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ERIC Number: EJ862635
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0346-251X
Assessing the Relationship of Working Memory to L2 Reading: Does the Nature of Comprehension Process and Reading Span Task Make a Difference?
Alptekin, Cem; Ercetin, Gulcan
System: An International Journal of Educational Technology and Applied Linguistics, v37 n4 p627-639 Dec 2009
Although an important role has been ascribed to working-memory capacity in reading comprehension, little consensus exists on its conceptualization, operationalization, and measurement except for its recognition as a limited-capacity processing and storage system. One specific problem in the measurement of working memory comes from researchers' use of storage scores in reading span tests (RST) as an index of working-memory capacity, as if processing were inconsequential. The inadequacy of the focus on storage is compounded by the use of different testing procedures to measure it. Another issue stems from the use of L2 reading as a global construct, thus failing to account for L2 readers' text-boundedness, which often enhances their literal understanding at the expense of their inferential comprehension. Thus, the purpose of this study was first to compare the performance of L2 readers on two L2 RSTs that differed in task type used to measure storage. Second, the study aimed at investigating the relationships between L2 reading, compartmentalized into its literal and inferential dimensions of understanding, and composite RST scores representing both storage and processing performance. The findings indicate that, unlike recall tasks, recognition tasks fail to detect individual differences in working-memory storage. They further indicate that composite scores of storage and processing correlate with inferential rather than literal understanding in L2 reading when recall-based rather than recognition-based RSTs are used to measure storage. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A