Results 61-80 of 85.
Bookmark and Share    
Full Text
See detailD’Aarbechtsgediechtnes an d’Léiere bei Kanner
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

Article for general public (2011)

Dës Brochure soll derzou bäidroen, fir Iech d’Konzept “Aarbechtsgediechtnes” méi nozebréngen. Dir fannt an dëser Brochure Informatiounen iwwer d’Verbindung tëschent dem Aarbechtsgediechtnes an dem Léiere ... [more ▼]

Dës Brochure soll derzou bäidroen, fir Iech d’Konzept “Aarbechtsgediechtnes” méi nozebréngen. Dir fannt an dëser Brochure Informatiounen iwwer d’Verbindung tëschent dem Aarbechtsgediechtnes an dem Léiere bei Kanner; iwwer méiglech Léierschwieregkeete vu Kanner mat Aarbechtsgediechtnesproblemer; a wéi een dës Problemer an der Klass erkenne kann an deem entgéintwierke kann. Ech beschreiwen och kuerz mäin aktuelle Fuerschungsprojet op der Universitéit Lëtzebuerg, dee sech mat den Auswierkunge vun der Méisproochegkeet op d’Aarbechtsgediechtnes beschäftegt. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 53 (5 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailWorking memory and fluid intelligence: A multi-mechanism view
Conway, A. R. A.; Macnamara, B.; Getz, S. et al

in Sternberg, R; Kaufman, S (Eds.) Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence (2011)

This volume provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date compendium of theory and research in the field of human intelligence. Each of the 42 chapters is written by world-renowned experts in their ... [more ▼]

This volume provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date compendium of theory and research in the field of human intelligence. Each of the 42 chapters is written by world-renowned experts in their respective fields, and collectively, they cover the full range of topics of contemporary interest in the study of intelligence. The handbook is divided into nine parts: Part I covers intelligence and its measurement; Part II deals with the development of intelligence; Part III discusses intelligence and group differences; Part IV concerns the biology of intelligence; Part V is about intelligence and information processing; Part VI discusses different kinds of intelligence; Part VII covers intelligence and society; Part VIII concerns intelligence in relation to allied constructs; and Part IX is the concluding chapter, which reflects on where the field is currently and where it still needs to go. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 92 (8 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailWorking memory in multilingual children: Is there a bilingual effect?
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

in Memory (2011), 19(5), 529-537

This research investigates whether early childhood bilingualism affects working memory performance in 6- to 8-year-olds, followed over a longitudinal period of 3 years. The study tests the hypothesis that ... [more ▼]

This research investigates whether early childhood bilingualism affects working memory performance in 6- to 8-year-olds, followed over a longitudinal period of 3 years. The study tests the hypothesis that bilinguals might exhibit more efficient working memory abilities than monolinguals, potentially via the opportunity a bilingual environment provides to train cognitive control by combating interference and intrusions from the non-target language. A total of 44 bilingual and monolingual children, matched on age, sex, and socioeconomic status, completed assessments of working memory (simple span and complex span tasks), fluid intelligence, and language (vocabulary and syntax). The data showed that the monolinguals performed significantly better on the language measures across the years, whereas no language group effect emerged on the working memory and fluid intelligence tasks after verbal abilities were considered. The study suggests that the need to manage several language systems in the bilingual mind has an impact on children's language skills while having little effects on the development of working memory. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 125 (7 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailDisentangling the relationship between working memory and language: the roles of short-term storage and cognitive control
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Gathercole, S. E.; Martin, Romain UL

in Learning & Individual Differences (2011), 21

This study investigates the relationship between working memory and language in young children growing up in a multilingual environment. The aim is to explore whether mechanisms of short-term storage and ... [more ▼]

This study investigates the relationship between working memory and language in young children growing up in a multilingual environment. The aim is to explore whether mechanisms of short-term storage and cognitive control hold similar relations to emerging language skills and to investigate if potential links are mediated by related cognitive abilities. A sample of 119 Luxembourgish 6-year-olds completed several assessments of working memory (complex and simple span), native and foreign vocabulary, syntax, reading, rhyme awareness, and fluid intelligence. Results showed that short-term storage and cognitive control manifested differential links with developing language abilities: Whereas verbal short-term storage was specifically linked to vocabulary; cognitive control manifested unique and robust links with syntax and early reading development. The study suggests that in young children the working memory system is composed of separate but interacting components corresponding to short-term storage and cognitive control that can be distinguished by the roles they play in supporting language acquisition. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 149 (8 UL)
Full Text
See detailMemória Operacional e Aprendizado - Guia prático
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Tourinho De Abreu Neto, Carlos José UL

Article for general public (2011)

A memória operacional é uma área particular da cognição fluída que recebeu grande atenção nos últimos anos. Mais e mais evidências sugerem que ela tem um papel chave que respalda o aprendizado de crianças ... [more ▼]

A memória operacional é uma área particular da cognição fluída que recebeu grande atenção nos últimos anos. Mais e mais evidências sugerem que ela tem um papel chave que respalda o aprendizado de crianças através dos anos escolares e, muito além, durante toda a vida adulta. A identificação de dificul-dades de memória operacional em sala de aula é, portanto, uma área promissora que pode ajudar professores, pais e autoridades educacionais a dispor a seus filhos/alunos a intervenção adequada em caso de dificuldades educacionais. Este guia prático foi especificamente desenvolvido para professores, pais, autoridades educacionais e quaisquer outras pessoas envolvidas em ambientes escolares ou interessadas em memória operacional e aprendizado. Será abordado o conceito de memória operacional no nosso dia-a-dia e principalmente no contexto escolar. Depois de lê-lo você vai ter um melhor entendimento do que é memória operacional, como ela se relaciona com o desempenho escolar da criança, e como os problemas de memória operacional podem ser reconhecidos e até mesmo remediados ou reduzidos por professores. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 148 (3 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 55 (3 UL)
See detailWorking memory and learning
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

Presentation (2010, June)

Detailed reference viewed: 22 (2 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailWorking memory and learning
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

Scientific Conference (2010, January)

This study presents the findings of a 3-wave, latent variable longitudinal study, exploring variations of working memory in children and its contributions to key domains of learning. A sample of 119 ... [more ▼]

This study presents the findings of a 3-wave, latent variable longitudinal study, exploring variations of working memory in children and its contributions to key domains of learning. A sample of 119 Luxembourgish children, learning German and French as secondary languages, were followed from kindergarten to second grade and completed multiple assessments of working memory, short-term memory, phonological awareness, fluid intelligence, vocabulary, language comprehension, foreign language knowledge, reading, spelling, and mathematics. Results indicate that relations between the measures were best characterized by a model consisting of two related but separable constructs - corresponding to short-term storage and a central executive - that were highly stable across the years. Whereas verbal short-term memory was more specifically linked to vocabulary, the central executive supported learning in a wide range of learning domains, including language comprehension, literacy, and mathematics. The findings suggest that verbal short-term memory is one of the main contributors to vocabulary development by supporting the formation of stable phonological representations of new words in longterm memory. The central executive in contrast makes general rather then specific contributions to learning - possibly in terms of an attentional control system that actively maintains crucial information and regulates controlling processes during complex cognitive activities. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 50 (2 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailMultilingualism and language learning: A study of Portuguese immigrant children growing up in a multilingual society
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

Poster (2010, January)

Working memory is suggested to play a crucial role in children’s native and foreign language acquisition. The major aim of the present study was to explore how growing up with an immigrant background ... [more ▼]

Working memory is suggested to play a crucial role in children’s native and foreign language acquisition. The major aim of the present study was to explore how growing up with an immigrant background might affect children’s linguistic and working memory abilities. Twenty 7-year old Portuguese children from Luxembourg, who speak Portuguese at home and acquire Luxembourgish in a natural setting and German through scholastic instruction, participated in the study. Children completed several measures of verbal short-term memory (digit recall and nonword repetition) and complex working memory span tasks (counting recall and backwards digit recall) in Luxembourgish and in Portuguese. Participants were further assessed on vocabulary measures in Portuguese, Luxembourgish, and German, and on syntactic comprehension in Luxembourgish and German. The Portuguese children were compared to three groups of monolingual speakers: 20 Luxembourgish children living in Luxembourg and 40 Portuguese speaking children growing up in Brazil. The Brazilian children were recruited from families of high and low socio-economical status (SES) with 20 children in each group. Participants in the Luxembourgish sample were of high SES and the Portuguese children were of lower SES. Groups were matched on age, nonverbal ability, and gender. The results showed that 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. For the working memory measures the data showed first that the Portuguese children performed equally well in the Luxembourgish and Portuguese versions of the digit recall, backwards digit recall, and counting recall tasks, and second that the Portuguese children’s performance in these three measures did not differ from their monolingual peers from Luxembourg and Brazil. For nonword repetition the results showed that the Portuguese 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 was below that of the native Luxembourgish speakers. This latter finding is consistent with the position that verbal short-term memory performance is better for familiar rather than unfamiliar lexical material. Despite normal general cognitive functions, as documented by the working memory measures, immigrant children showed significantly reduced language performance that can not be easily explained by differences in wealth or other socio economic factors. Instead, the findings appear to be a direct consequence of growing up as an immigrant in a multilingual society raising the question of the necessity of specific language support for immigrant children growing up in a multilingual society. The results also have important practical utility: Whereas language assessments based on measurements of vocabulary may overestimate language learning difficulties in children with an immigrant background working memory measures might not. As working memory measures are highly associated with children’s language learning and more general academic progress, these tests can provide methods of identifying children with potential learning difficulties that are unlikely to be distorted by differences in wealth or other significant environmental factors that have an impact on language learning opportunities. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 121 (8 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailWorking memory and fluid intelligence in young children
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Conway, A. R. A.; Gathercole, S. E.

in Intelligence (2010), 38(6), 552-561

The present 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 ... [more ▼]

The present 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. A sample of 119 children was 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. The results further showed that 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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 76 (4 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailWorking memory and fluid intelligence
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Gathercole; Conway, A

Poster (2009, November)

The present study investigates how working memory and fluid intelligence are related in young children and which aspect of working memory span tasks– short-term storage or controlled attention - might ... [more ▼]

The present study investigates how working memory and fluid intelligence are related in young children and which aspect of working memory span tasks– short-term storage or controlled attention - might drive the relationship. A sample of 119 children were followed from kindergarten to 2nd grade and completed assessments of working memory, short-term memory, and fluid intelligence. The data showed that working memory, verbal short-term memory, and fluid intelligence were highly related but separate constructs in young children. The results further showed that 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 the executive demands rather than the storage component of working memory span tasks are the source of their link with fluid intelligence. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 102 (3 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
See detailWorking memory and language learning: A 4-year longitudinal study
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

Poster (2009, October)

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 foreign language learning. A sample of 119 ... [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 foreign language learning. A sample of 119 Luxembourgish children, whose native language is Luxembourgish and who learn German and French as secondary languages in school were assessed longitudinally over a 4-year time period. Children were tested in kindergarten (5 years of age), in first, second, and third grade with a one-year interval between each testing wave. Results indicate that individual differences in phonological loop functioning were causally related to foreign vocabulary development. One particular phonological loop measure - the repetition of low wordlike nonwords - was identified as the single best predictor of the acquisition of an unfamiliar foreign language up to two years later, suggesting that this measure may provide a valuable tool for early screening to identify children who are at present and future risk for foreign language learning difficulties. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 29 (2 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailWORKING MEMORY AND LEARNING: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF TRILINGUAL CHILDREN
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

Scientific Conference (2009, August)

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, spelling, 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 two languages that are different from their native language Luxembourgish. A battery of working memory, and learning ability tests were administered. Children were tested in kindergarten (5 years of age), in first, and in second 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. Individual differences in phonological loop functioning and the central executive were found to be remarkably stable from kindergarten through second grade. The data further showed that both memory components were differentially associated with learning: Whereas the phonological loop was more specifically linked to early language development and vocabulary in particular, the central executive appeared to make more general contributions to classroom related learning. 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 long-term memory. Furthermore the findings fit well with the position that the central executive might play an important role in the monitoring and processing of information during complex and demanding activities present in many classroom situations. 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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 28 (1 UL)
Full Text
See detailWorking Memory and Learning A 3-Year Longitudinal Study of Children Growing Up In a Multilingual Environment
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

Doctoral thesis (2009)

This thesis presents the findings of a 3-wave, latent variable longitudinal study, exploring variations and the development of working memory in young children and its contributions to learning in the key ... [more ▼]

This thesis presents the findings of a 3-wave, latent variable longitudinal study, exploring variations and the development of working memory in young children and its contributions to learning in the key domains of language, literacy, and mathematics. A sample of 119 Luxembourgish children, learning German and French as secondary languages, were followed from kindergarten to second grade and completed multiple assessments of working memory, short-term memory, phonological awareness, fluid intelligence, vocabulary, language comprehension, foreign language knowledge, reading, spelling, and mathematics. Results indicate that relations between the measures were best characterized by a model consisting of two related but separable constructs - corresponding to shortterm storage and a central executive - that were highly stable across the years. Whereas verbal short-term memory was more specifically linked to early language development and vocabulary in particular, the central executive appeared to support learning in a wide range of domains, including language comprehension, literacy, and mathematics. The findings reinforce previous evidence indicating that verbal short-term memory is one of the main contributors to vocabulary development by supporting the formation of stable phonological representations of new words in long-term memory. Furthermore, the findings fit well with the position that the central executive makes general rather then specific contributions to learning - possibly in terms of an attentional control system that actively maintains crucial information and regulates controlling processes during complex cognitive activities. In conclusion, the findings indicate that different components of the working memory system can be reliably assessed in children as young as 5; that individual differences in these abilities are highly stable over time; and that working memory assessments are predictive of future learning in key academic domains. This reinforces the value of early screening of working memory abilities to identify children who are at a present and future educational risk. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 93 (5 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 56 (1 UL)
See detailAdaptação Brasileira da AWMA, "Automated Working Memory Assessment"
Santos, F. H.; Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL

in Ortiz; Zanotto de Mendonça; Foz (Eds.) et al Avaliação Neuropsicológica. Panorama interdisciplinar dos estudos atuais na normatização e validação de instrumentos no Brasil (2009)

A Psicologia Cognitiva reúne diversos modelos teóricos relativos à memória operacional (working memory; para revisão ver Miyake e Shah, 1999), um sistema que possui interfaces com percepção, atenção, ação ... [more ▼]

A Psicologia Cognitiva reúne diversos modelos teóricos relativos à memória operacional (working memory; para revisão ver Miyake e Shah, 1999), um sistema que possui interfaces com percepção, atenção, ação e emoção (Baddeley, 2007). Contudo, o modelo dos múltiplos componentes de Baddeley e Hitch (1974) tem sido o mais investigado nas últimas três décadas nos campos da psicologia experimental, neuropsicologia, neuroimagem, psicofarmacologia, além da própria psicologia cognitiva e dos modelos computacionais. Uma vez que a memória operacional é um tema de expressivo interesse em distintas áreas, com especificidades e interpretações nem sempre coincidentes, é muito importante definir precisamente o pressuposto teórico subjacente ao objeto de investigação, principalmente dos instrumentos que serão utilizados para sua mensuração. O presente capítulo inclui uma breve atualização sobre o modelo de múltiplos componentes, seguida da descrição da AWMA, instrumento de referência para avaliação da memória operacional de crianças e adultos. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 224 (2 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 17 (3 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 34 (1 UL)
Full Text
Peer Reviewed
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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 71 (4 UL)
Peer Reviewed
See detailAre working memory measures free of socio-economic and cultural influence?
Engel de Abreu, Pascale UL; Gathercole; Santos, F et al

Scientific Conference (2008, January)

This research investigated the hypothesis that working memory skills are independent of environmental factors such as socio-economic status (SES) or cultural background. Twenty Brazilian children aged 6 ... [more ▼]

This research investigated the hypothesis that working memory skills are independent of environmental factors such as socio-economic status (SES) or cultural background. Twenty Brazilian children aged 6 and 7 years from low SES 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 but from families of higher SES and to a population of Portuguese- speaking, immigrant children growing up in Luxembourg/EU. Children were matched on age, sex, and nonverbal ability. The three groups differed significantly on the vocabulary measures but not on the verbal short-term memory tests. Further the 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 or cultural background. 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 ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 24 (4 UL)