S-Space Language Education Institute (언어교육원) Language Research (어학연구) Language Research (어학연구) Volume 51 Number 1/3 (2015)
Exploring Working Memory Capacity as an Independent Contributor to L2 Discourse Comprehension: A Study of Korean EFL Learners
- Joh, Jeongsoon
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 언어교육원
- 어학연구, Vol.51 No.2, pp. 443-473
- working memory; storage; processing; composite capacity; L2 reading; discourse comprehension
- The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether and how working memory capacity contributes to discourse comprehension in L2. Participants were 60 Korean college students of various academic backgrounds, and their working memory capacity was measured by a reading span task in L1 and L2. Their L2 knowledge and background knowledge were also measured to examine the relative contribution of working memory capacity to L2 reading. Major findings include the following: there was more overlap between L1 and L2 working memory capacity than between L2 working memory capacity and L2 knowledge, suggesting L2 working memory capacity would be more of memory capacity itself than of L2 knowledge; only composite working memory capacity significantly predicted L2 discourse comprehension, but not storage or processing component alone; composite working memory capacity proved to be an independent contributor to L2 discourse comprehension, though less powerful than knowledge variables.