Working memory resources and children's reading comprehension

Working memory resources and children's reading comprehension Working memory capacity is described as a pool of limited resources that carry out processing and storage functions. Its role has been emphasised in adults' reading comprehension. The present study had two aims: First, to study the relationship between working memory capacity and reading comprehension in fourth-grade children. Second, to study the nature of the working memory resources involved in reading comprehension, i.e., are they specific or general?To test the first point, the predictive power of working memory capacity was compared with two reading-related basic skills, vocabulary and decoding skills. To test the second point, different working memory tasks were devised using verbal, numerical and spatial materials. All the tasks were administered to 48 fourth-grade children. The results showed that working memory capacity was a direct predictor of reading comprehension when contrasted with vocabulary and decoding skills. Moreover, it seemed that working memory would be better described as a system specialised for the processing of symbolic information in that only the verbal and in a lesser extent the numerical working memory tasks were significant predictors of reading comprehension. The spatial task did not correlate with reading comprehension. The reasons accounting for the predictive power of working memory tasks were discussed. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

Working memory resources and children's reading comprehension

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1008088230941
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Working memory capacity is described as a pool of limited resources that carry out processing and storage functions. Its role has been emphasised in adults' reading comprehension. The present study had two aims: First, to study the relationship between working memory capacity and reading comprehension in fourth-grade children. Second, to study the nature of the working memory resources involved in reading comprehension, i.e., are they specific or general?To test the first point, the predictive power of working memory capacity was compared with two reading-related basic skills, vocabulary and decoding skills. To test the second point, different working memory tasks were devised using verbal, numerical and spatial materials. All the tasks were administered to 48 fourth-grade children. The results showed that working memory capacity was a direct predictor of reading comprehension when contrasted with vocabulary and decoding skills. Moreover, it seemed that working memory would be better described as a system specialised for the processing of symbolic information in that only the verbal and in a lesser extent the numerical working memory tasks were significant predictors of reading comprehension. The spatial task did not correlate with reading comprehension. The reasons accounting for the predictive power of working memory tasks were discussed.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 7, 2004

References

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