ERIC Number: ED343392
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987
Applying the Concept of Working Memory to Foreign Language Listening Comprehension.
Memory research has recently moved from looking at performance in highly artificial laboratory tasks to examination of tasks in everyday life. One consequence is the development of the concept of "working memory." For the learner, foreign language comprehension makes great demands on working memory capacity. Comprehension of a message requires knowledge of the results or progress of earlier or parallel information processing stages such as phonological analysis, word recognition, parsing, etc., as well as of expectations. One theoretical framework for working memory provides a starting point for investigation of how the language learner can cope with temporarily storing enough information to comprehend a message in a language not yet mastered. The theory helps to differentiate between different kinds of working memory capacity, and suggests three areas for further study: (1) how comprehension is impaired when different memory systems are suppressed; (2) how different compensatory strategies aiming at optimizing working memory capacity use affect understanding of the message; and (3) how important it is for the learner to be able to generate quickly the appropriate articulatory and orthographic representations of words. A brief bibliography is appended. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Equality in Language Learning. Proceedings of the Nordic Conference of Applied Linguistics (5th, Jyvaskyla, Finland, June 4-7, 1987); see FL 020 065.