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Working memory and L2 Oral Fluency

Mizera, Gregory John (2006) Working memory and L2 Oral Fluency. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This main experiment in this project was designed to test the hypothesis that individual differences in working memory (WM) capacity correlate significantly with individual differences in the ability to speak a second language (L2) fluently. A pilot project was carried out to provide a set of quantifiable factors that produced a reliable description of L2 oral fluency. These factors were related to speed of delivery, pause profiles and morphosyntactic accuracy. In the main experiment, 44 native English speakers who were studying Spanish as a foreign language were tested with a set of three working memory tests, and the scores from these tests were correlated with the scores of three L2 oral fluency tests. The hypothesized strong correlations between working memory capacity and fluency were not found. Furthermore, many of the working memory scores did not correlate strongly with each other. These negative results are explained here partly by reference to the complex nature of speaking in a foreign language, which may tax other faculties more than working memory. Personal and affective variables are also mentioned as a possible explanation, as well as the relationship between working memory and long-term memory stores.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Mizera, Gregory
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairJuffs, Alanjuffs@pitt.eduJUFFS
Committee MemberSagarra,
Committee MemberDeKeyser,
Committee MemberCurtin,
Date: 2 June 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 21 November 2005
Approval Date: 2 June 2006
Submission Date: 26 April 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Linguistics
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: L2 speech; short-term memory; verbal fluency; verbal memory
Other ID:, etd-04262006-124945
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:42
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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