Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

working memory capacity Related Abstracts

3 Relative Clause Attachment Ambiguity Resolution in L2: the Role of Semantics

Authors: Hamideh Marefat, Eskandar Samadi

Abstract:

This study examined the effect of semantics on processing ambiguous sentences containing Relative Clauses (RCs) preceded by a complex Determiner Phrase (DP) by Persian-speaking learners of L2 English with different proficiency and Working Memory Capacities (WMCs). The semantic relationship studied was one between the subject of the main clause and one of the DPs in the complex DP to see if, as predicted by Spreading Activation Model, priming one of the DPs through this semantic manipulation affects the L2ers’ preference. The results of a task using Rapid Serial Visual Processing (time-controlled paradigm) showed that manipulation of the relationship between the subject of the main clause and one of the DPs in the complex DP preceding RC has no effect on the choice of the antecedent; rather, the L2ers' processing is guided by the phrase structure information. Moreover, while proficiency did not have any effect on the participants’ preferences, WMC brought about a difference in their preferences, with a DP1 preference by those with a low WMC. This finding supports the chunking hypothesis and the predicate proximity principle, which is the strategy also used by monolingual Persian speakers.

Keywords: Semantics, Ambiguity resolution, Proficiency, relative clause processing, working memory capacity

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2 The Impact of Two Factors on EFL Learners' Fluency

Authors: Alireza Behfar, Mohammad Mahdavi

Abstract:

Nowadays, in the light of progress in the world of science, technology and communications, mastery of learning international languages is a sure and needful matter. In learning any language as a second language, progress and achieving a desirable level in speaking is indeed important for approximately all learners. In this research, we find out how preparation can influence L2 learners' oral fluency with respect to individual differences in working memory capacity. The participants consisted of sixty-one advanced L2 learners including MA students of TEFL at Isfahan University as well as instructors teaching English at Sadr Institute in Isfahan. The data collection consisted of two phases: A working memory test (reading span test) and a picture description task, with a one-month interval between the two tasks. Speaking was elicited through speech generation task in which the individuals were asked to discuss four topics emerging in two pairs. The two pairs included one simple and one complex topic and was accompanied by planning time and without any planning time respectively. Each topic was accompanied by several relevant pictures. L2 fluency was assessed based on preparation. The data were then analyzed in terms of the number of syllables, the number of silent pauses, and the mean length of pauses produced per minute. The study offers implications for strategies to improve learners’ both fluency and working memory.

Keywords: Preparation, fluency, working memory capacity, two factors, L2 speech production reading span test picture description

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1 Testing the Impact of Formal Interpreting Training on Working Memory Capacity: Evidence from Turkish-English Student-Interpreters

Authors: Elena Antonova Unlu, Cigdem Sagin Simsek

Abstract:

The research presents two studies examining the impact of formal interpreting training (FIT) on Working Memory Capacity (WMC) of student-interpreters. In Study 1, the storage and processing capacities of the working memory (WM) of last-year student-interpreters were compared with those of last-year Foreign Language Education (FLE) students. In Study 2, the impact of FIT on the WMC of student-interpreters was examined via comparing their results on WM tasks at the beginning and the end of their FIT. In both studies, Digit Span Task (DST) and Reading Span Task (RST) were utilized for testing storage and processing capacities of WM. The results of Study 1 revealed that the last-year student-interpreters outperformed the control groups on the RST but not on the DST. The findings of Study 2 were consistent with Study 1 showing that after FIT, the student-interpreters performed better on the RST but not on the DST. Our findings can be considered as evidence supporting the view that FIT has a beneficial effect not only on the interpreting skills of student-interpreters but also on the central executive and processing capacity of their WM.

Keywords: working memory capacity, formal interpreting training, student-interpreters, cross-sectional and longitudinal data

Procedia PDF Downloads 59