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ERIC Number: EJ1068608
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1307-9298
The Role of Verbal Working Memory in Second Language Reading Fluency and Comprehension: A Comparison of English and Korean
Pae, Hye K.; Sevcik, Rose A.
International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, v4 n1 p47-65 2011
This study examined the respective contribution of verbal working memory, which was operationalized as immediate digit and sentence recall, to bilingual children's reading fluency and comprehension in the first language (L1) and second language (L2). Fifty children from two international sites took part in this study: One group was English-Korean bilinguals in the U.S., while the other was Korean-English bilinguals in Korea. The manifestation of the prediction model varied across the learning contexts or learner groups. L1 forward and backward digit spans accounted for the significant variances in L2 reading fluency and comprehension for the English-speaking children in the U.S., whereas L1 forward digit span was more predictive of L2 reading fluency and comprehension than backward digit span and sentence recall for the Korean-speaking counterparts in Korea. The results were interpreted with respect to the orthographic depth, linguistic differences, and cognitive demands. Implications and future directions are discussed.
International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education. T&K Akademic Rosendalsvein 45, Oslo 1166, Norway. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 2
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Korea
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Gray Oral Reading Test; Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A