significantly lower scores on the vocabulary tests but not on the verbal short-term memory measures, compared to their peers from a higher socio-economical background. Both groups differed on one of the two complex span measures - counting recall - but performed equally well on backwards digit recall. The results indicate that tests of verbal short-term memory and also backwards digit recall provide measures of cognitive abilities that are not biased by the quality of the child's socio-economical background. Study 2: The Brazilian children were also compared to a population of Portuguese- speaking, immigrant children growing up in Luxembourg, evaluated on the same measures. Results will specify whether or not, in addition to being independent of socioeconomic background, verbal short-term memory and backwards digit recall are also free of cultural bias. As these measures are also highly sensitive to language ability, they may provide useful methods for diagnosing language disorder that are independent of environmental opportunity. [less ▲]

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