Phonological Short-Term Memory Analysis

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Phonological short term memory (PSTM) is specialized for temporary storage and processing of phonological features of language. More specifically, phonological short-term memory plays a role as a phonological store by holding phonological representations of auditory information for a brief period of time, and as an articulatory rehearsal system by enabling the reader to use inner speech to refresh the decaying representations in the phonological store (Baddeley, 2000, 2006, 2007; Ellis, 2001). Phonological short-term memory is often measured by presenting spoken lists of words (word span), digits (digit span) or non-words (non-word span), and asking participants to recall the lists of words and/or digits in the order in which they are presented. …show more content…

A total of 160 Finnish school children were asked to complete measures of native language word recognition and listening comprehension in the first grade; word recognition, reading comprehension and PSTM in the second grade, and English skills in the third grade. Service’s (1989) English pseudoword repetition task was used to measure the participants’ PSTM. Using the structural equation modeling, Dufva and Voeten (1999) found that both PSTM and native language literacy (word recognition and comprehension skills) could have positive effects on learning English as a foreign language. These skills accounted for 58% of the variance in the beginning stage of English proficiency. Dufva and Voeten (1999) suggested that diagnosing at-risk children and providing them with training in word recognition in their L1 may help to develop their L2 …show more content…

While some research linked PSTM to L2 reading ability (e.g., Dufva and Voeten, 1999; Service, 1992), some others found no relationship between PSTM and L2 reading ability (e.g., Hummel, 2009; Harrington & Sawyer, 1992; Kormos & Sáfár, 2008). These studies were also different in terms of the methodology and the proficiency level of the participants used. These differences in the research findings, methodology, and proficiency level pointed to the need to examine the relationship between PSTM and L2 reading ability. More specifically, prior studies used different methodologies to see if there was any relationship between PSTM and L2 reading ability. Moreover, all these studies focused on just one proficiency level, and none of them examined this potential relationship across proficiency levels. To make sure that the divergent research findings could not be due to the use of different methodologies and have a more accurate measure of the potential relationship between PSTM and L2 reading, the current study was designed to address the following

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