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Academic Paper

Title: Phonological memory and lexical, narrative, and grammatical skills in second language oral production by adult learners
Author: Irena O'Brien
Institution: Université du Québec à Montréal
Author: Norman Segalowitz
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Concordia University
Author: Joe Collentine
Institution: Northern Arizona University
Author: Barbara Freed
Institution: Carnegie Mellon University
Linguistic Field: Language Acquisition; Phonology
Abstract: This study investigated the role of phonological memory (PM) in second language (L2) speech production by English-speaking adults who were learning Spanish. PM, operationalized as serial nonword recognition, and L2 lexical, narrative, and grammatical abilities from speech samples were assessed 13 weeks apart. After controlling for the amount of speech output, PM contributed significantly to the development of L2 narrative skills for less proficient participants (17.5% of variance explained) and to gains in correct use of function words for more proficient participants (15.7% of variance explained). These findings suggest that PM plays an important role in narrative development at earlier stages of L2 learning and in the acquisition of grammatical competence at later stages.


This article appears IN Applied Psycholinguistics Vol. 27, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site .

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