Vocabulary acquisition by young Greek learners of L2 English The predictive role of Complex Working Memory in Early Foreign Language Learning

Lia Efstathiadi

Abstract


The article reports the results of a longitudinal research that took place during 2010-12 in two primary schools in Thessaloniki. It is part of a larger research which explored the cognitive impact of Early Foreign Language Learning (EFLL), in relation to Foreign Language (FL) Aptitude, Phonological Short-term Memory (PSTM) and Complex Working Memory (CWM). The findings suggest that EFLL has a boosting effect on children’s cognitive skills, while the critical predictor of early FL vocabulary performance is the central executive of Working Memory.

Keywords


Early Foreign Language Learning, Complex Working Memory

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adams, A.-M. & S. Gathercole. 1996. Phonological Working Memory and spoken language development in young children. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 49A(1): 216-233.

Alexiou, T. 2005. Cognitive development, aptitude and language learning in Greek young learners. PhD dissertation, University of Wales.

Alloway, T.P. & R. Alloway. 2010. Investigating the predictive roles of Working Memory and IQ in academic attainment. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 106: 20-29.

Alloway, T.P., S. Gathercole, C. Willis & A.-M. Adams. 2004. A structural analysis of Working Memory and related cognitive skills in young children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 87: 85-106.

Andersson, U. 2010. The contribution of Working Memory capacity to foreign language comprehension in children. Memory 18(4): 458-472.

Archibald, L. & S. Gathercole. 2006. Nonword repetition: A comparison of tests. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 49: 970-983.

Asher, J. 1982. Learning another language through actions: The complete teachers' guidebook. Los Gatos: Sky Oaks Productions.

Baddeley, A. 1986. Working memory. Oxford: OUP.

Baddeley, A. 2000. The episodic buffer: A new component of Working Memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences 4(11): 417-423.

Baddeley, A. 2003. Working Memory and language: An overview. Journal of Communication Disorders 36: 189-208.

Baddeley, A. 2007. Working Memory, thought, and action. Oxford: OUP.

Baddeley, A., S. Gathercole & C. Papagno. 1998. The phonological loop as a language learning device. Psychological Review 105: 158-173.

Baddeley, A. & G. Hitch. 1974. Working Memory. In G. Bower (ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation (Vol. 8). New York: Academic Press, 47-89.

Blondin, C., M. Candelier, P. Edelenbos, R. Johnstone, A. Kubanek-German & T. Taeschner. 1998. Foreign languages in primary and pre-school education: Context and outcomes. A review of recent research within the European Union. London: CILT.

Case, R., M. Kurland & J. Goldberg. 1982. Operational efficiency and the growth of short-term memory span. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 33: 386-404.

Cenoz, J. 2003. The influence of age on the acquisition of English: General proficiency, attitudes and code mixing. In M. del Pilar García Mayo, & M.L. García Lecumberri (eds), Age and the acquisition of English as a foreign language. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Chan, E., P. Skehan & G. Gong. 2011. Working Memory, coding ability and foreign language aptitude: Potential for construction of specific language aptitude tests. Ilha do Desterro, 45-73.

Cheung, H. 1996. Nonword span as a unique predictor of second-language vocabulary learning. Developmental Psychology 3: 867-873.

Cole, M. & S. Cole. 2001. The development of children (4th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.

Csapó, B. & M. Nikolov. 2009. The cognitive contribution to the development of proficiency in a foreign language. Learning and Individual Differences 19: 209-218.

Daneman, M. & P. Carpenter. 1980. Individual differences in Working Memory and reading. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behaviour 19: 450-466.

Dörnyei, Z. 2005. The psychology of the language learner. Individual differences in Second Language Acquisition. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Efstathiadi, L. 2013. The role of FL aptitude and the Executive functions of Working Memory and Inhibition, in FL vocabulary acquisition by young Greek learners of English. Unpublished PhD dissertation, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Efstathiadi, L. 2014. Does the early introduction of English as an L2 boost children’s cognitive skills? The case of the 3rd experimental school in Evosmos, Thessaloniki. 7th Athens Postgraduate Conference, 16-18/5/2013,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Vol. A, pp. 121-130.

García Lecumberri, M.L. & F. Gallardo. 2003. English FL sounds in school learners of different ages. In M. del Pilar García Mayo & M.L. García Lecumberri (eds), Age and the acquisition of English as a foreign language. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 115-135.

Gathercole, S. 1999. Cognitive approaches to the development of short-term memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 3: 410-419.

Gathercole, S. & A.-M. Adams. 1994. Children's phonological Working Memory: Contributions of long-term knowledge and rehearsal. Journal of Memory and Language 33(5): 672-688.

Gathercole, S. & T.P. Alloway. 2008. Working Memory and classroom learning. In K. Thurman & C. Fiorello (eds), Cognitive development in K-3 classroom learning: Research applications. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 15-38.

Gathercole, S. & A. Baddeley. 1993. Working Memory and language. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Gathercole, S. & A. Baddeley. 1996. The children's test of nonword repetition. San Diego: The Psychological Corporation.

Gathercole, S., L. Brown & S. Pickering. 2003. Working Memory assessments at school entry as longitudinal predictors of national curriculum attainment levels. Educational and Child Psychology 20(3): 109-122.

Gathercole, S., E. Lamont & T.P. Alloway. 2006. Working Memory in the classroom. In S. Pickering (ed.), Working Memory and education. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 219-240.

Gathercole, S., S. Pickering, B. Ambridge & H. Wearing. 2004a. The structure of Working Memory from 4 to 15 years of age. Developmental Psychology 40(2): 177-190.

Gathercole, S., S. Pickering, C. Knight & Z. Stegmann. 2004b. Working Memory skills and educational attainment: Evidence from national curriculum assessments at 7 and 14 years of age. Applied Cognitive Psychology 18: 1-16.

Harley, T. 2001. The psychology of language: From data to theory (2nd ed.). Hove, N.Y.: Psychology Press.

Hummel, K. & L. French. 2010. Phonological Memory and implications for the second language classroom. The Canadian Modern Language Review 66(3): 371-391.

Izumi, S. 2003. Comprehension and production processes in second language learning: In search of the psycholinguistic rationale of the Output Hypothesis. Applied Linguistics 24(2): 168-196.

Johnstone, R. 2009. An early start: What are the key conditions for generalized success? In J. Enever, J. Moon & U. Raman (eds), Young learner English language policy and implementation: International perspectives. Reading: Garnet Publishing, 31-42.

Juffs, A. & M. Harrington. 2011. Aspects of Working Memory in L2 learning. Language Teaching 44(2): 137-166.

Kormos, J.& A. Sáfár. 2008. Phonological Short-term Memory, Working Memory and foreign language performance in intensive language learning. Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 11(2): 261-271.

Krashen, S. 1981. Second language acquisition and second language learning. Exeter: Wheaton A. & Co. Ltd.

Krikhaar, E. & L. Lopriore. 2010. The school: Which contextual factors matter for effective early language learning? Retrieved 15 March 2013 from http://www.ellieresearch.eu/docs/5_The School.pdf

Larson-Hall, J. 2008. Weighing the benefits of studying a foreign language at a younger starting age in a minimal input situation. Second Language Research 24(1): 35-63.

Lenneberg, E. 1967. Biological foundations of language. New York: Wiley & Sons.

Mackey, A., J. Philp, T. Egi, A. Fujii & T. Tatsumi. 2002. Individual differences in Working Memory, noticing of interactional feedback and L2 development. In P. Robinson (ed.), Individual differences and instructed language learning. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 181-209.

Μαριδάκη-Κασσωτάκη, Α. 1998. Ικανότητα βραχύχρονης συγκράτησης φωνολογικών πληροφοριών και επίδοση στην ανάγνωση: Μια προσπάθεια διερεύνησης της μεταξύ τους σχέσης. Ψυχολογία 5(1): 44-52.

Masoura, E. & S. Gathercole. 1999. Phonological Short-term Memory and foreign language learning. International Journal of Psychology 34(5/6): 383-388.

Μασούρα, Ε., S. Gathercole & Ζ. Μπαμπλέκου. 2004. Η συμβολή της φωνολογικής βραχύχρονης μνήμης στην απόκτηση λεξιλογίου. Ψυχολογία 11(3): 341-355.

Mihaljevic Djigunovic, J. 2010. Starting age and L1 and L2 interaction. International Journal of Bilingualism 14(3): 303-314.

Mihaljevic Djigunovic, J. & S.L. Krevelj. 2009. Instructed early SLA - Development of attitudes. SRAZ LIV: 137-156.

Mihaljevic Djigunovic, J. & L. Lopriore. 2010. The learner: Do individual differences matter? Retrieved 15 March 2013 from http://www.ellieresearch.eu/docs/4_The Learner.pdf

Miyake, A. & N. Friedman. 1998. Individual differences in second language proficiency: Working Memory as language aptitude. In A. Healy & L. Bourne (eds), Foreign language learning: Psycholinguistic studies on training and retention. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 339-364.

Muñoz, C. 2006. The effects of age on foreign language learning: The BAF project. In C. Muñoz (ed.), Age and rate of foreign language learning. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1-40.

Muñoz, C. 2010. On how age affects foreign language learning. Advances in research on language acquisition and teaching. Greek Applied Linguistics Association, 39-49.

Nikolov, M. 2000. Teaching foreign languages to young learners in Hungary. In M. Nikolov & H. Curtain (eds), An early start: Young learners and modern languages in Europe and beyond. Strasbourg: Council of Europe publishing, 29-40.

Nikolov, M. (ed.). 2009. The age factor and early language learning. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Nikolov, M. & J. Mihaljevic Djigunovic. 2006. Recent research on age, second language acquisition, and early foreign language learning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 26: 234-260.

Nikolov, M. & J. Mihaljevic Djigunovic. 2011. All shades of every colour: An overview of early teaching and learning of foreign languages. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 31: 95-119.

Okalidou, A., A. Syrika, M. Beckman & J. Edwards. 2011. Adapting a receptive vocabulary test for preschool-aged Greek-speaking children. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders 46(1), 95-107.

Papagno, C., T. Valentine & A. Baddeley. 1991. Phonological Short-term Memory and foreign-language vocabulary learning. Journal of Memory and Language 30(3): 331-347.

Pascual-Leone, J. 1970. A mathematical model for the transition rule in Piaget's developmental stages. Acta Psychologica 32: 301-345.

Peal, E. & W. Lambert. 1962. The relation of bilingualism to Intelligence. Psychological Monographs 76(27), Whole No. 546: 1-23.

Randall, M. 2007. Memory, psychology and second language learning. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Robinson, P. 2001. Individual differences, cognitive abilities, aptitude compexes and learning conditions in second language acquisition. Second Language Research 17(4): 368-392.

Robinson, P. 2005. Aptitude and second language acquisition. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics 25: 46-73.

Sáfár, A. & J. Kormos. 2008. Revisiting problems with foreign language aptitude. IRAL 46: 113-136.

Sawyer, M. & L. Ranta. 2001. Aptitude, individual differences, and instructional design. In P. Robinson (ed.), Cognition and second language instruction. Cambridge: CUP, 319-353.

Schmidt, R. 2001. Attention. In P. Robinson (ed.), Cognition and Second Language Acquisition. New York: CUP, 3-32.

Service, E. 1992. Phonology, Working Memory, and foreign language learning. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology 45A(1): 21-50.

Singleton, D. 1995. Introduction: A critical look at the critical period hypothesis in second language acquisition research. In D. Singleton & Z. Lengyel (eds), The Age factor in Second Language Acquisition. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters, 1-29.

Skehan, P. 2002. Theorising and updating aptitude. In Peter Robinson (ed.), Individual differences and instructed language learning. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 69-93.

St. Clair-Thompson, H. 2010. Backwards digit recall: A measure of Short-term Memory or Working Memory? European Journal of Cognitive Psychology 22(2): 286-296.

Tragant, E. 2010. Foreign language learning at primary school: Results from a European study. Retrieved 15 March 2013 from http://www.ellieresearch.eu/docs/12_Girona 2010.pdf

Webb, S. 2007. The effects of repetition on vocabulary knowledge. Applied Linguistics 28(1): 46-65.

Wechsler, D. 1991. Ελληνικό WISC-III, Wechsler κλίμακες νοημοσύνης για παιδιά. Ελληνική Μετάφραση: Ελληνικά Γράμματα.

Χρυσοχόου, Ε. 2006. Η συμβολή της εργαζόμενης μνήμης στην ακουστική κατανόηση παιδιών προσχολικής και σχολικής ηλικίας. Διδακτορική διατριβή. Αριστοτέλειο Πανεπιστήμιο Θεσσαλονίκης.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2016 Lia Efstathiadi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, unless otherwise stated.