Seminários em Neurociências 2011.1

Segunda-feira 16/05/2011 10:50h Sala 4 – Escola de Ciência e Tecnologia


Working Memory and the Development of Bilingual Speech

Dra. Janaina Weissheimer (Prof.  DLLEM/UFRN)

Research in language acquisition has acknowledged that limitations in individuals’ working memory capacity may be seen as a possible independent constraint to the process involved in using and acquiring a second language. One possibility is that working memory capacity is task-specific, i.e. it varies according to the efficiency in the processes specific to the task with which working memory capacity is being correlated. This presentation reports a study which investigated the relationship between working memory capacity and bilingual speech production and development. Learners of English as a second language (L2) were submitted to a working memory test (an adaptation of Daneman’s 1991 speaking span test) and a speech generation task in two data collection phases, with a twelve-week interval between them. Participants’ speaking samples were analyzed in terms of fluency, accuracy, complexity, and weighted lexical density. Significant correlations were found between span scores and measures of L2 fluency, accuracy and complexity. The results also show that lower span participants had a statistically significant improvement in working memory scores over trials. Our discussion sheds light on the debate over the task-specific versus domain-free view of working memory limitations and on the developmental aspect of working memory capacity.

Notícia cadastrada em: 11/05/2011 18:29
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