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EXPLORING THE ROLE OF PROFICIENCY AS A MEDIATOROF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORKING MEMORY AND          TEXT COMPREHENSION ...
Presentation outline•Purpose of the study•Research questions•Background    Working memory (WM)      WM and language lear...
Purpose of the studyThe aim of this study is to find out whether there isa relationship between working memory (WM)capacit...
Research questions1. Is there a relationship between WM capacity and    listening comprehension in the L2?2. Is there a re...
Background         (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968)Memory                                 manipulation STM                     ...
Working Memory (WM)           Baddeley and Hitch (1974, 2000)•This system has the ability to store and processinformation ...
Figure 1. Baddeley’s model of working memory (2000)                           Central                          ExecutiveVi...
Measurement of WM               WM span tasksSimple span tasks           Complex span tasks     storage               stor...
commonly used complex span test is the Reading Span test(RST) (Daneman & Carpenter 1980).The RST assesses an individual’s ...
Working memory and Language LearningWM is significantly involved in language comprehension andis reported as a predictor o...
Working memory and Language Learning In contrast to L1 language processing there has been less effort to systematically ex...
MethodParticipantstwo groups of students at different proficiency levels fromÇanakkale Onsekiz Mart Universitya) Upper-int...
Number of      Target                     participants   populationAdvanced level       50             135Upper-          ...
Instruments                       R e a d i n g S p a n Ta s k s ( L 1 )    WM                 R e a d i n g S p a n Ta s ...
Data collection procedures1. At the beginning of the Spring semester, 2012, both   the prep and the ELT students will be g...
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  1. 1. EXPLORING THE ROLE OF PROFICIENCY AS A MEDIATOROF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORKING MEMORY AND TEXT COMPREHENSION IN THE L2 Bora DEMİR co-advisors: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gülcan Erçetin (Boğaziçi University) Asst. Prof. Dr. Zeynep Koçoğlu (Yeditepe University) 1
  2. 2. Presentation outline•Purpose of the study•Research questions•Background  Working memory (WM)  WM and language learning  WM and L2 reading/listening research•Method  Participants/instruments/procedure•Significance of the study 2
  3. 3. Purpose of the studyThe aim of this study is to find out whether there isa relationship between working memory (WM)capacity and listening/reading, and whether thisrelationship is mediated by learners’ proficiencylevel in the L2. 3
  4. 4. Research questions1. Is there a relationship between WM capacity and listening comprehension in the L2?2. Is there a relationship between WM capacity and reading comprehension in the L2?3. Does WM’s relationship to L2 reading and listening change as learners’ proficiency level increase? 4
  5. 5. Background (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968)Memory manipulation STM transformation passive stores LTM processing of information 5
  6. 6. Working Memory (WM) Baddeley and Hitch (1974, 2000)•This system has the ability to store and processinformation simultaneously.•WM refers to a limited capacity system oftemporary storage and manipulation of input that isnecessary for complex tasks such as comprehensionand reasoning. 6
  7. 7. Figure 1. Baddeley’s model of working memory (2000) Central ExecutiveVisio-spatial Episodic Phonological sketch-pad buffer loop Visual Episodic Speech based LTM Language 7
  8. 8. Measurement of WM WM span tasksSimple span tasks Complex span tasks storage storage and processingnot only the storage of information and rehearsalbut also the immediate cognitive processing ofincoming information (Daneman & Carpenter, 1980) 8
  9. 9. commonly used complex span test is the Reading Span test(RST) (Daneman & Carpenter 1980).The RST assesses an individual’s ability to simultaneouslyread and comprehend a set of sentences and then recall atarget word for each, usually the last word in the sentence.Listening Span Test (LST) is a spoken version of theRST, which follows the same format but requires participantsto listen to a set of sentences and recall the last word. 9
  10. 10. Working memory and Language LearningWM is significantly involved in language comprehension andis reported as a predictor of language proficiency. the role of WM in various L1 language processes including, reading (Conway, et al., 2005; Daneman & Carpenter, 1980) grammar (Ellis, 1996; Williams & Lovatt, 2003) speaking (Daneman, 1991; Daneman & Green, 1986) writing (Kellogg, 2001; Kellogg, Olive, & Piolat, 2007;) listening (Mackey, Adams, Stafford & Winke, 2010)
  11. 11. Working memory and Language Learning In contrast to L1 language processing there has been less effort to systematically examine the role of WM in L2 processing. the role of WM in various L2 language processes including, overall proficiency (van den Noort, Bosch & Hugdahl, 2006) reading (Harrington & Sawyer, 1992; Leeser 2007) writing (Adams & Guillot, 2008) sentence processing (Felser & Roberts, 2007; Juffs, 2004) grammar (French & O’Brien, 2008; Juffs, 2006) speaking (Fortkamp, 1999; Mizera, 2005) listening (Dörnyei & Skehan 2003; Robinson, 2005) 11
  12. 12. MethodParticipantstwo groups of students at different proficiency levels fromÇanakkale Onsekiz Mart Universitya) Upper-intermediate level the prep students of the departments of English Language Teaching and English Language and Literatureb) Advanced level the junior students of the departments of English Language Teaching 12
  13. 13. Number of Target participants populationAdvanced level 50 135Upper- 50 130intermediate levelTotal 100 265 13
  14. 14. Instruments R e a d i n g S p a n Ta s k s ( L 1 ) WM R e a d i n g S p a n Ta s k s ( L 2 ) N o n - w o r d r e p e t i t i o n Te s t Reading & Certificate in Advanced Listening English (CAE – CambridgeComprehension level 4) 14
  15. 15. Data collection procedures1. At the beginning of the Spring semester, 2012, both the prep and the ELT students will be given the CAE.2. The RSTs and the non-word repetition test will beadministered to all the students individually.3. At the end of the Spring semester, both the prep andthe ELT students will be given a parallel form of theCAE. 15
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