Reference : Working memory and language learning: A 4-year longitudinal study
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Poster
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Theoretical & cognitive psychology
Working memory and language learning: A 4-year longitudinal study
Engel de Abreu, Pascale mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Educational Measurement and Applied Cognitive Science (EMACS)]
Biennial Meeting of the Cognitive Development Society
October 16-17, 2009
San Antonio
[en] working memory ; language learning ; phonological loop
[en] 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.

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