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28 - Methodological Issues in Research on Working Memory and L2 Reading Comprehension

from Part V - Bilingual Acquisition and Processing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 July 2022

John W. Schwieter
Wilfrid Laurier University
Zhisheng (Edward) Wen
Macao Polytechnic University
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The relationship between working memory (WM) and second language (L2) reading comprehension has received considerable attention for nearly three decades. Although studies in this line of research generally report a small to moderate relationship between WM and L2 reading comprehension, comparison of studies remains challenging due to the lack of specification of the kind of comprehension under investigation (e.g., textbase, situation model) and the means of comprehension assessment. In addition, inconsistencies in the usage, scoring and analysis of WM measures further complicate the interpretation of findings across studies. Thus, in this chapter, we examine L2 reading-WM studies, paying particular attention to methodological considerations surrounding the use and scoring of WM tasks and the assessment of comprehension. We argue that methodological decisions can have non-trivial effects on this line of research and provide task recommendations based on current theorizing in reading

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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