15.3488, Diss: Lang Acquisition: French: 'Phonological Working..'

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LINGUIST List: Vol-15-3488. Mon Dec 13 2004. ISSN: 1068 - 4875.

Subject: 15.3488, Diss: Lang Acquisition: French: 'Phonological Working..'

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1)
Date: 12-Dec-2004
From: Leif French < lfrench at uqac.uquebec.ca >
Subject: Phonological Working Memory : A Developmental Study of Quebec Fancophone Children Learning English



-------------------------Message 1 ----------------------------------
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 2004 23:44:39
From: Leif French < lfrench at uqac.uquebec.ca >
Subject: Phonological Working Memory : A Developmental Study of Quebec Fancophone Children Learning English


Institution: Laval University
Program: Department of Languages, Linguistics, and Translation
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2003

Author: Leif M French

Dissertation Title: Phonological Working Memory : A Developmental Study of
Quebec Fancophone Children Learning English

Linguistic Field(s): Cognitive Science
                     Language Acquisition
                     Psycholinguistics

Subject Language(s): English (ENG)
                     French (FRN)


Dissertation Director(s):
Kirsten Hummel
Elisabet Service

Dissertation Abstract:

Research in cognitive psychology has shown a particularly strong association
between phonological working memory, usually indexed by some version of a
nonword repetition task, and both first language (L1) and second language (L2)
vocabulary acquisition in children (e.g., Gathercole et al., 1991; Service,
1992).  However, with the exception of Service (1992; Service & Kohonen, 1995),
there has been little research on the role phonological memory plays in
different aspects of children's L2 development. The present study investigated
the developmental relation between phonological memory and L2 acquisition in
grade 6 francophone children (n = 54; 11.2 years) enrolled in a 5-month
intensive English program in Quebec's Saguenay Region. The main focus of the
study was to analyze data collected on L2 skill (measures of receptive and
productive vocabulary, listening comprehension, grammar) and phonological loop
function (measures of Arabic nonword repetition accuracy) at two different
points in time (month 1 and 5) in an attempt to examine whether contributions
from phonological memory and L2 skill co-varied in children whose L2 proficiency
advances from a near beginning level to that of a very functional level in a
relatively short period of time. Partial cross-lagged correlations revealed that
phonological memory skill appears to play a causal role in the subjects' L2
development over time, providing preliminary evidence that, in children, the
causal dynamic between phonological memory and L2 development is similar to that
observed in L1 development and, in particular, L1 vocabulary development (e.g.,
Gathercole et al., 1992). Partial Pearson correlational analyses revealed that
phonological memory skill was also highly predictive of new L2 learning in those
subjects with low rather than high levels of L2 proficiency, suggesting that
contributions from phonological memory to L2 learning may become less important
as familiarity with the L2 increases. How these findings relate to theoretical
accounts explaining the interaction between phonological memory ability and L2
learning are considered along with implications for classroom pedagogical
practices and further L2 memory research.





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