Correlations between working memory capacity and EFL reading comprehension: an investigation with Brazilian university students

Autores

  • Davi Alves Oliveira Universidade do Estado da Bahia
  • Lêda Maria Braga Tomitch Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Palavras-chave:

capacidade de memória de trabalho, compreensão leitora em inglês como língua estrangeira, tempo de leitura, ritmo de compreensão

Resumo

Reading in a foreign language is considered a high cognitive function, believed, thus, to impose demands on working memory resources. Studies have shown significant correlations between working memory capacity and foreign language reading comprehension, but its underlying mechanisms are still open to discussion. This article reports on a study whose objective was to investigate possible correlations between working memory capacity and foreign language reading comprehension considering the knowledge of the first language as a possible source of interference. A recall task was conducted in two conditions, one in which readers performed the task in English and another, in Portuguese. Results showed a weak but statistically significant correlation between working memory capacity and recall scores in the second condition and no correlations between working memory capacity and reading time. Exploratory data analyses suggested that the correlation observed was influenced by foreign language reading proficiency and that the ratio of recall scores to reading time is a better measure of comprehension efficiency.

Biografia do Autor

Davi Alves Oliveira, Universidade do Estado da Bahia

Técnico em Informática (IFBA), Licenciado em Letras (UNEB) e Mestre em Inglês: Estudos Linguísticos e Literários (UFSC). Atua como Professor Substituto no Departamento de Ciências Humanas, Campus IV (UNEB)

Lêda Maria Braga Tomitch, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina

Mestre em Letras (Inglês e Literatura Correspondente) (UFSC) e Doutora em Letras (Linguística Aplicada) (UFSC). É Professora Titular do Departamento de Língua e Literatura Estrangeiras da Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, atuando no Programa de Pós-Graduação em Inglês: Estudos Linguísticos e Literários.

Referências

Baddeley, A. D. (1992). Working Memory. Science, 255(2), 556–559. https://doi.org/brjntb

Baddeley, A. D. (2000). The episodic buffer: a new component of working memory? Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 4(11), 417–423. https://doi.org/d4tmmh

Baddeley, A. D. (2003). Working memory and language: An overview. Journal of Communication Disorders, 36(3), 189–208. https://doi.org/dvn3j5

Baddeley, A. D. (2012). Working Memory: theories, models and controversies. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 63, 1–29. https://doi.org/cw5hjb

Baddeley, A. D., Gathercole, S., & Papagno, C. (1998). The phonological loop as a language learning device. Psychological Review, 105(1), 158–173. https://doi.org/dkq3rx

Baddeley, A. D., & Hitch, G. (1974). Working memory. In G. H. Bower (Ed.), The psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory (pp. 47–89). New York: Academic Press. https://doi.org/d4vgnk

Baddeley, A. D., & Logie, R. H. (1999). Working memory: the Multiple-Component model. In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds.), Models of working memory: mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control (pp. 28–61). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/dhcn

Bialystok, E. (2017). The bilingual adaptation: How minds accommodate experience. Psychological Bulletin, 143(3), 233–262. https://doi.org/f9r4hb

Christophel, T. B., Klink, P. C., Spitzer, B., Roelfsema, P. R., & Haynes, J. D. (2017). The Distributed Nature of Working Memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 21(2), 111–124. https://doi.org/gc7nn3

Cohen, A. D., & Allison, K. (1998). Bilingual processing strategies in a university- level immersion program. Ilha Do Desterro, 35, 185–199. https://periodicos.ufsc.br/index.php/desterro/article/view/8282/7633

Constantinidis, C., & Klingberg, T. (2016). The neuroscience of working memory capacity and training. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 17(7), 438–449. https://doi.org/f3vh5v

Cowan, N. (1999). An Embedded-Processes model of working memory. In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds.), Models of working memory: mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control (pp. 62–101). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/gg2bm7

Daneman, M., & Carpenter, P. A. (1980). Individual differences in working memory and reading. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 19(4), 450–466. https://doi.org/fk6kpz

Daneman, M., & Merikle, P. M. (1996). Working memory and language comprehension: A meta-analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 3(4), 422–433. https://doi.org/c659r8

de Leeuw, J. R. (2015). jsPsych: A JavaScript library for creating behavioral experiments in a Web browser. Behavior Research Methods, 47, 1–12. https://doi.org/gddvtz

de Leeuw, J. R., & Motz, B. A. (2016). Psychophysics in a Web browser? Comparing response times collected with JavaScript and Psychophysics Toolbox in a visual search task. Behavior Research Methods, 48, 1–12. https://doi.org/f8hb63

Durgunoglu, A. Y., & Hancin-Bhatt, B. J. (1992). The role of first language in the second-language reading process. Center for the Study of Reading Technical Report, (555), 14–19. https://doi.org/fvgv

Engle, R. W. (2018). Working Memory and Executive Attention: A Revisit. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 13(2), 190–193. https://doi.org/gftwc5

Engle, R. W., Kane, M. J., & Tuholski, S. W. (1999). Individual differences in working memory capacity and what they tell us about controlled attention, general fluid intelligence, and functions of the prefrontal cortex. In A. Miyake & P. Shah (Eds.), Models of working memory: mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control (pp. 102–134). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/ghkpvp

Erceg-Hurn, D. M., & Mirosevich, V. M. (2008). Modern Robust Statistical Methods: An Easy Way to Maximize the Accuracy and Power of Your Research. American Psychologist, 63(7), 591–601. https://doi.org/dj5mvb

Filzmoser, P., & Gschwandtner, M. (2015). Mvoutlier: Multivariate outlier detection based on robust methods. Retrieved from https://cran.r-project.org/package=mvoutlier

Foster, J. L., Harrison, T. L., Hicks, K. L., Draheim, C., Redick, T. S., & Engle, R. W. (2017). Do the effects of working memory training depend on baseline ability level? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning Memory and Cognition, 43(11), 1677–1689. https://doi.org/gcx8k8

Friedman, N. P., & Miyake, A. (2005). Comparison of four scoring methods for the reading span test. Behavior Research Methods, 37(4), 581–590. https://doi.org/bmbj4b

Funahashi, S. (2017). Working memory in the prefrontal cortex. Brain Sciences, 7(5), 49. https://doi.org/fvgw

Gagné, E. D., Yekovich, C. W., & Yekovich, F. R. (1993). The cognitive psychology of school learning (2nd ed.). New York: HarperCollings College Publishers.

Grabe, W. (2009). Reading in a Second Language: Moving from Theory to Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/fvg2

Hambrick, D. Z., & Engle, R. W. (2002). Effects of Domain Knowledge, Working Memory Capacity, and Age on Cognitive Performance: An Investigation of the Knowledge-Is-Power Hypothesis. Cognitive Psychology, 44, 339–387. https://doi.org/bx8ttv

Heitz, R. P., Unsworth, N., & Engle, R. W. (2005). Working memory capacity, attention control, and fluid intelligence. In O. Wilhelm, & R. W. Engle (Eds.), Handbook of Understanding and Measuring Intelligence (pp. 61–78). SAGE Publications. https://doi.org/fvg3

Horiba, Y. (2000). Reader control in reading: Effects of language competence, text type, and task. Discourse Processes, 29(3), 223–267. https://doi.org/ckdrr8

Just, M. A., & Carpenter, P. A. (1992). A capacity theory of comprehension: Individual differences in working memory. Psychological Review, 99(1), 122–149. https://doi.org/cfx7xr

Kern, R. G. (1994). The Role of Mental Translation in Second Language Reading. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 16(4), 441–461. https://doi.org/fr96t8

Kintsch, W., & van Dijk, T. A. (1978). Toward a model of text comprehension and production. Psychological Review, 85(5), 363–394. https://doi.org/bg74d3

Koda, K. (2007). Reading and language learning: Crosslinguistic constraints on second language reading development. Language Learning, 57(Suppl. 1), 1–44. https://doi.org/d4nrmn

Kramer, R., & Mota, M. B. (2015). Effects of bilingualism on inhibitory control and working memory: A study with early and late bilinguals. Gragoatá, 38, 309–331. https://doi.org/fvgx

Linck, J. A., Osthus, P., Koeth, J. T., & Bunting, M. F. (2014). Working memory and second language comprehension and production: A meta-analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21(4), 861–883. https://doi.org/f6cmbz

Magliano, J. P., Trabasso, T., & Graesser, A. C. (1999). Strategic Processing during Comprehension. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(4), 615–629. https://doi.org/bqr83h

Miyake, A., & Shah, P. (Eds.). (1999). Models of working memory: mechanisms of active maintenance and executive control. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/fvgz

Narvaez, D., van den Broek, P., & Ruiz, A. B. (1999). The influence of reading purpose on inference generation and comprehension in reading. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(3), 488–496. https://doi.org/ffzmzt

Oberauer, K., Farrell, S., Jarrold, C., & Lewandowsky, S. (2016). What limits working memory capacity? Psychological Bulletin, 142(7), 758–799. https://doi.org/f8t2hx

Oliveira, D. A. (2016). Working memory capacity and mental translation in EFL reading comprehension [Master’s thesis, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina]. Repositório Institucional UFSC. https://repositorio.ufsc.br/xmlui/handle/123456789/168075

Payne, T. W., Kalibatseva, Z., & Jungers, M. K. (2009). Does domain experience compensate for working memory capacity in second language reading comprehension? Learning and Individual Differences, 19(1), 119–123. https://doi.org/dsmdwf

Pearson, P. D., & Johnson, D. D. (1978). Questions. In Teaching Reading Comprehension (pp. 153–178). New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.

R Core Team. (2017). R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria: R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Retrieved from https://www.r-project.org/

RStudio Team. (2016). RStudio: Integrated Development Environment for R. Boston, MA: RStudio, Inc. Retrieved from http://www.rstudio.com/

Rumelhart, D. E. (2013). Toward an interactive model of reading. In D. E. Alvermann, N. J. Unrau, & R. B. Ruddell (Eds.), Theoretical models and processes of reading (6th ed., pp. 719–747). Newark, DE: International Reading Association.

Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Shipstead, Z., Harrison, T. L., & Engle, R. W. (2016). Working Memory Capacity and Fluid Intelligence: Maintenance and Disengagement. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 11(6), 771–799. https://doi.org/f9hdxt

Sievert, C. (2018). Interactive web-based data visualization with R, plotly, and shiny. Champman and Hall/CRC. ISBN 9781138331457. Retrieved from https://plotly-r.com

Sternberg, J. R., & Sternberg, K. (2012). Cognitive Psychology. Science (6th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadswort.

Szmalec, A., Brysbaert, M., & Duyck, W. (2013). Working memory and (second) language processing. In J. Altarriba & L. Isurin (Eds.), Memory, Language, and Bilingualism: Theoretical and Applied Approaches (pp. 74–94). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Toassi, P. F. P., & Mota, M. B. (2014). Memória lexical e semântica de bilíngues. Letrônica, 7(1), 47–65. https://doi.org/fvg4

Tomitch, L. M. B. (2003). Reading: text organization perception and working memory capacity. UFSC, Departamento de Língua e Literaturas Estrangeiras.

Upton, T. A. (1997). First and Second Language Use in Reading Comprehension Strategies of Japanese ESL Students. Teaching English as a Second or Foreign Language, 3(1), 1–23.

Upton, T. A., & Lee-Thompson, L.-C. (2001). The Role of the First Language in Second Language Reading. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 23(04), 469–495. https://doi.org/fvgv

van den Broek, P., Young, M., Tzeng, Y., & Linderholm, T. (1999). The Landscape Model of Reading: Inferences and the Online Construction of a Memory Representation. In H. van Oostendorp & S. R. Goldman (Eds.), The construction of mental representations during reading (pp. 71–98). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Publicado

2021-08-30

Como Citar

Alves Oliveira, D., & Braga Tomitch, L. M. (2021). Correlations between working memory capacity and EFL reading comprehension: an investigation with Brazilian university students. Ciências & Cognição, 26(1). Recuperado de https://cienciasecognicao.org/revista/index.php/cec/article/view/1803

Edição

Seção

Artigos Científicos / Scientific Articles