Eight important facts about Working Memory and their implications for foreign language teaching and learning

Mwy o wybodaeth am sut mae’r meddwl gweithiol yn effeithio’r duliau gellir defnyddio wrth creu trefniant addysgu.

The Language Gym

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  1. Introduction

There is no blogpost of mine which does not mention Working Memory (WM) at some point. Why? Because effective language processing and learning largely depends on how well Working Memory performs. In fact, apart from automatic processes – which bypass WM’s attentional control – all conscious processing of information (visual, auditory, etc.) occurring in the human brain is performed by WM. Whether our students are reading or listening to target language input, translating a passage into French, planning an essay or performing an oral task it will be WM that does most or all of the work.

Let us consider reading a target language text. It is WM that matches any lexis in the text with its meaning (by retrieving it from Long Term Memory). And what if we struggle with that text? Every single operation the brain performs in an attempt to decode will take…

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